Business tourism: Professional seminars can sell Barranquilla

Business tourism educational seminar
Mayor Char speaking at the Latin American Management Seminar.

Business tourism is defined as a sector of tourism that caters to people who are traveling for work. Business tourism can include professional training events such as conferences and educational seminars. These events provide opportunities for listening to experts in the field, meeting and networking with new people, and renewing motivation and confidence. According to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism, 195,470 individuals traveled to Colombia for business this past year.

The Department of Atlantico is an important economic area for Colombia because it’s the most populous department in the Coastal region; making Barranquilla the Caribbean hub for the area, specializing in finance, commerce, industrial manufacturing, ports, and transportation. The port of Barranquilla has also served as the gateway for the country welcoming all kinds of people from all over the world that help make a more diverse and metropolitan city.

According to the 2016/17 fDi South American State of the Future Top 25 rankings, the Department of Atlantico came in at #17 and was individually ranked #2 in business friendliness, #3 in economic potential, and #5 in connectivity among the top 10 large South American states of the future. Barranquilla plays a big part in the departments’ economic success by providing a good business environment, so it doesn’t come as any surprise for the city to solicit these types of educational events.

With the opening of the new Puerto de Oro, Barranquilla expects to grow into a business tourist destination for conferences, fairs, and seminars. The city will also need to accommodate business events and travel that originate from the six new free-trade zones planned for the Caribbean area. These new free-trade zones are forecasted to bring an investment of 716 million COP and 5,218 direct jobs, highlighting the need for continuous training.

Universities in our city like Universidad del Norte, Universidad Simon Bolivar de Barranquilla, Universidad Metropolitana, and Universidad Autonoma are some of the major institutions that host talks and seminars to the public. Also, events like the 2016 Latin American Management Seminar, who was in town last week, brought scholars from Harvard Business School, UVA Darden School of Business, IPADE Business School, as well hosting institution INALDE Business School.

Events like the 2016 LAMS provide a space for the exchange of knowledge, experience, and ideas for business leaders, academic faculty, and entrepreneurs. Be sure to check out the chamber of commerce event Caribe Biz Forum this week, September 14-15, where hundreds will meet and attend presentations and educational workshops. For more information regarding future events, check out the city’s chamber of commerce website.

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I was born and raised in Texas and found my way to Barranquilla in May 2012. When I'm not working at Barranquilla Life, I'm busy working as a counselor educator, clinical supervisor, and independent researcher. My research interests include family systems, masculinity and machismo, and technology. I enjoy beaches, tech-house music, Tex-Mex food, photography-art, and politics.