Cartagena in Colombia to host the ICCA Congress in 2021
The announcement was made at the 57th ICCA Congress, which is taking place in Dubai. Rees was first elected to the ICCA board in 2012 and became a vice president in 2017. Before this he served in leadership positions in ICCA’s UK and Ireland Chapter.
“What we can do, with the right leadership, is to use ICCA’s strengths to drive that innovation, creativity, and incentive for improvement,” Rees said. “And this is what I am going to deliver.
“As ICCA president, I will be a true advocate for our business, a champion of our sector and ensure that ICCA’s voice is heard by government, in a language they understand. It will be an honour and privilege to serve as your president.”
The 2018 ICCA Congress has attracted 1156 delegates from 79 countries, making it the biggest Congress held outside Europe.
Nina Freysen-Pretorius, ICCA president, said they have identified the Middle East as an important growth area.
“In fact, we now have a dedicated seat for the region on our board, a permanent regional director, and this is our first annual congress in the Middle East,” she said.
“We have also noted that the Dubai Association Centre is playing a significant role in growing global associations. In addition, we look forward to 2020 Expo Dubai, because when new ideas and people connect, our industry grows.”
Welcoming delegates to the Congress, Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of Dubai Tourism, said business events are a crucial part of its tourism strategy and wider economic development.
“Whether through the year-round calendar of home-grown trade shows, or major congresses like the ICCA Congress that we successfully bid for, we understand and use the power of meetings and conferences to facilitate the rapid transition to a knowledge economy, and to grow scientific advancement and key industry sectors in Dubai and the UAE,” he said.
The Congress also saw Cartagena in Colombia announced as host of 2021 ICCA Congress, marking the return of the Congress to Latin America for the first time since Buenos Aires hosted it 2015.
“Colombia has the largest amount of ICCA members in Latin America and with governmental backing from the Colombian President, who submitted a video to show his support for the bid, we are assured of strong local support,” said Freysen-Pretorius. “The bid also showed great commitment to inviting a large number of associations to join our global association meetings community in Cartagena.”