The Greater Bogota Convention Bureau’s (GBCB) first trimester report for January-March 2020 acknowledges the current sanitary emergency has greatly disrupted the city’s MICE industry, but also points to some positives for the future, including its work to present 18 bids, resulting in confirmed 12 events for the Colombian capital.
Three of those new events even took place in the three-month period under review before the Colombian government declared a sanitary emergency due to Covid-19.
It was also a trimester when the GBCB managed to host 19 international conference and meetings clients from Europe, United States and Latin America for site visits, reports Liliana Orbegozo, the CB’s Executive Director.
Nine of the events won for Bogota in the period will take place starting in 2021 and will bring an estimated 19,000 foreign participants to the city, while the 22 events still to be confirmed are expected to bring more than 27,000 foreign visitors.
The Bureau even attracted five new members in the three months to the end of March, bringing the total to 95. They operate in various economic sectors.
A GBCB survey conducted to measure the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on its members gathered 42 responses, and the results showed they had 533 cancelled and 347 postponed events. The figures represent more than US$12.5m in losses.
“Faced with this situation, we decided to support our members by providing the option to freeze membership fees for two months. Likewise, we developed a communication strategy to keep them informed on the latest aid and benefit programmes for the industry, offered by the local and national government. The strategy included an effort to strengthen their online channels and enhancing their visibility through our social media,” says Liliana Orbegozo.
According to Bogota’s District Institute of Tourism (IDT), which is working with the GBCB on initiatives to aid the recovery of the MICE industry, the city is likely to experience a negative economic impact of more than US52m for the meetings and entertainment industry as a result of Covid-19.
Orbegozo remains upbeat, however: “The GBCB has always looked towards the future, targeting high-impact events for the next few years. As long as we continue doing so, the MICE tourism industry in Bogota will continue growing and developing.”
“We must continue sowing and working towards the future, to build an industry that has demonstrated resilience and unity in the face of adversity,” she adds.