London Bus in Bogota

Residents of Bogota have been taken aback recently by the arrival of a typical two decked London bus. Although there are similar red (open topped) tour buses in Cartagena this was the first arrival of the bus so far inland as it tours the major cities of Colombia.

The tour started on the coast and passed through Cartagena and Medellin among other cities and will continue to Medellin and Cali.

The iconic double-decker bus’ presence in the country is a reminder of the growing interest that the UK has in the region where it is investing in projects and other developments and reaffirms bilateral relations between the UK and Colombia.

The Colombian drivers liked the bus but had found it hard to adjust to being in a right hand drive vehicle but it was comfortable and reliable as well as being environmentally friendly.

For the locals who have been excited to see this symbol of London it has provided an opportunity to get a photo taken next to the bus.



In 2013 more than double the number of drunk drivers

During the first seven months of this year, the Traffic Police in Bogotá have immobilized 6510 vehicles as a result of  their drivers driving drunk.

The figure represents an increase of nearly 100 percent when compared to the 3122 cars stopped for the same cause during the same period last year. Last weekend alone saw 327 cars were immobilized according to the report delivered by Colonel John Jairo Rodriguez, commander of Metropolitan Transit Police.

While Bogota can be a fun place and most foreigners visiting take a taxi removing such drivers from the road will reduce the risk of accidents involving drink.

A driver convicted of drunk driving may have his licence suspended  from six months to 10 years depending on the level of alcohol found in the body.


More than 7 tons of e-waste collected in Rock Park

During the festival of Rock Park , which was held between June 29 and July 1, citizens dropped-off over seven tons of obsolete technological gadgets to collection points set forth by the District.

Reception points were located around the Festival, including CPUs, monitors, mice, keyboards, phones, chargers, speakers, laptops, printers, telephones, cameras, DVDs, and even microwave ovens, televisions and irons.

This waste will be treated in a special way to separate the components that can be leveraged for new electronics, and that no longer serve will be encapsulated and attached to the security cells that eventually will be located in secure landfills.

Similarly, recyclables recovered attendees had discarded in bins provided in all three scenarios, with the support of environmental retrievers ready for the Public Services Administrative Unit (UAESP) . This glass consisted of 651 kg were collected.; Pet, from which 340 kg was recovered.; Carton 487 kg.; 232 kg bags.; Paper and 108 kg.


via More than 7 tons of e-waste collected in Rock Park (in Spansih).

Medellín to be home to first Colombian Samsung store

Next week Colombia’s first own brand Samsung store will be opened not in the capital but in Medellin. The shop will display their latest products including cell phones, tablets, TVs, cameras and accessories.

Last year the company opened stores in Paris and London, this year was associated with the U.S. chain Best Buy to open 1400 outlets for the summer.  The store in Medellin will be located in the Monterrey Shopping Mall and its inauguration will be held on Thursday, June 27 .

via Medellín will host the first store of Samsung in Colombia.

Rock the Park technological waste to be collected

During the Rock al Parque Festival 2013, a three day event which will take place on 29 and 30 June and July 1, the District will provide participants an opportunity to dump their technological waste in a proper manner which will not harm the environment.

The unwanted items can be disposed of in special containers at Simon Bolivar Metropolitan Park from 8 am to 4 pm. Items that may be deposited include cell phones, chargers, batteries and electrical batteries.

It is hoped that the event will raise awareness of the need to recycle e-waste properly considering its adverse effects on the ecosystem and human health, by its components contaminants.

The event is organized by the High Council ICT District and the District Institute of Arts, Idartes, with the support of the National Association of Entrepreneurs-Andi-and gaiavitare, agencies working on behalf of the environment.

via Santa Fe Station 1070 am Radio Live.

Avianca passenger numbers rose 11.2 percent in May

The largest airline in Colombia is flying high as latest figures show it help transport close to 10,000,000 passengers in the first five months of the year.

Between January and May, Avianca Airlines Holdings handled 9,903 ,363 passengers, which is an increase of 9.5% over the same period last year. In May, the group transported almost 2 million passengers which is 11.2% above the passengers carried in May 2012.

At the same time capacity, measured in ASK ( Available seats per kilometer flown ) increased by 10.7% while passenger traffic measured in RPK (paying passengers per kilometer flown) grew 12.0% during May. For its part, the load factor stood at 77.4%, the report said.

For more information about theloadfactors andASK on its main routes in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador please see  Avianca Holdings mobilized 9.9 million passengers in five months.

New ipad technology for hotel guests

A company from India is hoping that a hotel in Colombia (or Peru) will be the first to install a new hi-tech room service interface where guests can use an ipad to meet all their needs.

DigiValet is an ipad tool that brings new alternatives for guests and has already been adopted in hotels in Dubai, Singapore, India.

Each guests receives a personal ipad upon arrival and with this they can do everything from open their room door, change the air-con, book amenities, order drinks, see the menu and even check out.

via Service in the hotel from an Ipad | Business |

Colombian economy slowed down in Q1

The Colombian economy grew only 2.8% in the first quarter of this year, compared with 5.4% growth experienced in the same period last year. The low growth, according to Financial Times , is the result of a contraction in the industrial sector and the fall in coal production, something that was not expected by the finance minister, Mauricio Cardenas , who had earlier spoke of an increase of 4.8%.

The slowdown of the South American country’s economy had been anticipated following an announcement by the country’s central bank in April, which forced the government to lower its economic outlook for the entire year.

Other factors contributing to this slowdown were the fall of commodity prices such as gold, oil and coal which has led to a drop in the country’s revenue through exports as well as ongoing labor disputes in the mining and coffee sector which disrupt production.

Analysts recently predicted Colombia’s GDP would grow by 4% over the year, half a percent less than the government anticipates

Nevertheless, despite the disappointing growth figures, many people in Colombia are optimistic and the government is hoping to stimulate further growth by an economic boost which will assist exports.

Dolce & Gabbana looking at setting up in Bogota

Despite a recent decision by Italian courts which led to the company being fined around 500,000 Euros for tax evasion the famous fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana, from Milan, Italy, is rumored to preparing to open its first store and bar in Centro Andino, Bogota, although the dates of the opening have not been confirmed yet.

The company which was founded by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, began by designing clothes and then diversified in to the profitable  accessories market, including sunglasses, watches and rings, perfumes, phones, and bars and restaurants.

The company has confirmed their belief they are looking to expand as they believe in the growth potential of Latin America. They already have premises in Chile.