Network Latin America, a leading airline market two-day networking event for industry professionals from across Latin America, the Caribbean and the U.S. mainland, is holding up its three-day convention in Puerto Rico this week. The first-ever event is expected to inject more than $315,000 into the local economy, Economic Development and Commerce Secretary José Pérez-Riera said Wednesday.
The event is the fifth of its kind to take place in Latin America, and is an offshoot of Network USA, which for 11 years has been organizing the same type of gathering on the U.S. mainland. Through Friday, attendees will be able to build long-term professional relationships, including exploring new products and services for upcoming travel seasons, through constructive networking and social activities.
About 100 delegates, including airline industry decision-makers in charge of planning routes and airports, as well as representatives from destinations in the southern U.S., the Caribbean and Latin America are attending the meetings taking place at the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, said Pérez-Riera.
“The number of delegates this year represents a 40 percent increase compared with the participation in the last edition of this convention last year in San José, Costa Rica,” the government official said. “According to the organizers this increase in participation is due to Puerto Rico’s excellent location and the interest of the airlines to return to this destination.”
“Network Latin America is a great opportunity to promote the island as a tourist and investment destination to add routes and negotiate with the airlines that participate in the convention,” he said.
This is the second major tourism industry-related gatherings held on the island this year, along with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association convention that took place in October, which Pérez-Riera described as “two momentous events to strengthen Puerto Rico’s position as the hub of the Caribbean.”
Among the airlines that are participating in this event are: Aerolíneas Argentinas, Aeroméxico, Air Turks and Caicos, Alaska Air Group-Horizon Air, American Airlines, Amerijet International, Aviancataca, Avior Airlines C.A., Branson Air Express, Cape Air, Cayman Airways, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines Inc., Executive Airlines DBA American Eagle, FlyMontserrat, Gulfstream International Airlines, Insel Air International, JetBlue Airways Desk, LIAT Ltd, Seaborne Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, TAC Air International, US Airways and Vision Airlines.