Buga (Colombia) and Fatima (Portugal) join the World Network of Religious Tourism Destinations


Within the framework of the XX Congresso Internacional de Turismo Religioso e Sustentável and the International Workshop On Religious Tourism held in Fátima (Portugal), the cities of Fátima (Portugal) and Guadalajara de Buga (Colombia) have joined the World Network of Religious Tourism Destinations.


Guadalajara de Buga, in Valle del Cauca, becomes the first municipality in the country to join the World Network of Religious Tourism Destinations.

The announcement was made by the director of the Network, Pilar Valdés Arroyo, during the XX International Congress of Religious and Sustainable Tourism, which is being held in Fatima, Portugal.

"Belonging to the network is very important in terms of international tourism promotion, with the support of all the international experts who can help you develop the destination at an organized tourism level," said the director of the Network to the mayor of Guadalajara de Buga, Karol Martínez.

The creation of the World Religious Tourism Destination Network (WRTDN), according to official information, is an initiative developed by the Tourism and Society Think Tank, in collaboration with companies associated with the TSTT, to promote tourism and religious culture in a region or country.

This network, they say, is an effective way to promote tourism, intercultural understanding and respect for religious diversity. However, it is important to do so in a respectful and ethical manner, making sure that local religious communities are involved and benefit from the initiative.

Guadalajara de Buga has been part of the Tourism Network of Heritage Towns of Colombia since 2013, and is considered by many to be the mecca of religious tourism in the country thanks to the Minor Basilica Señor de los Milagros. This destination, according to the national network, awaits visitors year-round with its religious fervor.

"The Lady City is a hallmark that has made it famous, as it is one of the towns with more history not only of the department but of Colombia. The destination has a well-preserved colonial architecture, with republican buildings and, in the surroundings, a natural environment that includes parks, moors and lagoons," says the Tourist Network of Heritage Towns of Colombia.


Fatima, known for its Marian apparitions in 1917, is an epicenter of devotion and pilgrimage for millions of Catholics around the world. Its inclusion in the network not only reaffirms its status as one of the most important religious destinations globally, but also promises to boost tourism and offer new opportunities for economic and cultural development.

This achievement represents an opportunity for Fatima to expand its reach and attract an even more diverse audience interested in exploring places of deep spiritual significance. It also underscores the importance of religious tourism as a bridge for intercultural understanding and dialogue between different faiths and traditions. With the support of the network, Fatima can improve its infrastructure and services to welcome visitors, while ensuring the preservation of its heritage and the promotion of sustainable and respectful tourism practices.

Fatima's designation as part of this prestigious network is a testament to its rich spiritual history and its ability to inspire peace, hope and renewal in those who visit. This is a significant moment for both Fatima and global religious tourism, marking a milestone in the recognition of places that continue to shape faith and spirituality in the 21st century.

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