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On Wednesday, PROCOLOMBIA received at EIBTM 2013, in Barcelona the booth with "Best Features and Attractions " award, one of the most important accolades within corporate tourism. A Chapolera (a traditional coffee picker) welcomed visitors to discover the culture of the world's smoothest coffee, salsa classes were given by professional dancers and ancestral stories were told by a golden man emulating the legend of El Dorado, among other activities.
At the Gran Via convention center, the Director of EIBTM, Graeme Barnett, presented PROCOLOMBIA with the award at their booth for the work done to show foreign visitors what they are able to do in Colombia demonstrating why " Colombia is magical realism ", the strategy in place to promote Colombia as an international destination.
Colombia’s booth, which has participated for the eighth time at the trade show, stood out among 88 participants. According to Barnett, what caught the judge’s attention was that the activations "managed to get people out of the corridors and integrate them into what was happening inside the booth ". The booth, which measured almost 200 square meters, served as the stage for more than 300 business meetings between Colombian entrepreneurs, event planners and international incentive houses who attended the trade show.
Colombia’s booth, which has participated for the eighth time at the trade show, stood out among 88 participants
"This year we presented 'Colombia is Magical Realism'. This is a business strategy that is reflected in the design of all of our booths and its technology so when entrepreneurs visit us at the booth they can experience firsthand, with all of their senses, some of the unique experiences the country is able to offer to international travelers. This also makes the sales process easier and effective thus improving Colombia 's positioning as an international tourism destination" commented the president of PROCOLOMBIA, Maria Claudia Lacouture.
A 17-Colombian entrepreneur trade mission represented by tour operators, hotels and regional tourism promotion agencies was invited by PROCOLOMBIA to participate at the trade show that brought in more than 9,000 event organizers and corporate incentive buyers last year, of which 73.6% came from European Union, a target market for Colombia in the corporate tourism segment.
The most recent report by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), prepared based on the number of international conventions and conferences that takes place in the country during the year, revealed that in 2012 Colombia moved up three places in the global event organization ranking positioning it at number 29 out of 109, while in 2011 it was in spot number 32.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, supported by the figures from Colombia’s Immigration Department, in 2012 a total of 126,982 international travelers said that the reason for their visit to Colombia was to participate in a convention, meeting or an incentive trip. 89,502 travelers fell in this category in 2010.