March 17, 2015
- Over the past 10 years, Bogotá has received 37% of the nation’s investment in hotels, surpassing Cartagena and Cali. Since 2007, the city has been the investment destination of eight international projects, totaling USD 294 million.
- In 2014, two of the city’s most significant investments came from the hospitality sector: Atton Hotels and City Express Hotels
- Bogotá is the top destination for travelers arriving in the country, most of who visit the city to conduct business or participate in corporate events. In 2013 alone, more than a million foreign tourists arrived to the Colombian capital, which makes Bogotá the top destination among travelers arriving to the country.
Bogotá, as the entry point of for tourists arriving in Colombia and the country’s business tourism epicenter, has taken advantage of the hotel boom being enjoyed by Colombia and has received the highest number of investments in hotel infrastructure, surpassing cities such as Cartagena, Cali, and Medellín.
Over the last decade, investment in new greenfield projects in Colombia’s hospitality sector totaled USD 841 million and generated 8,850 jobs in 25 different projects, according to data from fDi Markets. Of these projects, 37% went to Bogotá, 30% to Cartagena, 25% to Cali, and 3% to Medellín. In Bogotá, greenfield investment in the hospitality sector has remained stable over the last four years. Since 2007, the city has been the investment destination of eight international projects, totaling USD 294 million. In the past six years, there has thus been an increase in the number of hotel rooms in Bogotá, rising from 11,000 to 17,030, according to the District Institute of Tourism (IDT in its Spanish acronym).
In 2014, two of the city’s most significant investments originated in the hospitality sector: (1) Atton Hotels, a Chilean hotel chain that has an investment plan of more than US$ 68 million for the adaptation of Bogotá’s first signature hotel; and (2) City Express Hotels, a Mexican company that will invest approximately US$ 20 million in the construction of its first hotel close to El Dorado airport. The Spanish hotel group NH also carried out important purchases, such as buying the Royal hotel chain’s Bogotá hotels for a total of COP 177 billion.
This investment boom is a welcome response to the high number of visitors flocking to the capital each year. According to IDT, more than a million foreign tourists arrived to the Colombian capital in 2013 alone; this makes Bogotá the top destination among travelers arriving in the country, who mostly visit the city to conduct business or participate in corporate events.
Juan Gabriel Pérez, Executive Director of Invest in Bogotá, says the following: “The dynamic nature of Bogotá and its position as a global center for business in Latin America make it a natural destination for entrepreneurs, and it has attracted the top players in the hotel industry to cater to the needs of business tourists. In the last few years, hotel chains like Atton, Four Seasons, Marriott, W Hotels, NH, Holiday Inn, and Movich, among others, have contributed to the local hotel industry’s development, while also boosting parallel industries such as entertainment, catering, and luggage handling, etc.”
Bogotá is currently ranked seventh in Latin America and is Colombia’s top city for corporate tourism, according to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Out of more than 417 cities worldwide, the Colombian capital was ranked 50th, while Cartagena ranked 57th and Medellin 76th.
Pérez added, “As a connectivity hub, thanks to its strategic location and the El Dorado airport—the first loading hub and third passenger movement hub in Latin America, with 36 direct routes to world cities—Bogotá will remain one of the region’s top business tourism destinations, especially with the upcoming expansion of the El Dorado 2 airport.”
Pérez further added: “In the long term, we see opportunities for the extended-stay hotel segment directed at foreign entrepreneurs, in hotel infrastructure projects that go hand in hand with urban revitalization mega projects carried out by the city, such as the Triángulo de Fenicia, Estación Central (Central Station), and the National Administration Center (CAN in its Spanish acronym), and in niche sectors such as auteur, boutique, and low-cost hotels, and those linked to shopping malls in municipalities near Bogotá.”
Among the current crop of long-term hotel infrastructure projects, the most important is without doubt the hotel that will accompany Ágora, one of the city’s high-impact mega projects. This new convention and fair venue for the city bills itself as the dynamic center of the capital’s future “Tourism District for Fairs, Events, and Conventions.”