According to BCB director Alexandra Torres, Bogota will be competing with international cities like Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago de Chile and Mexico, who currently occupy the top spots in the Latin American ranking of the International Congress and Convention Association above Bogota.
Torres told Colombia Reports she thinks the Colombian capital is able to beat Mexico and Santiago, “because Bogota has everything to make sure that an event is successful in terms of connectivity, infrastructure, hotels, tourist attractions and human resources.”
To increase its capacity for big events and reach its 2016 goal, Bogota is building a new international convention center that is due to be finished in 2014.
According to the BCB director, the development of corporate tourism is vital to stimulate the city’s recreational tourism. Currently, only 20% of Bogota’s foreign visitors come for holiday, the remaining 80% are on business, she said.
“When a city has been confronted by problems regarding security and image like Bogota and when it come to changing the perception there is always a gap between reality and perception, and there are certain target groups that close this gap more quickly than others. Investors are the first to push this change in perception,” said Torres, adding that “without that people would not consider passing their vacation in Bogota.”
Tourism to Colombia went up 8.5% in 2011, according to the National Statistics Agency. The destination of 52% of the 1.475,000 visitors was Bogota.