Puerto Rico Exceeds Convention Sales Goal

San Juan Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico's convention sales organization, Meet Puerto Rico, has exceeded its annual sales goal, securing 189,109 convention room nights during fiscal year 2013-2014, it announced last month. The room nights, it said, translate into 409 groups and more than 100,000 delegates.

"It has been a year of challenges, but we were able to focus on our goal of positioning Puerto Rico as the ideal destination for groups and conventions," Meet Puerto Rico CEO Milton Segarra said in a statement. "For the first time in over 10 years we met and exceeded by a 100.9 percent our goal of 187,500 room nights."

According to Segarra, sales growth was 53 percent when comparing it with fiscal year 2012-2013, which closed with 120,984 room nights booked. Bookings for the Puerto Rico Convention Center, specifically, totaled 30,394 room nights, an increase of 69 percent compared to fiscal year 2012-2013.

"The amount of room nights that were ensured for Puerto Rico have a multiplying effect in the local economy," said Meet Puerto Rico President Joanne Ferguson. "This means that $110 million are injected into the economy, and on top of that, the government receives $3.7 million in room taxes and $4.5 million in [sales taxes]."

Segarra, who has been head of Meet Puerto Rico for a year, attributes his team's success to numerous changes made by the organization in the past 12 months.

"We were able to embrace the change, identify the needs, transform the organization and stay current and relevant within the industry," concluded Segarra, who cited as the most significant changes a re-branding effort, a new advertising campaign, the re-launch of Meet Puerto Rico's website, an increase in social media use, sales force changes, the deployment of new performance metrics and a decrease in operational costs.

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