As part of its reactivation strategy, the Colombian Convention Bureaux´ Network has joined forces with the purpose of strengthening and promoting the MICE industry in the country.
The website www.bureauxdecolombia.com was launched as part of the Colombian Convention Bureaux Network´s reactivation strategy, and as a unique tool, that supports the reactivation of the 11 destinations that promote MICE tourism in Colombia - namely, Greater Bogotá Convention Bureau, Greater Medellín Convention & Visitors Bureau, Pereira Convention Bureau, Cartagena de Indias Convention & Visitors Bureau, ProBarranquilla, Cali Valle Bureau, Visit Manizales, Visit Bucaramanga, Invest in Santa Marta, Quindio Convention Bureau, and the Ibagué Convention & Visitors Bureau. This innovative tool is accompanied by the promotion campaign #HazTuEventoEnColombia - #HostYourEventInColombia, aligned with ProColombia´s latest promotional manifest, that describes our country as “the most welcoming place on earth”.
This initiative led by the 11 promotion offices is the continuation of the campaign, broadcasted during 2020, #CambiaLaFechaNoElDestino - #ChangeTheDateNotTheDestination, as a clear call to event organizers to maintain their commitment towards the previously selected host cities, while also presenting their wide offer, as MICE destinations.
“As part of the promotion strategy implemented by the Colombian Convention Bureaux Network, and led by the Greater Bogota Convention Bureau, several activities are being developed, as is the launch and positioning of the website, the recording of 11 promotional video clips for the 11 destinations, and the implementation of several digital campaigns that support the strategic objectives of the Network and the industry´s reactivation. Additionally, the website will include a blog with news and relevant industry topics, that we seek to position as a ´must see´ for the MICE sector. Currently, the Network hast a data base with 47 events won for Colombia, to be hosted between 2021 and 2024”, mentions Liliana Orbegozo, Executive Director of Greater Bogota Convention Bureau.
At the end of 2020, and due to the teamwork done by the 11 promotion offices, the Colombian Convention Bureaux Network received the ProColombia National Tourism Award in the category “Synergies that build country”, which led to the one of the main strategies projected: the creation of a virtual showcase through the website, that includes all the strengths and possibilities of these 11 destinations, with the purpose of presenting an articulated and complementary offer.
Thanks to a strict implementation of the biosafety protocols, advances in the vaccination plan, and to a solid campaign communicating messages of trust to visitors, Colombia continues betting on the meetings industry. Additionally, ProColombia has identified more than 50 incentive travel experiences, due to the creative ideas of professional congress organizers and DMCs, who had developed innovative itineraries connected with the local culture, to ensure a total immersion of the participants.
This reactivation plan comes with the strengthening of the biosafety protocols implemented by the different hotels, venues, and convention centers that had been certified with the “Check in certified, COVID-19 biosafety” government seal, which has the purpose of generating confidence, minimize the risks of spreading the virus, and promoting tourism in Colombia. Among the venues that had been certified are: Ágora and Corferias in Bogotá; Puerta de Oro in Barranquilla; Plaza Mayor in Medellín; Estelar Santa Mar Hotel and the Santa Marta Convention Center in Santa Marta; and the Hotel and Convention Center of Las Américas and the Convention Center of Cartagena de Indias in Cartagena, according to ProColombia.
Sandra Howard, Executive Director of the Greater Medellín Convention & Visitors Bureau and Director of the Colombian Convention Bureaux Network adds that "the promotion of the meetings and events industry in Colombia, through the work as a Network of these 11 promotion offices, is quite significant. Today we working together towards the reactivation of events, to make this a reality in the short term. The network´s greater purpose is to recover the sector´s positive growth before the pandemic. According to ProColombia, the meetings industry contributed with USD 1,288.5 millions to Colombia´s GDP in 2019, so our most important objective is to recover this contribution and exceed this figure”.
With the recovery of the meetings industry in Colombia as the main purpose, these types of collaborative initiatives have been arising, to strengthen the industry and to present Colombia as an ideal destination for hosting world-class events. Additionally, the continuous support of entrepreneurs and allies of the MICE sector, such as Ágora Bogotá, Invest in Bogotá, the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce, Corferias Bogotá, the Bogotá´s Institute of Tourism, and the EL Dorado International Airport in Bogotá, among others, has been fundamental to the success of these strategies.
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