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Colombia Caters to More than Leisure Travelers


Feb. 25, 2009 Miami, FL - Travelers seeking greater values and shorter distances (without sacrificing quality) are flocking to Latin American destinations such as Colombia at a fraction of the cost of going to more expensive, long-haul destinations such as Europe, for example.  This rings particularly true for corporate travelers, who are dealing with decreases in budgets, but still looking for world-class dining, hotels, facilities, culture and service for their meetings, conventions and incentive vacations.

Eli Gorin, Founder of gMeetings, Inc., a meeting management boutique specializing in Latin America, concedes with this trend.   According to Gorin, "the opportunities that countries such as Colombia offers for meetings and events are fantastic.  The combination of a culturally rich country with impeccable service standards and phenomenal value for your dollar is unbeatable.  Latin America as an overall region for meetings is gaining a lot of momentum, and Colombia is at the forefront of it all.  I have had great success with several medium to large-sized sales conferences and meetings (from 75 to 260 people) in Cartagena, Bogotá and Medellin."

"Colombia presents a strong value and excellent offering for planners seeking a worthwhile return for their investment," says Nubia Stella-Martinez, Vice President of Tourism for Proexport Colombia.  "Great service, world-class venues and an enjoyable and stimulating environment, are just some of the reasons Colombia is hosting more international meetings and events each year.  Colombia and its vendors are committed to exceeding the expectations of its buyers from start to finish." 

Why Colombia?

-  New Hotels/ Facilities:  Colombia will be experiencing a host of new and renovated hotels and facilities in the coming year, including JW Marriott, NH, Sonesta and Marriott Hotels in Bogotá and Hyatt and the Decameron Baru in Cartagena.
-  Easy to get to: There are an increasing number of flights to Colombia's main cities from major U.S. gateways. International carriers such as American Airlines, Continental, Avianca, Continental, Jet Blue, Spirit Airlines and Delta Airlines offer new service and competitive fares.
Proximity:  Cities such as Cartagena, Medellin and Bogotá are less than 3 hours away from Miami and less than 6 from New York City.
Good value:  Food and lodging costs in Colombia on average are significantly less than European destinations and more competitive than Latin American destinations such as Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.  According to Lonely Planet Guide books, Colombia offers great values, such as all-inclusive packages that can range from US$100 to US$150 for two people.
Taxes: International visitors are offered several tax incentives in Colombia, including VAT reimbursements for credit card purchases totaling more than $80.00 during a stay and tax-free hotel stays.   
Convention facilities:  Colombia offers several state of the art facilities that can hold up to 7000 visitors with flexibility for smaller groups. Corferias in Bogota is one of Latin America's largest and most modern convention centers.

In recent years, cities such as Medellin, Bogotá, Cartagena and Cali have hosted several major international events and conventions such as the IDB Board of Governors for 3,000-4,000 participants, the yearly International Footwear and Leather Show in Bogotá for 15,000 attendees and the World Tourism Organization assembly for 1,000 participants.


Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, is today the country's main industrial, commercial and government center. This energetic, multicultural city embraces the contrasts of its colonial heritage with the modern architecture of an avant-garde, European style destination. Bogotá is also considered the gastronomic center of Colombia, ranging from local, authentic restaurants to gourmet cuisine. Its modern hotel infrastructure is up to the highest quality and technology standards. International brands such as Sheraton, JW Marriott, Sonesta, NH Hotels, Radisson and Hilton blend well with national and European traditional hotel chains such as Sofitel and Charleston Hotels.

Some interesting facts:  Five major convention centers can facilitate more than 13,000 visitors with the largest facilitating up to 7,000.   Bogotá has more than 5,000 hotel rooms from mid- to luxury levels and is recognized for its gourmet dining establishments, first-class museums and golf clubs.


Embraced by the Andes Mountains, Medellín is a modern and cheerful city that has become the industrial center for Colombia. This "City of Eternal Spring", where flower cultivation farms flourish and coffee grows abundantly, is the epicenter of textile production and worldwide fashion. The city's Manhattan style energy, combined with welcoming people and perfect weather, make it an ideal setting for business meetings and international events. The city provides a breathtaking backdrop for golf, horseback riding, hiking, paragliding and other outdoor activities. Major attractions also include shopping, historical and contemporary architecture, churches, museums and theatres.

Convention facilities accommodate more than 4,000 people with largest holding 3,000.  More than 4,000 hotel rooms from mid-level to luxury, 46 meeting rooms with capacity ranging up to 500 people


Cartagena is the destination of choice for global meetings and conventions, cruise ship stops and leisure travelers alike. Visitors to Cartagena bevy in its history, sounds and rhythms while strolling the city's colorful cobblestone streets or relax on one of its many white sand beaches. A UNESCO Historical and Cultural World Heritage Site, Cartagena is not only magical, it is a leading tourism and industrial center with one of the largest trade ports in the Caribbean and South America. Activities include island hopping, tennis, swimming, boating, scuba diving, water sports and much more.

Cartagena's largest convention center holds up to 3200 people, but several smaller centers such as the Hilton Cartagena facilitate conventions of 1,600 people. The city has more than 3,000 rooms ranging from mid-level to luxury.

About Proexport
Proexport, the Colombian Government Trade Bureau, is the institution responsible for promoting Colombia's non-traditional exports, including international tourism and foreign investment.&nbs
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