The congress, which for the third time in its history will be held in a Latin American city and will bring together some 1,500 healthcare professionals, marks the return of major events to the country’s capital, which has been ranked as the best business travel destination in South America.
Some of the most prominent international representatives of neurosurgery will gather in Bogota from March 13-18, when the Colombian capital will host the XVII World Congress of Neurosurgery.
The congress, which for the third time in its history will be held in a Latin American city, will bring together some 1,500 health professionals from 90 countries and marks the return of major international events to Bogota after two years of pandemic.
“This is a recognition of the development of neurosurgery in Colombia and in its capital,” says Enrique Osorio-Fonseca, president of the Colombian Neurosurgery Association, who recalls that to achieve this goal Bogota had to compete with cities like Yokohama (Japan), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Cape Town (South Africa) and Bali (Indonesia).
The scientific program of the event includes 463 invited speakers who have confirmed their participation in person, as well as pre-congress courses, regular sessions on the state of the art and controversies in neurosurgery, plenary sessions, personal neurosurgical practice and research sessions with more than 770 medical abstracts.
The long list of medical professionals who will take part in the congress includes names such as Alim Louis Benabid, French neurosurgeon recognized for his work in the development of deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease; Amir Samii, founder of the International Neurosciences Institute and a pioneer in modern neurosurgery; or Marc Sindou, professor emeritus of the University of Lyon, France.
Infrastructure, a decisive factor.
The event’s agenda, which includes academic sessions, trade shows and a plenary session, will be held entirely at Agora Bogota, the capital’s convention center. Precisely, having this type of infrastructure for holding events was one of the aspects that allowed Bogota to be selected as the venue for the XVII World Congress of Neurosurgery, an event produced by the international operator Barceló Congresos.
“The city’s infrastructure was fundamental. One of the basic requirements for this world congress is to have an auditorium with a capacity of at least 4,000 people, something that in Colombia we only found in Agora,” adds Osorio-Fonseca.
In addition, the availability of hotels, cultural offerings and gastronomic diversity were also part of the proposal with which Colombia and Bogota managed to tip the balance against their competitors, in a process that began in 2015 and in which the Colombian Neurosurgery Association received the support of the Bogota Convention Bureau, ProColombia and the District Institute of Tourism.
It is worth noting that the previous year Bogota was recognized as the best business travel destination by the World Travel Awards.
Events and meetings tourism, key to reactivation.
According to ProColombia figures, the region that receives the most events is Cundinamarca with 51.7%, followed by Antioquia with 16.9% and Valle del Cauca with 10%. In line with this regional positioning, attracting world-class events and meetings appears to be a priority for Bogota as part of its economic recovery strategy.
According to figures from the Bogota Convention Bureau, on average, each attendee to a business event has an average expenditure of US$250 per day. In 2018 alone, moreover, this industry generated more than 218 thousand direct, indirect and induced jobs and positions Bogota as the third favorite destination in South America.