Colombia consolidates its commitment to the MICE segment

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Colombia consolidates its commitment to the MICE segment
Source: Instagram @ctgenadeindias
October 27, 2021

Cartagena receives this week the ICCA and Fiexpo Congress, two of the most relevant international events


The meetings industry in Colombia begins to accelerate its recovery with the organization of the ICCA World Congress and Fiexpo, the two most relevant events for this segment at an international level because they bring together the main leaders and experts in the sector.

Both meetings will take place in the last week of October in Cartagena. The first, from October 24 to 27, will be the ICCA Congress led by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), an international organization with nearly 60 years of experience comprising more than 1,000 companies and entities and associations in almost 100 countries.

Then, from October 27 to 30, also in Cartagena, Fiexpo Latin America will be held, an event with regional impact that has the purpose of offering business and networking opportunities, as well as presenting educational and training spaces.

For Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia, the impact that these events leave in the country is very positive for the reactivation of the meetings industry nationwide. “These meetings generate employment for professionals, specialized technicians and for other actors who work for the industry. On the other hand, they position us as a competitive destination at the regional level, because thanks to a reactivation plan designed since 2020, today we have a safe, innovative and sustainable offer that guarantees a reliable and high-quality experience to carry out all kinds of events " .

According to Senthil Gopinath, Executive Director of ICCA: “Colombia is one of the main meeting destinations in Latin America, one of the key regions in terms of industry growth. The country is a great host. Its infrastructure, hospitality and cultural values ​​make it a suitable destination for the ICCA Congress. In addition, we would like to play a key role in the development of your meeting industry and contribute to the knowledge economy. "

In the ICCA 2021 version, more than 800 attendees will meet in person and virtually and the purpose of the meeting is to provide education and development through world-class experts, immersive workshops and dynamic discussion panels. The congress program also offers networking opportunities and experiences both in person and online.

Lecturers will be members of entities from the World Tourism Organization, the World Health Organization, Samsung, Cisco, Stellenbosch University (South Africa), the Dubai Tourism Office, the Goyang Convention Bureau (Korea del Sur), Wind Europe (former European Wind Energy Association), the European Society of Cardiology, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, among others.

Fiexpo Latin America, the meeting of professionals from the region
This meeting will be attended by about 350 professionals from the Latin American industry. It seeks to commit to establishing links with senior authorities and policy makers to ensure that the economic, cross-cultural and social benefits of the meetings, events and incentives industry are understood and recognized.

“It is a great joy to return to the presence, since the last event we did like this was in Chile in June 2019. So we are talking about two years and almost four months after having done the last face-to-face event. So you can imagine what it represents for us and the responsibility we have to do this event again in Cartagena ”, explained Arnaldo Nardone, director of Fiexpo.

A political forum has been included in the agenda defined for these four days, with the presence of ministers and secretaries of tourism from various countries. "That shows us that we are going to be in an area where everyone feels committed to this reactivation," added Nardone.

In addition, this version of Fiexpo has an innovative offer such as the Convention Bureau One Day Challenge, which is a day dedicated to the new challenges that convention gurus in Latin America will face. This space will be coordinated by great figures from the world industry such as the executive directors and officials of the Barcelona Bureau, members of the government of Thailand and the CEO of ICCA.

Importance of the meetings industry in the country

Since 2020, it has been sought that this industry is maintained with strategies to preserve events of great relevance, in addition to adapting it to the trends of the sector and preparing it with a safe and innovative offer.

This segment has all the relevance, since it registered 23 percent of the total economic contribution left by tourism in Colombia before the pandemic. In addition, it generated a hotel occupancy of almost 4 million rooms a year with an average stay of almost four nights.

Regarding the situation, quickly the country's bureaus, territorial organizations that are in charge of capturing events to Colombian destinations, advanced in coordination with ProColombia the campaign "Change the date, not the destination" to hold events in Colombian cities without canceling them and which achieved that, of the 514 events that were scheduled in 2020, 74% of these were maintained. Now this strategy has evolved to "Make your event in Colombia" which will surely continue to report important figures.

In addition, the National Network of Burós was created, a successful and very pertinent bet, since the union of these important territorial entities seeks to capture events of international stature and show a diverse offer of the country through its destinations. Thanks to this joint work, very important meetings continue today and become a great opportunity to reactivate the meetings industry.

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