Colombia is doing well attracting international conferences due to its improved image but there is still room for growth, according to an industry expert.

Maria Jose Alvez, Latin America Regional Director for the International Congress and Convention Association, spoke to Colombia Reports after a visit to the Colombian capital Bogota and several other countries in the region.

According to Alvez, “The improvement in the image of the country in general is one of the reasons why more organizations are confident in coming to Colombia and of course this improvement is also seen in Bogota.”

Bogota is now sixth in the ICCA ranking of city hosts of international events. When asked why Bogota had moved up the ranking, Alvez said, “Bogota is without doubt the most important city in Colombia. It is the capital of the country and has the best air transport connection, not to mention its infrastructure and first class services.”

She also said residents should be proud of themselves. “The success of the city is a joint effort for which I congratulate Bogotanos, [because of] the positive experience had by all those in the past. The whole city is involved in this,” said Alvez.

The regional director also said that four convention centers in Colombia stand out for attracting international events to their cities; Cali’s Centro de Eventos Valle del Pacifico, Medellin’s Plaza Mayor, the Centro de Convenciones in Cartagena and also from the coastal city hotel Las Americas is attracting events to Centro de Convensiones Las Americas. “I would say all of them perform very well and have very good infrastructure.”

According to the ICCA executive, Colombia is one of the top five Latin American countries for attracting international conferences, and is in the top 50 in the world. She added that the realities, territories, climates and cultures of the countries she visited were all distinct.

“[Colombia] is truly in a privileged, well deserved position and we are sure that it will not only be maintained, but that it will also probably continue growing in this area due to the other actors who are interested in the [convention and conference] sector, the continued investment and actors from other sectors,” said Alvez.