BestCities welcomes first South American partner - Bogotá

9th Jun, 2015

You can read this article in Spanish here.

BestCities Global Alliance continues its expansion into new and emerging markets with the announcement that Bogotá, Colombia’s capital, will become their first South American partner.

Although a young bureau, the Greater Bogotá Convention Bureau (GBCB) already shows many of the qualities that BestCities look for in a partner, and as a meetings destination the city rates very highly against all alliance criteria including attractiveness, accessibility, front line service, pre and post touring options, infrastructure quality, future investment and value.

“In order to apply for membership into the Alliance, a city must already be recognized as a Destination Marketing Organization with bureau functionalities, or be one that is officially recognized as a future bureau,” said Ms Karen Bolinger, BestCities Board Chair. “Greater Bogotá Convention Bureau impressed us greatly with their enthusiasm and readiness to take on Preliminary Membership so soon after their expression of interest. They have also demonstrated a strong commitment and a willingness to embrace the BestCities Quality Management System in order to further improve their internal processes."

GBCB enjoys the full support of their city, regional and federal governments to pursue more business for the city as well as a strong leadership in different sectors keen to work with them in attracting more association meetings.

Internally, the bureau is staffed by a young, motivated and bilingual team, passionate about their city and focused on delivering a high level of customer service and creating memorable experiences for their clients.

“The inclusion of a South American partner is important not only for our geographical growth but equally for our strategic expansion. This important foothold into another emerging market will enable us to tap into new clients and provide our alliance partners with important business and learning opportunities,” said Ms Bolinger.

Bogotá is currently ranked #34 in the ICCA world rankings and when the new Bogota International Convention Center “Agora Bogotá” opens in 2016 with the capacity to hold 3,700 delegates they will be on their way to achieving their goal of being one of the top cities in Latin America. The city also has 17,000 three, four and five star hotel rooms with a plan to put more hotels closer to the convention centre.Bogotá is responsible for 52% of the tourism that arrive to Colombia; home to 1,423 multinational companies; public institutions and the National Government.

“The world is looking towards Latin America. In the last 20 years, the region has experienced a growth rate in the meetings industry that exceeds the international average, becoming very attractive and with many expansion opportunities,” says Ms Sandra Garcia Giraldo, Executive Director of Greater Bogotá Convention Bureau.“Economic growth in Latin America has been constant during the last five to seven years, however the only two countries projected to grow above GINI’s* (the measure of the differences in income and inequality) coefficient, are Chile and Colombia: where Bogotá is responsible for 25% of the GNP. Reducing poverty means a growth of a stronger middle class which translates into a new purchasing power with needs of formation and accessing knowledge, networking and technology, all of which are offered by this industry.” /

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