Medellin Foreign Visitor Count Jumps 26% Year-on-Year; Events, Congresses Growing
A new report from Colombian government promotion agency Procolombia reveals that foreign tourist arrivals to Medellin from January through September 2015 jumped 26% year-on-year, totaling 187,959 visitors.
The USA continues to be the number-one source of visitors to Colombia, totaling 319,518 from January through September 2015, up 15% year-on-year, according to Procolombia. Europe is another large source of tourism to Colombia.
On a related front, the Medellin Convention and Visitors Bureau (MCVB) reported that a growing number of international business conferences and congresses in Medellin has contributed significantly to the growth of foreign visitors to Medellin.
Of the 220 events targeted by Medellin’s municipal government in its four-year development plan for 2012 through 2015, Medellin has already surpassed that goal, hitting 284 events – 29% greater than expected -- according to the Bureau.
More than 221,000 persons will have attended these 284 events, with a “high percentage” being foreigners. Reason: 205 of the 284 total events organized for Medellin are international-oriented, according to MCVB.
These events will have generated an extra US$84.5 million in business income for Medellin, as travelers to Medellin-based conferences and congresses spend an average US$250 per day -- much higher than spending by backpackers or other pleasure tourists, according to recent studies.
Such business-oriented events are a “fundamental factor for the economic development of the city,” according to MCVB director Ana Maria Gallego. “More events mean more visitors, more employment, more demand for services -- and this has a direct impact on the quality of life of [Medellin’s] inhabitants,” she added.
MCVB and its 300 business and government allies continue to expand the “internationalization” of Medellin by coordinating with the Mayor’s tourism secretariat, the Plaza Mayor convention center, Medellin’s Agency for International Cooperation (ACI), the Medellin Chamber of Commerce (MCC), and the “Tourism Cluster” of businesses affiliated with MCC, according to MCVB.
Among the most outstanding international events resulting from this coordination include the recent World Urban Forum, the 55th Assembly of Governors of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, the 21st Assembly of the World Tourism Organization, the upcoming World Economic Forum (Latin America region) and the upcoming 3rd World Forum on Social Work, according to the Bureau.
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