Colombia-MICE is part of the Pelecanus Travel Group. Based in Bogota, Colombia, we specialize in business travel and all services related to meetings, incentives, congresses and exhibitions.
Currently, the numbers for meetings and events tourism in Colombia are quite mixed, as this sector was just beginning to take off when it was hit hard by the pandemic in 2020. However, between 2021 and 2022 there will be an upswing making the MICE industry one of the most important in the country.
Below is a summary of the key data and statistics related to the MICE sector in Colombia.
Figures on MICE tourism in Colombia
First of all, these are the general values that this sector has recorded in Colombia in recent years:
First of all, in 2018 Colombia had:
- 67,951 sessions, of which 40,457 (59.5%) sessions focused on business and corporate activities
- 21,052 (31%) seminars
- 3,540 (5.2%) incentive programs
- 2,397 (3.5%) association congresses
- 505 fairs or exhibitions (0.7%)
Meetings currently account for around 14.7% of international tourism, ie 398,000 tourists per year.
Average figures for the contribution of MICE tourism in Colombia
Event and conference tourism has experienced significant growth in recent years. For this reason, the contribution of the sector to the Colombian economy is presented below.
What contribution does MICE tourism make to the Colombian economy?
As for the contribution of the MICE industry to the country’s economy, these are the key dates:
- Thanks to the great diversity of the events industry, it makes a fairly representative contribution to GDP ( 2.7% ), equivalent to about 15 billion Colombian pesos. Events that make this contribution primarily include trade fairs, MICE events (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) and social events.
- Second, the contribution to direct and indirect jobs: This results in around 1.8 million jobs.
- Similarly, $426 million in labor income is generated ($294 million direct and $132 million indirectly).
- On the other hand, the meetings indirectly and induced added $1.446 million in production, for a total impact of $3.897 million.
- According to the country’s deputy tourism minister, 888 seals had been issued by 2019, of which “698 were from tourism service providers, including hotels, travel agencies and transportation companies, 17 aeronautical service companies, 9 airports, 17 airlines, 5 tourist attractions and parks, and 142 companies from others areas.”
- There are currently more than 485 companies in the various fields that make up the country’s tourism sector.
Data on the contribution of MICE tourism in Colombia
Holding this type of event helps promote more than 52 types of industries and categories, of which the following stand out:
- Venues such as hotels, haciendas, clubs, convention centers, parks, bars and restaurants.
- Decoration companies: rental of furniture, flowers, structures.
- Audiovisual production: photographers, videographers, platforms, structures, stages, production and lighting companies.
- Logistic services: travel agencies, catering, waiters, bartenders, logistics, cleaning, hostesses, protocol, coordinators, planners, an and project managers.
- Transport services: travel agencies, services for production, for customers, for guests, for destination weddings.
- In some cases, entertainment services are required: music, DJs, orchestras, singers, symphonists, performers, dancers, actors, comedians, and magicians.
On the other hand, there are other companies and organizations that also belong to this sector. For example: churches, airlines, jewelers, wedding dresses and suits for the groom, leather goods, accessories and much more.
Figures and statistics on events, meetings and congresses in Colombia
This section takes a closer look at the figures on the organization of events, meetings and congresses in the country.
- The average cost of an event in Colombia is currently between 45 and 60 million pesos.
- Between 2018 and 2019, a good 47.7 thousand events were held in hotels with congress and conference infrastructure (70.2%) and 9.2 thousand in congress centers (13.6%). The other events took place at other locations, e.g. in museums, stadiums, universities, etc.
- Adding up the statistics over the last four years, 55% of corporate meetings, fairs, incentives, congresses and seminars were held in Cundinamarca, 18% in Antioquia, 12% in Valle del Cauca, 8% in Bolívar and the remaining 7% in others parts of the country.
Attendance numbers and statistics for the MICE industry in Colombia
This section presents the most important figures, statistics and data on MICE industry visitors and participants at the various events over the past four years.
- In 2018, the total number of participants (including visitors ) was 5.2 million people.
- Of the above total, 2.6 million (50%) attended corporate events, 1.3 million (25%) trade fairs or exhibitions, 641 thousand (12%) congresses, 514 thousand (10%) seminars and 155 thousand (3%) participate in incentive programs.
- Between 2018 and 2019, it was found that 39% of attendees at MICE industry events lived at the location of the event (or were less than 75 kilometers from their place of origin); 27% were regional (between 75 and 200 kilometers away); 25% were national participants and 9% were foreign participants.
