As part of the reactivation strategy, the Colombian Convention and Visitors Bureaus Network has joined forces with the aim of working to strengthen and promote the meetings and events industry.
The meetings and events industry in Colombia generated a revenue of US$2.451 billion in 2018 - about 7.2 trillion Colombian pesos, according to a study made by ProColombia. This study points out that in 2018 around 67,951 events were hosted in Colombia with 5.2 million attendees (domestic and international), booking almost four million hotel rooms. Additionally, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) highlights Colombia among the countries that has hosted the most international events, ranking 29th among 165 countries, above Russia and Chile.
Likewise, during 2020, thanks to the Network's campaign -#ChangeTheDateNotTheDestination (#CambiaLaFechaNoElDestino)- aimed at preventing the cancellation of events and managing to reschedule the dates of the events for the following three years, or to hold them in 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 and that, due to the pandemic, could not take place. By maintaining the realization of these events in Colombia, the country recovers an estimated 440 billion Colombian pesos in economic impact, for the next 3 years.
In order to promote different reactivation and promotion strategies, eleven (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.
Among the initiatives and strategies that have been established, is the launching of the Network's web page, which is expected to be a communication and promotion channel for potential clients seeking destinations for hosting domestic or international events. According to Liliana Orbegozo, executive director of the Greater Bogota Convention Bureau and leader of the Network's promotion strategy, "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 website has several sections with relevant information for our audiences and, above all, with a blog that we want to position as a reference for consultation and interaction of the meetings and events industry at a regional and, why not, global level".
This reactivation plan will be unveiled in a hybrid event, within the celebration of the Anato Tourism Showcase, which will take place on June 16th, 2021, and is expected to have the participation of important allies, entrepreneurs and national and international media.
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