Puerto Rico is the venue for this year’s International Destination Expo, marking the first time that the ASTA event will be held in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization, along with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and the Puerto Rico Tourism Co., partnered with ASTA to bring the expo to San Juan. The CTO estimates that this year’s event, to be held from April 14 to 17, will attract more than 1,200 agents from around the world.
The CTO has secured government member participation in the expo, assisted with speaker selection and is coordinating post-expo tours to other destinations, including the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In addition, agents will get destination briefings on the Caribbean region through panels, seminars and certification tutorials.
“Hosting an international event of this magnitude will have a positive impact on the Caribbean travel industry,” said CTO Secretary General and CEO Hugh Riley.
He said that ASTA and CTO have been collaborating since 2008 to bring this conference to the Caribbean.
“With ASTA’s top travel professionals in attendance, the Caribbean will be able to showcase the region’s growth within the global tourism sector,” Riley said. “This conference represents a terrific networking and educational opportunity for travel professionals and industry officials to debate issues that affect the industry at all levels, within a global context as well as from a Caribbean point of view.”
ASTA President and Chairman Chris Russo said that Puerto Rico was selected as this year’s expo site for its culture, hospitality, accessibility to the U.S. mainland and other Caribbean islands.
“CTO’s direction helped us put forward a strong educational track of sessions that will give agents the tools to better sell the Caribbean,” Russo said.