Medellin rises through the ranks

Medellin has become one of the fastest-growing destinations on a global scale, going up 146 places since making its first appearance in the ICCA destination ranking reports in 2007.

According to the data published by ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association), the most important ranking in the associative meetings industry, Medellin was ranked 62th in ICCA above cities such as San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles, The Hague, Geneva, Frankfurt, Cancun, and Punta Cana.

Medellin secured the 62th place in the 2016 ICCA city ranking, a huge leap from the 208th in 2007. Rapid growth can be observed in various markets: in the American ranking, Medellin is the city that reported the biggest growth over the last nine years, by 320% in terms of the number of events reported to ICCA. Lima and Panama City are the two destinations behind Medellin’s growth: 145% and 132% increased respectively in the last nine years.

Such remarkable growth can be attributed to the extraordinary transformation and the combined efforts by the Mayor’s Office and the Medellin Convention & Visitors Bureau, who recognise the importance of the meetings industry and the benefits the industry can bring to the city.

The results speak for themselves: Medellin not only won a slew of accolades for its social transformation and innovation, most notably the Lee Kuan Yew World City Award, known as “The Nobel of Cities”, in 2016, it has also reported sustained growth as a touristic and business destination, attracting prestigious international events such as World Urban Forum (2014), General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (2015) and The World Economic Forum for Latin America (2016). This December, Medellin will host the World of Business Ideas (WOBI), and in 2018 will host the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

International hotel chains such as Hampton By Hilton and Marriott are also eyeing the city and developing new projects that will add more than 1,800 new spaces to the city’s room capacity.

Medellin has also welcomed famous artists and celebrities in recent years, such as Guns N’ Roses, Madonna, Beyoncé, and Pope Francis.

As the meeting industry evolves, more event organizers are looking for different and innovative destinations, and Medellin is well positioned to make a bigger mark on a global stage.