Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2015

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Page 9 of 72

9 B M & T ••• March/April 2015 ••• PUERTO RICO TAKES OVER TEXAS WITH WEEK-LONG ROAD SHOW MARKET WITH HUGE POTENTIAL FOR GROUPS AND CONVENTIONS Everything is bigger in Texas, including opportunities, and Meet Puerto Rico's (MPR) week-long sales mission to Houston and Dallas fit right in. With a contingent of 11 hotel partners, a series of events, 30 appointments and presentations, two lunch- es with HelmsBriscoe representatives, sponsorship of an MPI chapter event and participation in two travel agent events with the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), Meet Puerto Rico impacted the area with big Puerto Rico Convention branding and came away with big results. Milton Segarra, president & CEO, Meet Puerto Rico described the potential Texas has for Puerto Rico. "Texas is already a strong hub for business as well as the location of sev- eral Fortune 500 companies' headquarters," he explained. "Now, several airlines have increased air access from Texas to Puerto Rico making this one of the strongest reasons for our renewed focus in this market. We already have great feedback from potential clients." "Texas represents a huge potential for Puerto Rico with clients seeking a destination that can host major city-wide con- ventions, as well as smaller meetings," continued Joyce Martínez, VP of Business Development and Sales for Meet Puerto Rico and who is based in Dallas. "We are a great option for those who want to offer an experiential and unconventional meeting in the Caribbean with the added perk that no passport is required for US citizens." For one week, Meet Puerto Rico's meetings and convention options were presented to almost 500 clients. Houston pro- vided the platform for one-on- one meetings and a HelmsBriscoe lunch. In Dallas, MPR sponsored a lunch with the MPI-DFW Chapter, one of the largest in the country. A mini-trade show for the part- ners and an interactive "Family Feud" type game made educa- tion and sales a fun way to learn about international meetings offerings. Also, MPR raffled a "Puerto Rico Experience Package" including a hotel stay, two air vouchers from Southwest and a catamaran tour. "We were thrilled with the energy, information and enthusi- asm exhibited by Meet Puerto Rico and their team," said Amanda Wells, CMP, CTA, director, New Business Development of VWV USA and president of MPI-DFW Chapter. "Our Dallas members are very interested in Puerto Rico – its culture, history, ease of access and meetings offerings – so this was a great way to get a real "taste" of what our clients can experience." An added bonus was the building of future relationships with key airlines in Texas. Both American Airlines and Southwest Airlines offer direct, non-stop service to San Juan. Meet Puerto Rico will be pursuing more business with them as well as other strategic partners. pal of PlaceEconomics, a Washington, DC-based real estate and economic development consulting firm. The firm specializes in services to public and nonprofit-sector clients who are dealing with downtown and neighborhood commercial district revital- ization and the reuse of historic structures. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Tallahassee serves as host hotel for the conference. For more information visit http://-

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