Colombia LGBT pride in Bogota, Colombia.         
Photo: Círculo LGBT Uniandino via Visualhunt /  CC BY

Published on February 28th, 2017 | by Mark Chesnut

LGBT pride in Bogota, Colombia. Photo: Círculo LGBT Uniandino via Visualhunt / CC BY

Big New LGBT Travel Conference Arrives in Colombia

After impressive success with previous editions in Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, Cancun, Mérida and Mexico City, a brand-new edition of LGBT Confex — the big LGBT business and tourism conference — is debuting in Bogota this year. I’ve made presentations and led panels at the past three LGBT Confex events in Mexico (click here for a report and video from last year’s event in Mexico City), so I know from first-hand experience that it’s sure to be an important stop for anyone interested in LGBT travel, tourism and business in Colombia this year.

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The Bogotá event is taking place with support from ProColombia, the organization that promotes tourism, foreign investment and non-mining exports for Colombia, as well as the Buró de Convenciones de Bogotá y Cundinimarca (the Bogota and Cundinimarca Convention Bureau), which promotes Bogota and Cundinimarca as a destination for congresses, conventions and incentive travel, and also helps to guide international positioning strategies for the city as a meeting and event destination.

According to ProColombia President Felipe Jaramillo, LGBT Confex’s debut in Colombia is proof of the nation’s ample offerings for the development of conventions, incentive travel and large events, as well as its commitment to LGBT inclusion on a national level. “The recent designation of our country as an emerging gay destination during Fitur, and the debut of Confex 2017, demonstrates the commitment of Colombian businesses to diversity, and the important advances that have taken place to satisfy the needs of this segment. Cities like Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena continue to position themselves as tourism and meeting destinations, with innovative offerings for the LGBT community.”

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With more than five million citizens self-described as members of the LGBT community in Colombia, this segment represents possibly 3.5 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, and LGBT opinion leaders from both the national and international fronts will participate in the 10 platforms that make up the event: Tourism, Corporate, Cultural, Academic, Fashion, Entrepreneurship, Technology, Social, Media and Talento. This range of platforms highlights the importance of paying attention to the LGBT community.

The forum presents a program that includes an exposition area, online business contacts, conferences, discussion panels, professional workshops, networking events and business meetings.

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LGBT Confex has assembled a top-notch list of participants and presenters, including Thomas Roth, CEO of Community Marketing; Araceli Ramos, director of promotion and public relations at Tequila José Cuervo; Mark Chesnut, travel content specialist y consultant with; Mónica Trasandes, director of Spanish-language media at Glaad; Marcela Sánchez, director of Colombia Diversa; Franco Velázquez, CEO of Hilario México; Alberto Arriaga, editorial director at SoyHomosensual; Lina Cuellar, director and cofounder of Sentiido; Sam del Río, communications manager at It Gets Better México; Yenny Guzmán, legal advisor at the programa de acción por la igualdad y la inclusión social (PAIIS); Camila Chain, journalist; and Drew Keller, program director at Open for Business, among many others.

“This is a historic year for the LGBT market in Latin America, and for those who want to grow in this market, the first LGBT Confex in Colombia proves that there is more interest than ever in the segment, on a national and international level,” said Rubén Sandoval, CEO of LGBT Confex. “Participants will have a unique opportunity to learn more about inclusion and diversity, and at the same time benefit from making contacts with a fast-growing audience that is ready to spend, as well as buyers and journalists from around Colombia and around the hemisphere. We’re very excited about this opportunity to collaborate with so many top-quality participants, exhibitors and presenters.”

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“LGBT Confex aims to foster socializing, dissemination and strategic, inclusive growth in different sectors of society, from social, business and labor to commercial aspects — always through innovation, because it’s not enough to simply be an agent of change. You have to be the change,” Sandoval added.

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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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