During the last 30 years, South America’s charm and constantly developing tourism infrastructure bave transformed this continent into an ideal destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions. Cities like Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Cartagena de Indias, Buenos Aires and Punta del Este are among the most popular MICE destinations in South America for companies and corporations.
Throughout the continent you are able to find high capacity convention centres and high-end hotel networks to organise the perfect business trip. However, business tourists still need itineraries that include unique and satisfactory experiences. Such experiences, if shared among colleagues or companies are said to build stronger bonds enhance efficiency. Below, you will find a list to help you descover the best MICE destinations in South America.
MICE Tourism in Brazil: Samba and exuberance
Brazil is South America’s most popular business destination. According to ABEOC Brazil (Brazilian Association of Events Companies), In Brazil, there are about 10,000 venues at your disposal in order to organise your events. The most impressive cities being São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
In Rio there are countless activities available: must-do touristic activities, such as seeing Christ the Redeemer and not to mention Rio’s cultural and gastronomical experiences, adaptable to every taste. Football is also an important part of the carioca ( from Rio de Janeiro) culture. If you organise a business trip to this city, you must include the magical Tijuca Rainforest jeep tour and some samba classes in order to really get to the heart of this city and feel as if you were part of Rio’s legendery Carnival.
São Paulo, South America’s business capital, offers a lot of thematic guided tours – the perfect addition if you are visiting the city on business. A perfect example is the one-day visit to the beautiful sea-side town of Santos & Guarujá. Or you could discover the more traditional Brazilian culture with a trip to Embu das Artes. Since São Paulo is one of the continent’s most popular tourist destinations, many airlines stopover in Guarulhos Airport. If that is the case, the São Paulo Layover Tour is the perfect opportunity to discover the best of the city in 6 or 8 hours.
MICE tourism in Argentina: Tango, football and culture
In 2013, ICCA (International Congresses and Conventions Association) announced that Argentina ranked 19th in the world ranking of international events reception. This country makes for a great choice for business tourism in South America, especially the cosmopolitan capital, Buenos Aires.
Buenos Aires is the perfect destination for a MICE event: the passionate and colorful tango shows, the football culture and the exquisite gastronomy it offers all prove for an unforgettable. After a long meeting or congress you could wipe off the cobwebs and enjoy the fresh air with the boat trip across the Río de la Plata and the countless cultural activities that will allow you to discover every corner of the city.
Argentina is also the eighth largest country in the world, so there are endless regions to visit in Argentina. Among them the classical Andean landscapes of Salta, the viticultural region of Mendoza, the abundant nature of Iguazú and the splendid sights of Bariloche.
Buenos Aires lives to the rhythm of tango, be sure not to miss out on the best shows
MICE Tourism in Chile: Wine and adventure
Chile, apart from being a stable and safe country, has considerably invested in its tourism infrastructure. Besides, its geograpical position makes it the perfect destination for business tourists. Santiago, the capital, and its surroundings offer an ample range of activities from the classical wine tours and famous cellars to adventurous excursions through the Andes.
A few hours away from Santiago are the beautiful cities of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar – and they are must-see destinations in Chile. The guided tours in the Litoral Central will undoubtedly be the best experience you will have during your business trip to Chile. Definitely a great candidate for any MICE events in South America.
MICE Tourism in Uruguay: Gastronomy and nature
Uruguay has about 3.4 million inhabitants and there are more than 3.6 million tourists that visit the country each year. This statistics show the importance of tourism in this small South American nation. Uruguay is a major business destination due to its intimate nature and beautiful natural landscapes.
Less than a year ago the impressive Convention Centre in Punta del Este was built, and has drawn in thousands of businessmen and women to this already famous seaside town. This is an ideal opportunity to take a city tour through the most important intrest points and take the day to know the charming town, Cabo Polonio.
Montevideo, boasts the most beautiful tango shows and winery tours in Uruguay, not to mention unmissable breweries. You also should take advantage of your stay in Uruguay and visit the historical city of Colonia del Sacramento, especially if you have time to cross the River Plate to go to Buenos Aires.
MICE Tourism in Colombia: Beaches, mountains and amusement
Colombia never not stops growing, especially as far as corporate tourism is concerned. Bogotá, Medellín and Cartagena are all home to impressive convention centres and countless other business venues; whether you are there for a meeting, congress or incentive. What’s more, thanks to its unbelievable nature, this country is the closest thing to a true paradise.
During a business trip to the Colombian capital, we highly recommend the Bogotá city tour – you will visit all of the city’s main atrractions, such as; the Sanctuary of Monserrate, the most important museums, the neighbourhood of La Candelaria and much more. All in a short period of time, it’s the perfect tour to squeeze-in on your business trip. Whilst in Colombia, you simply can’t miss the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá and Guatavita, it is truly one of the most impressive sites in Colombia.
If you are in Medellin on business, you will have the opportunity to discover the coffee triangle as well as an innovative developing city – the ongoing transformation of the city can be witnessed througout the entire city. Cartagena a city located on the idyllic Caribbean side of Colombia. You can discover its colonial charm and the splendid beaches of the Rosario Island or the Barú Island or even enjoy some ecological activities such as a canoe tour through the mangrove swamps.
MICE tourism is rapidly growing in South America. Understandably so due to the added incentive of having the opportunity to explore, discover and great unforgettable memories amidst all the stunning surroundings our continent has to offer. Plan your incentive travel and contact our expert team to enquire about the private services or exclusive activities you need for your itinerary.
By: Keilma Roja, Venezuelan journalist, specialised in culture and actuality. Writer in Spanish for Daytours4u / Translated to English by: Grégory Noël