Investment, Convention, Tourism Agencies Teaming-up; Medellin Growth Tops in all Americas
Medellin’s three public agencies charged with promoting foreign investment, conventions and tourism announced in early June that they’ve developed a strategy to coordinate and boost promotional efforts.
The Medellin Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Agencia de Cooperación e Inversión de Medellín y el Área Metropolitana (ACI Medellin) and the Plaza Mayor convention center management jointly announced what they’re calling “articulated strategies for the internationalization of Medellín.”
The scheme initially includes an expanded, joint board of directors and the appointment of Juan Santiago Elejalde Escobar as general manager of Plaza Mayor, Medellin’s main convention center.
“A strategy will be implemented to jointly promote the image of Medellín as a business [oriented] city, [as well as] competitive, innovative, sustainable and with a high quality of life,” according to a joint press statement from the three agencies.
“It was agreed to promote an awareness program on the importance of meeting and event tourism for Medellín, generating talks with all the actors of the service chain, both public and private and regional alliances with other Bureaus and convention centers of other cities to improve the management of the destination and the international positioning.”
The Bureau also touted recent convention successes, including 87 events captured for Medellín in 2016 and another 23 captured in the first months of 2017.
Meanwhile, according to the most recent International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) annual report, Medellin rose to the top of all major cities throughout the Americas in convention growth over the past 10 years.
According to ICCA figures obtained by Medellin Herald, Medellin rose from just 10 convention events in 2007 to 42 in 2016, or 320% growth.
After Medellin, the top-24 cities in ICCA-measured convention growth in the Americas over the past 10 years were (in descending order): Lima, Panama City, Mexico City, Bogota, Washington DC, Miami, Orlando, Cartagena, San Jose, Montevideo, San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, Boston, Toronto, Santiago de Chile, Seattle, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Montreal, Cancun, Rio de Janeiro and Vancouver.
While Medellin is showing impressive growth, it’s still far behind the world’s top-10 — Vienna, Seoul, Barcelona, Copenhagen, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, Beijing and Singapore — in terms of total participants at conventions, according to the ICCA study.
Meanwhile, Plaza Mayor management separately announced June 14 that the city of Medellin approved another COP$1.5 billion (US$500,000) for modernization of facilities at the convention center this year.
Upgrades include creation of a new conference hall in the exhibition area, bathroom improvements, LED lighting installations in the Great Hall, a new audio-video system and new furniture in the VIP zone and the Hall of Conventions.