Costa Rica jumps in convention index

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica jumped more than ten places in its ranking as a conventions and meetings destination, according to the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo.

The ranking is developed by the International Congress and Convention Association and according to it, the country has moved forward ten positions in the scale since last year, going from place 63 to 53.

This is the result of a two year aggressive strategy aimed at promoting the country as a destination and as a powerhouse in the tourist industry. The association organizes 120,000 congresses which, in turn, moves 120 million business tourists all around the world each year. The conventions and meetings industry generates $11.5 billion in revenue worldwide each year, according to Mauricio Ventura, the minister of Tourism.

“The convention and meetings industry attracts a type of visitor who spends more money during his stay,” said Ventura. “It allows us to generate fresh incomes all year long and it help us break apart the low and high season cycle,” said Ventura.

To improve Costa Rica’s presence in the international conventions arena, the institute will be part of the International Fair for Travel and Meetings Markets In Latin America and the Caribbean, which is taking place in Chile this week.

“This fair is an opportunity for countries that want to show their potential in this market. It has a high quality of buyers, who look for new destinations for their events,” said Tatiana Orozco, head of the Conventions and Meetings Division at the tourism institute.

The institute also confirmed that Ventura has been granted an award by the Foro Latinoamericano, a private organizations who encourages the contributions of political authorities, ministers and other influencer in this specific market.

“It is truly an honor to be the first representative of Costa Rica to receive this important recognition, which is extensive to the great team at the Instituto,” said Ventura.

According to a statement released by Casa Presidencial, since 2015, the institute has started an aggressive strategy to compete in the world of conventions and meetings industry.

The strategy includes the participation in specialized tourist fairs, strategic alliances, development of a specialized marketing plan and the hiring of world class advisors, says the document.

In addition, the institute has created the Convention and Meetings Tourism Division, which includes  specialized professionals to address this specific niche. It has also launched the Ambassadors Program, which trains professionals from different areas on how to sell Costa Rica as a destination when they attend their own trainings, conferences or seminars.

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