July 25, 2002 – Jorge Pesquera, executive director of the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau, will speak at next Wednesday's luncheon meeting of the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association at the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort and Spa on St. Thomas.
Pesquera will outline how Puerto Rico has developed a partnership of the hospitality industry and the government to increase tourism. "This partnership has been able to increase group and incentive travel," Beverly Nicholson, association executive director, said.
Nicholson said Puerto Rico also is developing a new convention facility at Isla Verde.
Pesquera was a panelist at the Caribbean Hotel Association Industry Conference last month in Puerto Rico. "From the presentation, it was clear that Puerto Rico has created a model for tourism development that could be duplicated in this region," Nicholson said.
Pesquera, a graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, is a 25-year veteran of the travel and tourism industry. In the eight years that he has been director of the convention bureau, it has tripled its sales force, revamped its marketing efforts and increased the overall contribution of the group market to Puerto Rico's economy to about $400 million per year.
Bookings done by the Convention Bureau have increased by 350 percent over the past five years. The Convention Bureau estimates that convention goers occupy one-third of all Puerto Rico's hotels.
The meeting will begin at noon. There is no charge for Hotel and Tourism Association members, but non-members pay $25.
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