SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - Discover Puerto Rico, the Island’s Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) recently announced at the Connect Marketplace 2021 Convention in Tampa, Florida that Puerto Rico will be the host of Connect Marketplace 2022, bringing more than 2,000 tourism and hospitality professionals to the Island. The event will take place May 22-24, 2022, at the Puerto Rico Convention Center, taking advantage of numerous hotel properties and the newly opened Distrito T- Mobile entertainment complex, for an estimated economic impact of $3M.
“As the meetings industry experiences a great deal of change and transformation, Puerto Rico is poised to play a key role in the recovery of this important segment. This event will further elevate Puerto Rico as a world class meetings destination and accelerate the recovery of our Island by hosting key buyers and demonstrating the spectacular and one-of-a-kind experiences that Puerto Rico has to offer,” expressed Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico.
Connect Meetings provides planners and suppliers with education and professional development to advance their careers while conducting business through one-on-one marketplace appointments. This event will generate over 35,000 one-on-one business appointments between meetings and hospitality professionals, attracting people from the United States and beyond, representing the following markets: Corporate, Financial, Tech, and Insurance; Associations; Sports Diversity; Women in Sports; Luxury/Incentive; and Citywide.
“Connect is very excited to go to Puerto Rico next year. It’s always been a great destination to bring events, but the addition of Distrito T-Mobile takes it to a whole new level. We look forward to working together with Discover Puerto Rico to activate a great conference for 2,000 members of the best event professionals in the industry,” mentioned Chris Collinson, President of Connect Meetings.
Connect qualifies planners through a 15-person in-house Planner Development Sales Team, by identifying the top decision maker within an organization, and providing 2-3 references from past destinations and/or hotels that were sourced. The team is focused on having their suppliers meet with those planners who are pre-qualified and are actively sourcing business.
“By hosting hundreds of meeting planners, we have a unique opportunity to showcase all that’s new and exciting on our Island in the meetings space, as we look to the future of the industry. Historically, we’ve only hosted 50-60 meeting planners at a time; this will be the largest gathering of meeting planners in the history of our Island, and we are confident that it will generate a substantial future economic impact for our community,” explained Dean.
During the event, Discover Puerto Rico will showcase various attractions around the Island, through a series of pre and post event familiarization experiences, which will allow the attendees the opportunity to experience the Island’s offerings beyond the meeting rooms. The Island’s rich culture, cuisine, history, arts, music, and dance are unparalleled and provide unique, one-of-a-kind experiences. Puerto Rico is also filled with unique natural wonders – including El Yunque, the only rainforest in the U.S. forest system, three of the world’s five bioluminescent bays, pink salt flats in Cabo Rojo, Playa Negrita, a black sand beach on the Island of Vieques, and a variety of sustainable tourism activities. All of these offerings, combined with the benefits of being a U.S. Territory – no passport, currency exchange or new phone plan required for U.S. citizens – make it an ideal destination for meetings.