BestCities new Board Chair, Jonas Wilstrup of Wonderful Copenhagen, made the announcement at IMEX Frankfurt during a media breakfast which also saw him take the baton in his new role from former board chair Karen Bolinger of Melbourne Convention Bureau.
Jonas commented: “This is an exciting time for BestCities and the announcement of Bogotá’s successful application is significant. In recent years the meetings industry has recognised the growth potential of Latin America and Bogotá in particular; it’s great to see BestCities at the forefront of that trend.
“Bogotá is a great complement to the alliance with commitment to excellence and client focus as well as drive to achieve our overarching ambition; to create long-term positive lasting impact from events in their host city and globally. This desired impact is not just financial, but much wider reaching and despite being a young bureau, Bogotá is leading the way in this area with commitment to this goal.”
Ranked sixth in the ICCA Latin American Rankings, Bogotá scooped the ICCA gold award for PR Strategy last year for its campaign "People the Power of Hope". With legacy at its heart, the campaign brought major city players together in a bid to make Bogotá the venue for the global gathering of youth leaders: One Young World in 2017. “People the Power of Hope is an excellent example of the strategic, bigger picture approach to meeting planning we value in our partners. We’re thrilled to have Bogotá on board.” Wilstrup continued.
Following a comprehensive external audit to ensure Bogotá surpassed BestCities’ highest quality standards, Bogotá’s successful application is the culmination of many years of work for the GBCB to grow the international association market.
During the last year, the city has won 50 major international events, with 12 more world class events in progress. The opening of a new International Conference Centre, the ‘Agora Bogotá’ in 2017, will further increase the city’s venue delegate capacity by almost 4,000 and El Dorado International Airport now has over 700 weekly international direct flights to 43 countries globally.
The city also has 17,000 three, four and five star hotel rooms, with a plan to develop more hotels closer to the Convention Center. Bogotá is responsible for 56% of the tourism that arrives to Colombia and is home 1,423 multinational companies, public institutions and the National Government.
Sandra Garcia, Executive Director at GBCB said: “It’s a fantastic development in our journey to be accepted as a full BestCities partner and we look forward to working with the Alliance’s expert network of associations and clients to continue developing and growing the industry here in Latin America.
"In Bogotá we have shown that is the power of people who achieves real changes and the events industry can become an engine for this transformation. Public and private institutions working together, have shown a strong commitment to pursue more businesses for the city as well as a strong leader ship in different sectors”.
“As a non-profit organisation, the nation’s future development is at the heart of everything we do. We work closely with our partners in the city to promote this mission and ensure the meetings and bids we pursue have scope for creating a positive impact, leaving a legacy to future generations.”