Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2015

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B M & T ••• March/April 2015 ••• 55 T he 2015 winter promises to be a bonanza for Puerto Rico, espe- cially in the groups and conventions segment. A total of 71 groups are coming to the island during February and March to carry out their winter meetings, conventions and conferences, provid- ing a positive effect on the local economy, Milton Segarra, president & CARIBBEAN CORNER T he many famed attractions in Martinique's picturesque capi- tal city, Fort-de-France, are now easier to discover and explore thanks to new self-guided audio tour maps. Available for rent through The Fort-de-France Tourism Office, the new maps highlight such notable attractions as the Schoelcher Library, the Saint Louis Cathedral, Aimé Césaire Theater, and the La Savane Park. Each map comes equipped with an audio pen. For information on fea- tured attractions, visitors need simply to point the audio pen on the attractions. Audio is available in a choice of English, French, Spanish, and Italian, with additional languages to be added in the coming months. "With these fantastic new maps, visitors from around the world are able to easily find and enjoy Fort-de-France's attractions and charms without getting lost in translation; a particularly great tool for cruise vis- itors with limited time in port in Martinique," said Muriel Wiltord, Director Americas for The Martinique Promotion Bureau. Visitors can rent new Fort-de-France audio tour maps at the Fort- de-France Tourism Office information kiosk located at the north- west corner of the La Savane Park where Rue de la Liberté and Boulevard Alfassa intersect. The rental cost is 3 € per audio guide for two hours. A deposit of 20 € or photo ID is also required. For more information on travel to Martinique, please visit . MARTINIQUE MAKES EXPLORING FORT-DE-FRANCE EASIER WITH NEWSELF-GUIDED AUDIO TOUR MAPS Interactive Maps Highlighting Top Attractions Feature Audio in English, French, Spanish and Italian PUERTO RICO'S GROUPS AND CONVENTION BUSINESS DRIVING HIGH WINTER TOURIST SEASON $20 Million Economic Impact for Puerto Rico CEO of Meet Puerto Rico (MPR- Puerto Rico Convention Bureau), announced recently. "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 hosted 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 Opticianry 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 continues 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 real- ly 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 Milton Segarra Puerto Rico Convention Center

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