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Industry meeting and expo tourism has grown over 600% in Argentina since 2004 alone.

Yesterday we learned about the triple-digit growth of Argentina’s wine tourism industry over the past four years. Earlier this month, we read about record international flight and cruise ship arrivals. Now this weekend in Barcelona, Argentina’s Ministry of Tourism will tout Argentina’s prowess in capturing one of the most important segments in the travel industry: meetings and expos.

The Global Meetings and Events Exhibition (EIBTM) runs today through Friday in Barcelona, and the Argentine delegation will be showcasing why Argentina now ranks among the world’s Top 20 destinations for meetings and expos according to the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA). With 172 industry meetings and expos taking place in 2011, Argentina currently ranks #19 in the world and #2 in Latin America behind Brazil.

The “172″ number is staggering when you consider Argentina only hosted 25 such events in 2004. The 616% growth in seven years speaks to the rising quality of Argentina’s hotel and tourism infrastructure, the country’s safety and affordability, and the wide cultural and geographic variation among the Argentine cities topping the ICCA rankings: Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata, Rosario, Mendoza, Cordoba, La Plata, Bariloche and Salta. (Full Story in Spanish)

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