Bogotá Despierta (Bogotá Awake) is a clever program designed to promote local retailers to slumbering shoppers. On certain holiday weekends, including Christmas, St. Valentine’s Day and, most recently, Mother’s Day, the entire city puts itself at the service of commerce. Shopping malls and the city’s biggest commercial areas extend their hours until midnight, and they put on concerts and give prizes and discounts to shoppers. The city plays its part, providing added police and public transportation services.
The impact is huge. According to the economic research unit of FENALCO (the National Federation of Commerce), which created the program, Bogotá Despierta not only generates more sales but promotes employment and tourism. That’s what I call being “awake” in a time of crisis.