Mexico City ranks 15th in the Americas for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, ahead of New York, Chicago and Miami. Read on to see why.
Business events tourism is a fast growing industry in Mexico representing 20% of all tourism activity in the country and accounting for 2% of its GDP. According to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) market was worth around $18.1 billion to Mexico in 2013 and the country ranked 5th among 38 western hemisphere countries in the number of international congresses and conventions hosted.
Combine this with the fact that hundreds of flights arrive in Mexico City from 25 countries every day, taking just 3-5 hours from most major US cities, and the fact that Mexico City is home to some world-class meeting and events facilities, over 50,000 hotel rooms and unbeatable tourist attractions including four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and you will see why the ICCA ranks Mexico City 15th in the Americas meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, ahead of New York, Chicago and Miami.
The city is home to three world-class multifunctional convention centres, The International Exhibition and Convention Centre/World Trade Centre, Expo Bancomer Santa Fe, and the Centro Banamex Convention and Exhibition Centre, as well hundreds of smaller facilities and hotels that cater for business events. Business travellers will also find a number of organizations with multilingual staff who are highly qualified to assist in events planning. See my tips section for more info on these organisations.
There are literally hundreds of expos, conferences, congresses etc. taking place during any single month in Mexico City (see my tips section), and although visiting expos sounds like the last thing a leisure traveller might do on holiday, many of the events have real tourist appeal, particularly those specializing in hobbies and crafts, gourmet food and beverages, art and design, beauty, weddings etc. I’ve managed to fit a few expos into my time here such as Expo Gourmet, AgaveFest, Millesime and Expo Café, and have found them a great way to try fantastic regional haute cuisine and gourmet food and drinks by some of Mexico’s top chefs and producers with lots of free samples, talks and demonstrations all under one roof.
Mexico City’s top 3 convention centres:
The International Exhibition and Convention Centre/World Trade Centre
Expo Bancomer Santa Fe
Centro Banamex Convention and Exhibition Centre