Colombia. The annual ranking of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) revealed that Colombia is in the top 30 of the countries that have more international congresses. Last year, the nation made 147 events and was placed in the 29 box above Russia, New Zealand, Chile and South Africa, among others.

In the list, called ICCA Statistics Report Country & City Rankings, 165 nations are included, which demonstrates the capacity and competitive advantages that Colombia has in meeting tourism. For example, in the context of South America, the country remained (above Brazil and Argentina) as the third in the region that hosts the most ICCA-type events.

"The results of this list speak very well of the potential that our country has in tourism. It is clear that we want to make tourism a new and outstanding source of economic growth and attracting foreign currency that allows generating equity and also entrepreneurship in the different regions of Colombia, "said the Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, José Manuel Restrepo Abondano.

In this classification we also find a detailed report on the impact of the events captured by Colombia. This study revealed that in 2018 there were 50.313 attendees at the 147 ICCA type congresses held in the country. This generated currencies for more than US $ 84 million and the average spending of each visitor was US $ 465,6. In addition, the average duration of the meetings was 3,6 days.

On the other hand, the city of Colombia that hosted the most events at 2018 was Bogotá (with 46), which positioned it as the sixth in Latin America that most performs congresses after Buenos Aires, Lima, Sao Paulo, Santiago de Chile and Panama. The Colombian capital is followed by Cartagena -with 35 events- and Medellín -with 25-.

The list also includes events held in other cities such as Cali, Barranquilla and Santa Marta. This last one has the most growth in the list compared to 2017 (it went from having 0 congresses made in 2017 to 5 in 2018). Barranquilla also stands out (it went from three to six).

The ICCA organization announced in November last year that Cartagena was selected to host its World Congress in 2021, surpassing cities such as Rotterdam and Athens in the competition.

This event joins others of international stature that have been captured as the Tourism Tech Adventures of the World Tourism Organization, organized in April of this year; the World Pharmacovigilance Congress (2019); the World Maritime Summit (2019); the World Independent Advertising Awards (2019); the IDB World Assembly (2020) and Fiexpo Latam for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 years in Cartagena, Medellín and Bogotá.

Recently, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism presented the Strategic Plan to promote MICE tourism (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) whose goal is that in the year 2027 Colombia be a Latin American leader in meetings tourism. This project will propose actions that encourage the activity through the promotion of conferences and events in Colombia.

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Editor
Journalist from the University of Antioquia (2010), with experience in technology and economics. Editor of the magazines TVyVideo + Radio and AVI Latin America. Academic Coordinator of TecnoTelevisión & Radio.

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