Colombia’s tourism meetings industry is booming. Last year, the country held over 100 on-site events and exceeded the goal of attracting new international events by bringing in 348 meetings. In 2022, more than 160,000 travelers visited Colombia for events, business, and other professional purposes, which surpassed the number of visitors registered in 2021. And, during the first quarter of 2023, more than 48,600 international travelers have already been in Colombia for business and events, 32% more than between Jan-March 2022.
Some of the most important events hosted in Colombia in recent years have been the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization, the 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, FIEXPO, among others.
Besides all these facts, here are five reasons that prove why Colombia should be the best choice for those event planners looking for their next destination!
1. Colombia is leading the meetings industry in the continent: In the latest report done in 2022 by the International Association of Congresses and Conventions (ICCA), Colombia remains among the Top 30 destinations with the most significant number of events held, going from 29th to 28th place worldwide and occupying third place in South America.
2. Meaningful experiences: There is a global trend in the meetings industry to spread awareness around huge events, and Colombia aims to become a key player. Carmen Caballero, president of ProColombia —the promotion agency of the country— said, “We are committed to being an exemplary meetings destination. We want planners to think of our country as a place where they can leave a legacy and do business with a touch of culture and, above all, with a touch of consciousness”.
3. Colombia is closer than you think: Colombia connects to the world with over 1,200 weekly international flights operated by 25 airlines. In North America, 11 cities in the United States are directly connected to 9 cities in Colombia through 7 airlines, with more than 60,000 seats available between the two countries. As for Canada, the country is directly connected via Toronto and Montreal, with Bogotá and Cartagena, through Air Canada and Avianca. Air Transat also connects Cartagena with Toronto between November and April.
4. World-class quality service and infrastructure: This industry in Colombia is also known for its innovation, quality of service, and a strong sense of sustainability across the tourism chain. Furthermore, the country has excellent infrastructure with 27 convention centers, more than 120 non-traditional venues, and 455 hotels with meeting rooms across the territory.
5. Competitive prices: According to a study by ProColombia and the firm STA Consultores, the cost of an event in Colombia is 60% more affordable than in Mexico and 75% more than in the United States.
Colombia’s tourism industry is fully recovered. In 2022, the country reached 4.6 million visitors, the largest number ever registered. It has been featured in relevant media across the globe, such as Lonely Planet, Forbes, CNN, and the New York Times, as a must-go-to destination for 2023. No doubt: Colombia is a hidden gem for travelers.