Colombia and Puerto Rico recently tightened trade relations in the groups and conventions segment, with a presentation by Meet Puerto Rico to more than 80 travel and tourism business professionals from Colombia, said Milton Segarra, president of the agency also known as the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau.
The presentation was part of the activities at the ANATO Tourism Showcase held in Colombia.
“Our expectations have been exceeded. There is much interest to know what Puerto Rico offers for this segment of groups and conventions,” Segarra said.
Although Puerto Rico’s main groups and conventions market comes from the U.S. mainland, in recent years the island has seen an upward trend in international groups, Segarra said. In Fiscal 2013, 32 groups came to the island, generating a total of 34,814 hotel room nights. That number increased 41.7 percent in Fiscal 2014, when 77 groups were reported, generating 59,747 room nights.
Another key element that has allowed greater exposure destination for this Latin American market is the renewal of Avianca’s direct flight between Colombia and Puerto Rico, Segarra said.
“The Puerto Rico Tourism Company’s efforts to bring Avianca back to the destination are a fundamental part of our business and it is a gateway to the rest of the markets in Latin America,” said Segarra.
Some recent and future conventions that have chosen Puerto Rico as a destination thanks to the efforts of the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau are the Latin American Congress of Cities and Local Governments 2015, Conference of the Association of Electoral Organizations of Central America and the Caribbean, Alzheimer’s Disease International Conference 2014, CHA Travel Marketplace 2015 and Latin American & Caribbean Air Transport Association Conference.