Colombian convention and visitors bureaux are to get behind the launch, 16 June, of a new reactivation plan for the country’s meetings industry.
Colombia’s meetings and events industry generated US$2.451bn in 2018, according to a study by national tourism and investment agency ProColombia. It revealed that in the same year 5.2m attendees (domestic and international), had booked almost four million hotel rooms.
During 2020, a campaign #ChangeTheDateNotTheDestination (#CambiaLaFechaNoElDestino) was aimed at getting events reschedulled rather than cancelled in Colombia, or to encourage them to be held in a virtual or hybrid format. As a result of the campaign, the convention bureaux of Barranquilla, Bogotá, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cartagena, Ibagué, Manizales, Medellín, Pereira, Quindío and Santa Marta, were able to maintain the commitment to the chosen destinations of 74% of the 514 events that were scheduled to take place in the country during 2020.
By keeping these events in Colombia, the country will recover an estimated 440bn Colombian pesos (US$122m) in economic impact, for the next three years.
In order to promote different reactivation and promotion strategies, 11 MICE tourism promotion offices in Colombia created, in 2020, the Colombian Convention & Visitors Bureaux Network, as a collaborative effort to promote the reactivation of all the actors that belong to the meetings and events industry value chain in Colombia, as well as to position the country as a leading MICE destination in the region.
Liliana Orbegozo, executive director of the Greater Bogota Convention Bureau and leader of the Network’s promotion strategy, says: “From the Greater Bogota Convention Bureau we have led the promotion of the Network and, thanks to a combined effort, last year we won one of ProColombia’s national tourism awards. With the resources from the award, we designed a promotional strategy, based on the creation of a unique virtual tool, in which the 11 bureaux are positioning and promoting our cities as MICE destinations worldwide, accompanied by the campaign #HostYourEventInColombia.”
The reactivation plan will be unveiled in a hybrid event, within the celebration of the Anato Tourism Showcase, which will take place on 16 June, 2021, and is expected to have the participation of important allies, entrepreneurs and national and international media.