The 2011 International Congress and Convention Association’s (ICCA) recently released country rankings show that the number of association meetings taking place in Puerto Rico more than tripled to 30 in 2011 from nine in 2010, when the island hosted a mixed bag of groups.
The increase in the number of international association meetings taking place in Puerto Rico results in a jump in the worldwide rankings measured by the number of international association meetings per country to 56th in 2011from 77th place in 2010, and in the regional North- and Latin American rankings to 12th position from 18th.
This year, Puerto Rico will host of the ICCA’s annual convention as a result of a convention bid process the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau spearheaded in 2009. The 2012 ICCA Congress will take place in San Juan, Oct. 20-24, and will bring more than 650 meeting planner delegates to the island to experience the destination as a world-class meeting place.
“Puerto Rico’s hosting of the 51st Annual ICCA Congress is an opportunity for the island to show the convention world what we’re made of, what we offer, and the benefits of hosting a large international delegation on our soil,” said Neil J. Mullanaphy, acting president of the PRCB.
“ICCA attendees have the influence to bring large international association groups to Puerto Rico, groups that will fill our center and hotels, and will spend money in our restaurants, shops and casinos,” said Mullanaphy, who is also the PRCB’s senior vice president of sales. “It’s critical that we provide delegates with an outstanding experience so that conventioneers depart Puerto Rico with a positive perception of all we have to offer.”
To that end the PRCB has a task force in place working directly with ICCA organizers to coordinate program elements, logistics and other aspects of the annual gathering. In addition, the PRCB has already initiated a tourism industry awareness initiative to help hoteliers and tourism industry workers understand the importance and far-reaching potential that the convention offers.
“We’re eager to showcase all that Puerto Rico has to offer to the international market,” Mullanaphy said.
ICCA, the International Congress and Convention Association, represents the main specialists in organizing, transporting and accommodating international meetings and events, and comprises more than 900 member companies and organizations in 87 countries worldwide.