Published On: Fri, May 15th, 2015

Colombia ranked third in South America for international conferences and conventions

Colombian_flag-5182012-575hcThe 150 events classified as ‘international’ that were held in Colombia last year enabled the country to improve its position in the world rankings as a destination for conferences and conventions. It ranked 25th globally amongst 111 countries, according to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), whose annual report will be released on Monday.

According to the report, Colombia moved up three places in 2014 compared to 2013, climbing into the top 25 countries chosen by conference and conventions organisers and companies seeking locations for their corporate events. ProColombia, the government agency charged with the promotion of tourism, trade and investment to country has reported that the industry generated revenue of US $218 million last year. ProColombia works activity with its partners at home and abroad, including the UK, to support and develop the sector.

“Within this industry, the business tourism niche is one of which brings in the most foreign currency for the economy. Every traveler in this segment spends approximately US $410 daily while they visit Colombia throughout the value chain including hospitality, retail, transportation and restaurants, among others,” said the president of ProColombia, María Claudia Lacouture.

Worldwide, the rankings have been headed up for some time by the United States and European destinations like Germany and Spain.

However South American nations are fast catching up with Colombia, Brazil and Argentina leading the way. ProColombia works with regional organisations to promote the sector and since 2010 its support has resulted in 457 international conferences and conventions in Colombia.
In the ICCA ‘North American and Latin American cities’ category, the Colombian Capital Bogota performed well by climbing to 12th position with 49 events. Colombia’s Medellin reached 17th place with 33 events, and Cartagena remained in 14th place, despite hosting two more events than the previous year (45 in total).

Notable Colombian events in 2014 included the World Urban Forum in Medellin, which attracted more than 10,000 participants from 160 countries, and the annual convention of the International Networkers Team, held in Bogota which hosted 8,500 online professionals. 58 prominent events are already planned for the remainder of this year and next including the World Economic Forum of Latin America in 2016 and the upcoming Assembly of the World Tourism Organisation to be held in Antioquia.