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Magazine Names San Juan No. 1 Emerging Destination Worldwide

New convention center to open by the end of 2005


January 8, 2004
Copyright © 2004 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

The Puerto Rico Convention Bureau reports that Successful Meetings, a publication catering to business travelers, has selected San Juan as its No. 1 destination on the rise. The other places mentioned were: No. 2 Boston, No. 3 Mexico, No. 4 Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and No. 5 India.

According to the magazine, San Juan is making all the right moves including building a 600,000 square-foot convention center (which is scheduled to be completed by 2005). It will be located in the area of Isla Grande and will be surrounded by two hotels, movie theaters and plenty of office space. "The location of the convention center is of great importance because of its close proximity to the hotels in Condado and the city’s main attraction–Old San Juan," said Jorge Pesquera, president of the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau.

In addition, the city should be increasing its hotel capacity by 4,000 rooms in anticipation of the opening of the convention center. Airline flights to and from the city have also increased to 602 per week. According to Pesquera in an interview with Successful Meetings, American Airlines has added flights from Caracas, Venezuela and from Los Angeles; US Air also started flying to and from Boston and LaGuardia. The proliferation of low-cost carriers flying to Puerto Rico is also "indicative of confidence," says the executive.

The magazine indicates that another important feature will be the formation of the next new Meeting Professionals International (MPI) chapter. "All this is significant," says Pesquera because it proves beyond all doubt that the elements that we have put together are coalescing in a very nice way prior to the opening of the convention center. We have painstakingly worked towards this," he added. It seems to be paying off, and another executive put it this way in Successful Meetings, "If you’re looking for an experience that can’t be found on the mainland, San Juan can’t be beat." He added "if development goes according to schedule, "it will be like San Antonio-plus, because it has a unique culture and a sense of place, and the ocean as well."

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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