The 2015 winter is a gold mine for Puerto Rico's meetings and conventions industry. A total of 71 groups will be coming to the island during February and March to carry out their winter meetings, conventions and conferences, providing a positive effect on the local economy, Milton Segarra, president & CEO of Meet Puerto Rico (MPR-Puerto Rico Convention Bureau), announced today.
"Puerto Rico continues to position itself as the ideal destination for meetings and conventions, especially during the winter months, our high season. This year we have several groups conducting their winter meetings on the island. Certainly our climate and the type of experiences we offer here as a destination are memorable and we should maximize that," Segarra said. He added that the 71 groups conducting their events in Puerto Rico represents an estimated total of 34,972 nights resulting in a $20 million direct impact on the economy.
In February, the peak high season month, Puerto Rico will host 42 groups for a total of 13,466 room nights resulting in an economic impact of $8 million. Select groups holding their winter meetings here include: Council of Landscape Architectural BOD Meeting, Young Democrats of America, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Meeting and the American Board of Optician and Contact Lens Examiners.
March will close with 29 groups for an estimated 21,506 room nights and an impact on the local economy of $12 million overall. Groups include the Associated General Contractors of America 96th Annual Convention, the Fourth Convention Sales of Telefónica SA, the Oregon Academy of General Dentistry Meeting, and the Yale University- School of Medicine Staff Training.
Segarra said that experiences these groups take away from their visit to Puerto Rico is vital to the ongoing positioning of the destination. "One of the trends that continue to remain true is that this segment, the meetings and conventions delegate wants to experience the destination beyond the meeting room. Delegates attend conferences and conventions for business purposes, but they also want to come away knowing they’ve really been somewhere different. In Puerto Rico, they can experience a new culture and environment through touring Old San Juan, eating authentic cuisine in a local restaurant, visiting historical sites or enjoying the beach or shopping. They often extend their stay – and there are a variety of accommodations for every budget. All this has a direct positive impact on the local economy, which is important because we are all part of that positive experience with the visitor," Segarra concluded.
In Puerto Rico, one in four rooms occupied in hotels that can accommodate large-scale meetings belongs to the groups and conventions segment.