Colombia prepares to host international events again
Maintaining the meetings already confirmed and implementing biosafety protocols and messages of confidence, the country continues to work in favor of the meeting tourism industry
The business tourism segment in Colombia begins to show progress within the framework of the sector's reactivation strategy. The most recent of these was announced by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) confirming Cartagena as the venue for its World Summit for 2021.
“We have taken advantage of this juncture to prepare and be ready to welcome again travelers from all over the world and world-class events. Hosting the ICCA Congress World 2021 means that we are on the right track and that, under strict biosafety parameters, we are making steady progress in the reactivation of the business tourism segment, which has a positive impact on our economy ”, said Flavia Santoro, President of ProColombia.
The announcement was made at the 59th edition of the ICCA 2020 summit, held from November 1 to 3 in a blended manner, in which ProColombia made a presentation of the country with a focus on Cartagena.
During that space, all the tourist potential of the city was exposed to more than 1,300 attendees from the five continents.
In addition, the entity presented a champeta class, coordinated by the local host committee of the event, made up of Las Américas Hotels Group; the Cartagena de Indias Convention Center; Aviatur; Cartagena de Indias Convention & Visitors Bureau; and the Cartagena de Indias Tourism Corporation.
Likewise, ProColombia announced the perspectives that the country has for the industry, especially for the meetings segment.
For his part, President Iván Duque Márquez had a space to welcome future attendees to this international meeting.
Reactivation strategy for meeting tourism
Among the actions that ProColombia has carried out during this juncture, is the launch of the campaign “Change the date, not the destination”, a joint initiative with the National Network of Burós.
The strategy seeks to remain in contact with organizers of large-scale world events that keep Colombia as the venue for meetings, including the World Congress of Neurosurgery, Devcon, FIEXPO, as well as the ICCA World Congress.
On the other hand, in mid-September the Ministry of Health issued a biosafety protocol for business fair activities, which apply to events of no more than 50 people. This, added to the facilities provided by the use of technological tools, has ratified the trend of organizing events in a blended way.
Such is the case of the organization of the recent Colombia Investment Summit, the most important foreign direct investment summit in the country, which was held under this modality and which brought together 50 attendees in person and 3,000 people virtually.
In addition, several venues have acquired the “Certified Check-in, COVID-19 bioseguro” seal from the National Government.
These include Agora; Corferias; Golden Gate; Estelar Santa Mar Hotel; Convention Center in Santa Marta; and the Las Américas Hotel and Convention Center in Cartagena and; the Cartagena de Indias Convention Center, among others.
For its part, ProColombia has developed the Incentives Empowerment program, the objective of which is the training and adaptation of companies focused on this segment so that they offer experiences that allow the promotion of incentive trips in the country.
Another initiative of the entity is the development of the virtual Meeting Planner platform to display online the entire infrastructure offer that the country has for the meetings industry.
ProColombia carries out this promotional work by prioritizing the concepts of sustainability and trust.
“Trust has become the most relevant bargaining chip and destination organizers and promoters must be an efficient vehicle to transmit it. In the stages of "falling in love" for a decision maker to choose my venue, hotel or destination, tools such as testimonials, success stories and being able to teach the participants what their experience will be like through (...) digital inspection visits , with emphasis on biosafety protocols, will be fundamental elements ”, explained Eduardo Chaillo, expert in meeting tourism.
Another of the advances that the country has registered was the consolidation of the National Network of Burós.
"This is a table in which we work on an action plan for this segment in six axes: diagnosis, measurement indicators, financing, communications, biosafety and reactivation", indicated the President of ProColombia.
This synergy allowed the MICE Business Plan to be carried out, the purpose of which is to work on specialized missions for this segment, a business roundtable and an incubator that seeks to establish an academic network of high-impact ventures around the meetings industry.