- In 2019, an average number of participants was determined according to the MICE sector. Trade fairs and exhibitions had the highest proportion of visitors with 2,571 participants. This was followed by congresses with 270 participants, conferences with an average of 76 people, pure company meetings 64, in incentive programs 44 and seminars with 24 people.
- The per capita spending by meeting attendees in Colombia (local, regional, national and international) is US$472 per day.
Accommodation figures and statistics of the MICE industry in Colombia
In this section, you will find the most important figures, statistics and data related to the hotel sector and other areas of interest to the MICE industry in Colombia.
- In 2018, conference tourism generated just over 3.9 million overnight stays in the country.
- The reactivation of the sector at the end of 2020 shows that 61% (2.4 million) of overnight stays are for corporate events, 16% (644 thousand) for congresses, 13% (527 thousand) for fairs and exhibitions, 6% (238 thousand ) on seminars and the rest (4%) on incentive programs.
- The meetings sector in Colombia contributed a total of 1.8 million domestic tourists staying in paid accommodation. This corresponds to 4.3% of the total national electricity.
- In 2018 and the first half of 2019, 2.7 million international tourists arrived at the country’s main hotels.
- Meetings contribute 7.2% equivalent to total overnight stays in Colombia (using data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Centro de Información Turística de Colombia (CITUR) in 2019).
Investment figures and statistics for the MICE industry in Colombia
The data and figures on investment and spending in the business tourism industry are the most important data of the last four years.
- The total value of production of meetings in Colombia is currently USD 2.451 billion, which is 22.8% of the total gross value of tourism production in Colombia, as per the data from the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) and the National Statistics Agency (DANE ) emerges.
- To understand the above information: This is composed of three inputs: expenses of the participants (38.5%), expenses for the production of events (58.9%) and other direct expenses (2.7%).
- A total of $429 million will be spent on international participants, representing 18% of the total industry value.
- Expenditures for foreign participants are $885 per day.
- The spend per attendee per event was as follows: group incentive programs had an average spend of $7,894, conventions $614, corporate meetings $504, trade shows and exhibitions $338, and seminars $377.
- 53% of the above total spend was spent on business meetings, 18% on trade fairs or exhibitions, 16% on congresses, 8% on seminars and the remaining 5% on incentive programs.
- The total expenses of the participants break down as follows: 25% for travel (mainly foreigners), 17% for registration fees, 17% for food and drinks, 15% for accommodation, and the rest for other services and needs.
- Local attendees account for 15% of events and meetings spend, regional attendees 17%, national attendees 38% and international attendees 30%.
- Of the event organizers’ total investment, 19.4% is spent on food and beverages, 11% on wages and salaries, and 10.6% on venue rental and others.
More facts and figures on the Colombian MICE industry
- Today, the members of the MICE industry value chain in Colombia believe that the main benefits of hosting meetings in a destination are: Meeting organizers.
- Colombia has great potential as a tourist destination as it attracts participants to come back as tourists and lessons learned from the meetings allow good practice to be implemented in the host community.
- Figures from 2021, derived from participant feedback, show that 87% of the sessions provided some form of new insight or expanded the professional scope of the sessions.
- Incentive programs and association congresses are currently perceived as new sources of knowledge with very positive results.
- Seminars are perceived as the least innovation-conducive type of meeting.
- Trade fairs and exhibitions are considered to be the type of events that trigger a high level of investment.
- Incentive programs are currently the least invested segment of the MICE industry.
- The results of various quantitative surveys conducted by different ministries show that 9% of all events organized in Colombia included at least one social responsibility program.
These are other types of statements about business and convention tourism in Colombia:
- Between 2018 and 2022, 98% of attendees from this industry would recommend traveling to Colombia as a meeting destination.
- 90% indicate that there are opportunities for professional development (as a result of their participation in the various events in the country).
- 81% of the participants would like to return to this country to work, study or live there.
- 71% of the participants stated that they gained invaluable knowledge in their professional field by attending the meetings and events in Colombia.
- Finally, 52% stated that they were aware that productive or scientific projects had arisen in the host community or country.
The information presented here dates from the period between 2018 and 2022 and was provided through several studies, investigations and reports from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, as well as the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia.
We hope this article has been useful for you to understand the Colombian MICE industry. Should you have any questions regarding this item, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to attend to all your concerns.