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Colombians' hesitance to return to live events has been highlighted in a recent survey, as the events industry pushes to establish protocols for a safe reopening
By IQ on 16 Jul 2020
A recent survey carried out by communications agency BCW has found that almost three quarters of Colombians are planning on waiting months before returning to live events and other busy public spaces.
According to Colombian financial magazine Dinero, just over 72% of respondents said the fear of infection would put them off attending an event in the near future, with only 13.8% stating they would be happy to return to events within a matter of weeks.
The results come after large crowds of people gathered in some of Colombia’s cities for the first of three VAT-free days (días sin IVA) last month. The last of the VAT-free days, which allow the public to shop duty free across a range of products in a bid to restart the country’s economy, has been postponed in accordance with Covid-19 restrictions.
Events have been banned in COlombia since mid-March. It is estimated that more than 1.8 million workers have been affected by cancellations in the country.
“Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the events industry as it was the first sector to close down and the only one that the government has not taken into account when establishing public policy on reopening”
According to Satori Sochandamandou, president of the Colombian Association of Event Professionals (Asociación Colombiana de Profesionales en Eventos – Asocolwep), the sector generates COP 15 billion (€3.6m) a year, constituting 2.7% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the events industry as it was the first sector to close down and the only one that the government has not taken into account when establishing public policy on reopening,” Sochandamandou tells El Espectador.
“At the moment, we are not allowed to carry out any kind of social, cultural, private or public event at home or anywhere else.”
Asocolwep has drawn up a biosecurity protocol to help get events back up and running, based on a staggered reopening of venues, which would see those of 50-capacity or less opening up first and then starting to open bigger venues, with a gradual increase in capacity over the course of six months.
“We are sending a clear message,” says Sochandamandou. “We are in the preparatory stage, briefing all the suppliers on biosecurity issues in a responsible way, so that when things do reopen it can be done in accordance with the regulations, assuring not only the safety of our clients and guests, but also that of everyone who works day to day in this industry.”
This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.
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