President Juan Manuel Santos announced the development of a new International Convention Center in Bogota, a project he says will make a significant contribution to tourism in the nation’s capital, a statement on the Presidential website read.
Speaking in the Bogota Chamber of Commerce on Monday, Santos stated, “The International Convention Center will be a fundamental contribution to the [city’s] tourism competitiveness.”
Santos said he hopes that the center will become an icon for the city in the same way the Empire State building is for New York or the Eiffel Tower is for Paris, adding that it will bring an additional 200,000 tourists to the capital each year.
He also said that the construction of the building will help generate jobs, thus reducing the city’s unemployment rate further towards its goal of single digits.
The center will be a space of 258,333 square feet with an auditorium with the capacity to hold 4,000 people, 15 meeting rooms, a food court and 2,200 parking spaces.
The building will cost $132.75 million to build of which the government will contribute $31.86 million to be provided over the next three years. Santos highlighted this as being an ideal model for a private-public partnership.
On Tuesday, an architectural design competition will be launched in which both domestic and international architects will compete for their part in the project which is due to be completed by 2014.