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Puerto Rico To Host Five Major Conventions

Gatherings expected to produce 14,000-plus room night bookings with an overall economic impact of $4.9 million


March 1, 2001
Copyright © 2001 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Puerto Rico will play an important role this year as host to five major convention groups.

The five conventions that have selected the island for their upcoming events are the Miss Universe 2001 Pageant, Public Relations Society of America, International Association of Convention Visitors Bureau (IACVB), the Worldwide Congress of SKAL, and the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities.

Combined, these conventions are expected to produce 14,370 Puerto Rico Convention Bureau-generated room night bookings with an overall economic impact of $4.9 million.

"We are very lucky to be hosting these conventions. We were fortunate that all five were available this year," said Ana Maria Viscasillas, vice president of Business Development at the Bureau.

Viscasillas believes part of the Bureau’s good fortune in luring these major conventions was due to the Bureau’s array of good strategies.

"Throughout the past few years, Puerto Rico has gained recognition by many organizations as an excellent place for group business," Viscasillas added.

Of the five conventions, the most important one for the Bureau, per se–where it must play host to the gurus of the convention industry–is the IACVB.

The IACVB, to be held at El Conquistador Resort & Country Club in Fajardo from July 15 to July 18, is expected to produce 2,500 room night bookings and generate an economic impact of over $1 million.

The Bureau is also requesting additional rooms at The Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort, Country Club & Villas in Rio Grande to handle the convention’s overflow of guests.

The IACVB will have participants from over 480 convention and visitors bureaus in more than 30 countries.

"In terms of image, hosting the IACVB meeting means having all eyes on Puerto Rico," Viscasillas said.

It took the Bureau almost 37 years to be able to host this event, which was awarded to Puerto Rico almost three years ago. The theme of this year’s IACVB meeting is "Reflect on the Present, Leap into the Future."

The IACVB, entering its 87th year, will feature an event never presented in its entire history–a Summit of Destinations.

The summit will be held immediately after the IACVB convention. Close to 100 international leaders of the destination marketing organizations will discuss issues surrounding the global travel industry.

The Bureau is also selling pre-packages and post-packages to members of the IACVB who want to extend their stay on the island.

To make the IACVB event feel more like an incentive trip for the participants, the Bureau, along with the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. plan to host a handful of evening activities such as an opening ceremony party with paso fino horses and children waving the flags of the various participating countries, and an evening-under-the-stars dinner where the Bureau will recreate an outdoor plaza ambiance with ballroom dancing.

There will also be a free night where IACVB participants can choose to either dine-around in one of El Conquistador’s restaurants, take in a casino or a dancing lesson, or play golf at night.

The Bureau will organize an evening at the Puerto Rico Museum of Art in Santurce and a Caribbean Carnival Night to end the event at Palomino Island.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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