Meet Puerto Rico, the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) responsible for attracting meetings, conventions, trade shows, sporting events, and incentive groups to Puerto Rico, recently hosted the Jehovah’s Witnesses Special Convention, the largest city-wide convention of the year, bringing an estimated $5 million economic impact to Puerto Rico. From August 22-31, more than 34,500 attendees from the United States, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Colombia, and Cuba experienced the culture of Puerto Rico and stayed throughout the island, from San Juan to Ponce for a total of 7,500 room nights.
“We are honored that that the Jehovah’s Witnesses chose Puerto Rico to host their Jehovah’s Witnesses Special Convention,” said Milton Segarra, President & CEO, Meet Puerto Rico (MPR-Puerto Rico Convention Bureau). “Puerto Rico has everything it takes to host a large scale, city-wide convention – including a state-of-the-art convention center, a wide variety of accommodations including major hotel brands, and a strong infrastructure. And we offer “only-in- Puerto Rico” experiences, for planners seeking locations that provide experiences to make their events memorable while maintaining an authentic experience. We are fortunate that Puerto Rico delivers that charge.”
Delegates and exhibitors were linked to virtual attendees as well in the United States via live stream set up at the Puerto Rico Convention Center, the Puerto Rico Coliseum, Ponce Trade Fair Central as well as Arecibo and Humacao. Itinerary highlights included day trips, and pre-and post-tours. The delegates stayed in San Juan, Manati, Bayamon and Ponce.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses organizational committee said they were pleased with the way the conference was handled and will bring meetings to Puerto Rico over the next five years, including the potential to hold the 2021 Annual Convention in Puerto Rico again. A number of reasons have played into their decision to return to Puerto Rico.
“Puerto Rico had the flavor of what we wanted to share with our delegates. It is easy to reach, has a wide variety of accommodations, wonderful restaurants, hospitals and scores top marks in their venues and customer service,” said Jorge Alanis, Special Assembly Committee Coordinator. “But what really sets them apart is the combination of the authentic experiences our attendees bring back with them as well as the wonderful people we have worked with and met. We understand that 5,000 local volunteers contributed to our conference and that says a lot about the care taken to ensure all conference attendees feel taken care of,” he said.
Puerto Rico continues to position itself as an ideal destination for meetings and conventions, offering a state-of-the-art convention center, a wide variety of hotels, strong infrastructure and unique attractions with the added advantage of being on a tropical island in the Caribbean. One in four rooms occupied in hotels that can accommodate large-scale meetings belongs to the groups and conventions segment.