Colombia’s capital, Bogota, featured in 42nd place with 50 meetings in ICCA’s city rankings, the city of Cartagena followed closely behind in 56th place with 40 meetings and Medellin in 85th place with 28 meetings. ICCA’s international association meetings tables are published every year. Meetings that are included in the tables are held on a regular basis, have at least 50 delegates and rotate between at least three countries.
The Director of the Colombian Government Trade Bureau, Proexport Colombia, Juan Guillermo Pérez, says: “We have enjoyed numerous new developments in Colombia over the past few years including new hotel builds such as IHG Group, Iberostar as well as new 5-star boutique hotels such as B.O.G. Over the last five years we have seen an increase of 40 per cent in visitors from the UK attending for leisure as well as business purposes, and we attribute this to the developments within infrastructure on the ground but also to our concentrated marketing efforts in the UK.
“Exhibitions and tradeshows such as IMEX in Frankfurt and EIBTM in Barcelona are also beneficial in providing opportunities for us to meet with convention planners who are interested in our destination. 2013 is an important year for us with regards to the meetings and congress industry and we anticipate our new international tourism campaign, which we launched last month, will increase visitor numbers further in the future.”
The new marketing campaign, entitled ‘Colombia, Magical Realism’ evokes the literary genre that made famous the Nobel-winning Gabriel García Márquez in whose stories the protagonists live in scenes that blend reality with magic. The campaign will lead the promotion strategy in 30 countries within North and South America, Asia and Europe.
According to the Global Organisation for Tourism and Colombian Immigration, international tourism arrivals to the country have grown by an annual average rate of 10.4 per cent in the last eight years (2005 – 2012), a rate three times higher than the rate registered worldwide in the same period.