Cartagena de Indias: A world-class destination for meetings and events

By Jorge J. J. Martínez

Cartagena de Indias is the gateway to South America through the Colombian Caribbean. It is a world-class destination for events and meetings that marries history and culture as a World Heritage Site and modernity as a corporate zone with state-of-the-art infrastructure and technology.

Cartagena has established itself among the best Latin American destinations for events due to its four convention centers and more than 30 alternative venues, among other things. But the secret ingredient is its professionals’ dedication and passion for their work.

As proof of its positioning, it is the number one non-capital city in Latin America in events, attracting the most significant number of attendees in Colombia. It also ranks 6th in the ICCA ranking for Latin America.

Cartagena will host international events during its October MICE Week

Thanks to a series of actions taken, Cartagena became the first Colombian destination to open its doors to the Meetings Industry on November 18, 2020, two months before the resumption of international flights.

“The Cartagena de Indias Convention and Visitors Bureau has designed a strategy for the creation and promotion of business opportunities for Cartagena’s entrepreneurs, aimed at attracting and organizing high-impact events for international positioning,” said Maria Clara Faciolince, executive director of the bureau.

The MICE Week strategy is the most ambitious that the city has ever had, betting on hosting high-impact prestigious events such as:

  • ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) World Congress from October 24 to 27, 2021.
  • FIEXPO: The Latin American and Caribbean Meetings and Incentives Market Fair to promote infrastructure and services throughout the region from October 27 to 30, 2021.
  • Meetings Cartagena de Indias from October 27-28, 2021, Colombia’s top B2B event for the promotion and generation of business in the MICE Industry.

“Hosting events of this nature promotes awareness of the tourism offer for meetings and incentives and brings international demand closer to the national offer of tourism services and products,” said María Clara.

Their goal with the ICCA-FIEXPO-MEETINGS combo is to position Cartagena de Indias as one of the leading players in the Meetings Industry worldwide. 

Cartagena is reactivating events with protocols and technology

In response to the global health crisis and to guarantee the health of locals and visitors, Cartagena’s port city has coordinated with the public and private sectors to plan a gradual, safe, and responsible reactivation. It is currently ranked second in the country in terms of vaccination rates.

The Visitor’s Route was developed and identified 17 subsectors that later gave rise to the Adapta y Reactiva program, coordinated by the Cartagena Mayor’s Office. This project is dedicated exclusively to the reopening and monitoring of compliance with biosecurity protocols, which prevented the spread of the virus. 

To hold an event in Cartagena de Indias, both the event organizer and the venue must be registered and approved by the Adapta y Reactiva platform.

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