Chile is preparing to be again the epicenter of meeting tourism for Latin America and the Caribbean. Is that, during the next week, between June 10 and 12, the country will receive for the third year Fiexpo, the largest fair of the business segment of the region, whose edition of 2019 awaits the arrival of nearly two thousand attendees , among them, 250 associations from all over the world that look for venues to hold their international congresses.
This, obviously, means a great showcase to expose Chile to the world, which in addition to its exuberant nature, exquisite cuisine, extreme experiences and, of course, good services, stands out for its category infrastructure, street safety and stability in economic terms and politicians. These attributes generate high levels of confidence and make our country an ideal destination for the so-called MICE tourism.
To days of such a great event, Sergio Barutissio, one of the top representatives of Fiexpo Latin America, makes a positive assessment of the management of Chile as host of this fair. For him, “Chile has a long and recognized trajectory in the organization of international events and, in the case of the last two years with the realization of Fiexpo, has confirmed its capacity”.
The Uruguayan expert in marketing and advertising explains that the work led by the national tourism institutions, the Undersecretariat of Tourism and Sernatur, has been fundamental to the success of the fair: “The first two editions were carried out with governments of opposite tendencies , which showed that several issues, such as meeting tourism, are valued as State policies, regardless of the political color of the current government. This underlines Chile’s international positioning and its long-term work in attracting international events. ”
-How can Chile capitalize on what it meant for the country to host Fiexpo?
-It is a unique experience. The bureaus of conventions and the companies of the country can interact with colleagues from other countries and make business appointments with directors of professional associations and incentive agencies seeking new destinations for their events. This is being reflected in the positioning of Chile and the main cities that bet on this industry in the annual ICCA (International Congress & Convention Association) ranking, as well as in the variety of businesses that have been concretized or are in the process of realizing that they generate a large benefit for host cities. This year, for example, there is a record of guest buyers (hosted buyers), which exceed 250.
And it is not only what Barutissio indicates, since in a period of five years Chile will host more than seventy events from different areas of work, such as medicine, technology, sports or education. This figure shows that, at the national level, the tourism of meetings has had great evolution and development in recent years.
Important in this regard is the Meet in Chile program, which is being carried out by the Undersecretary of Tourism and Sernatur, an initiative that promotes this tourist pole with the help of Chilean members of world associations, through the delivery of technical tools and personalized support material so that postulate Chile and its regions as the venue for future congresses or seminars.
“Chile is among the most required destinations in Latin America for meeting tourism”
Hosting this important event for the segment of meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions is not coincidental. For some time now, Chile has been able to position itself among the first four countries in South America in the ranking that ICCA carries out each year, measuring the number of congresses held by each destination. The country is only surpassed by Brazil, Argentina and Colombia; situation similar to that of Santiago, which maintains its fourth place over large cities,
such as Mexico City, New York, Rio de Janeiro.
The director of Fiexpo reaffirms the above, adding that Chile’s commitment to meeting tourism “is not only about the quantity, but also about the quality”, as, according to Sergio Baritussio himself,”a business traveler or congress Spends between five and six times more than a common tourist, which makes it very attractive. Through Sernatur, a very interesting work is being carried out, with well-defined criteria and planning, which positions Chile among the most required destinations in Latin America. ”
Fiexpo 2019, a Latin American proposal made by Latin Americans Fiexpo will gather in Chile the main executives of professional associations from the United States, Canada, Europe and all Latin America that organize events. Likewise, it is an instance of learning, exchange and debate of topics that contribute to the development of Latin America in this matter.
That is why, in this framework, the sixth Meeting Tourism Policy Forum will be held, which on June 10 will gather ministers, secretaries, parliamentarians and tourism authorities in search of the need to adapt our continent to what happens to world level in the meetings industry.
-Why is Latin America an alternative to the destinies of Europe?
– On the one hand, we have regional congresses, whose professional organizing associations must rotate their headquarters among the member countries. With a minimum of 300 associations that rotate their events in different cities of the continent, an interesting movement is already generated. On the other hand, both in professional events and incentive trips, Latin America has become a valid alternative to European options, with new offers and attractions that generate the desire to know modern cities, but above all natural landscapes, deserts, jungles , rivers, the history of a young continent, but with high-level professionals, technology and state-of-the-art services.
-What are the novelties of Fiexpo 2019?
-In this edition you will see again the space filled, which also indicates the need for Santiago to bet on the development of large fairs, investing in exhibition centers chords. The Political Forum will once again bring together the main authorities of the region, with new participations of ministers and vice-ministers of tourism from countries such as Ecuador and the Dominican Republic, which until now had participated with lower-level authorities and who now join those who usually participate.
Sergio Barutissio also highlights the instances of parallel participation that will take place at Fiexpo, such as the ICCA Business Exchange, the Next Generation Summit, as well as meetings of members and managers of various entities related to the sector. “In the academic activities – he maintains -, professionals of the highest order will participate at the global level: Christian Mutschlechner (Austria), who was for more than twenty years executive director of the convention bureau of Vienna, the number one in the world in the realization of international congresses; Sherrif Karamat (United States), president and CEO of PCMA; Didier Scaillet (Belgium), CEO of SITE Global, in addition to other outstanding professionals “.
In this way the farewell of the country will be lived as host of Fiexpo, completing three successful calls that had a constant growth year after year and that left an invaluable legacy for the market of meetings and incentive trips of Chile.