The Colombian Convention Bureaux´ Network outlined its reactivation strategy for strengthening and promoting the MICE industry in the country at a hybrid media conference on 16 June attended by deputy tourism minister Constanza Olaya.
The Agora Bogotá Convention Centre was the venue for the launch and broadcast, which included the unveiling of the Network´s website www.bureauxdecolombia.com, designed to support the promotion and reactivation efforts implemented by the 11 destinations that are part of the Network, in Colombia and abroad.
The Network emphasised that strict implementation of biosafety protocols, advances in the country’s vaccination plan, and a solid campaign to communicate messages of trust to visitors, evidenced Colombia’s strong stake on the meetings industry.
The www.bureauxdecolombia.com website is part of the Network´s Reactivation Strategy, a unique tool, that supports the reactivation of the 11 destinations that promote MICE tourism in Colombia, which are: Greater Bogotá Convention Bureau, Greater Medellín Convention and Visitors Bureau, Pereira Convention Bureau, Cartagena de Indias Convention and Visitors Bureau, ProBarranquilla, Cali Valle Bureau, Visit Manizales, Visit Bucaramanga, Invest in Santa Marta, Quindio Convention Bureau, and the Ibagué Convention and Visitors Bureau. This websitetool is accompanied by the promotional campaign #HazTuEventoEnColombia – #HostYourEventInColombia, aligned with ProColombia´s promotional programme that describes our country as “the most welcoming place on earth”.
This initiative led by the 11 promotion offices is also a continuation of the campaign, broadcast during 2020, #CambiaLaFechaNoElDestino – #ChangeTheDateNotTheDestination, as a clear call to event organisers to maintain their commitment towards the previously selected host cities.
Eleven promotional video clips for the 11 destinations were on show, and digital campaigns have also been readied to support the strategic objectives of the Network and the industry´s reactivation. Additionally, the website will include a blog with news and relevant industry topics.
“Currently, the Network has a data base with 47 events won for Colombia, to be hosted between 2021 and 2024”, said Liliana Orbegozo, executive director of Greater Bogota Convention Bureau.
At the end of 2020, the teamwork shown by the 11 promotional offices and the Network was recognised with a ProColombia National Tourism Award. That prize led to the creation of a virtual showcase through the new website.
Additionally, ProColombia has identified more than 50 incentive travel experiences, building on the creative ideas of professional congress organisers and DMCs, who had developed innovative itineraries connected with the local culture and designed to ensure a total immersion of participants.
Now many leading venues have been certified with the ‘Check in certified, Covid-19 biosafety’ government seal, including Ágora and Corferias in Bogotá; Puerta de Oro in Barranquilla; Plaza Mayor in Medellín; Estelar Santa Mar Hotel and the Santa Marta Convention Center in Santa Marta; and the Hotel and Convention Center of Las Américas and the Convention Center of Cartagena de Indias in Cartagena, according to ProColombia.
Sandra Howard, executive director of the Greater Medellín Convention and Visitors Bureau and director of the Colombian Convention Bureaux Network adds that “the promotion of the meetings and events industry in Colombia, through the work as a Network of these 11 promotion offices, is quite significant. Today we working together towards the reactivation of events, to make this a reality in the short term. The network´s greater purpose is to recover the sector´s positive growth before the pandemic. According to ProColombia, the meetings industry contributed with USD$1.28bn to Colombia´s GDP in 2019, so our most important objective is to recover this contribution and exceed this figure”.
The Colombian Convention Bureaux Network is the union of 11 destination marketing offices in Colombia. The Network was created in 2020 under an initiative born with the objective of supporting the industry´s reactivation and seeking to join forces to work collaboratively including with other public and private actors.