Colombia and Puerto Rico continue to work on joint trade relations, this time in the groups and conventions tourism segment. Milton Segarra, president and CEO, Meet Puerto Rico, gave a presentation on Puerto Rico as a destination for meetings and conventions to more than 80 Colombian tourism industry businesses as part of the activities of the ANATO Tourism Showcase, the largest tourism showcase in Latin America, held February 2015 in Bogotá, Colombia.
“The participation of the organization in this event has exceeded our expectations. Puerto Rico has already forged a strong cultural connection here in Colombia, and now there is much interest in other areas – such as the groups and conventions and tourism business segment,” Segarra said.
He added that although the U.S. remains the major group travel market, Puerto Rico has seen an upward trend in international groups. In the fiscal year 2012-2013, Puerto Rico closed 32 groups for a total of 34,814 room-nights. That number increased 41.7 percent in fiscal 2013-2014 and achieved close to 77 groups for a total of 59,747 room-nights.
Segarra explained that starting Avianca’s new direct flights between Colombia and Puerto Rico is another key element that has allowed greater exposure for Puerto Rico in Colombia.
“The efforts of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company to bring back Aviancato Puerto Rico is a fundamental part of our business; Colombia is a gateway to the rest of the market in Latin America,” said Segarra.
Some recent and future conventions that have chosen Puerto Rico as a destination are the IX Latin American Congress of Cities and Local Governments 2015 (EXPERIENCIAMERICA); Virtual Educa – Las Americas 2014; Conference of the Association of Electoral Bodies of Central America and the Caribbean-Protocol TIKAL; Conference and Exhibition on Renewable Energy Lationoamérica and the Caribbean; the 22nd Annual Conference of the International Federation of Cooperative Insurance; and the Championship of the American Federation of Bonsai 2014.