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Puerto Rico top location for large group events to escape the conventional

Puerto Rico kicks off the Winter Season as the location for the high-profile Bacardi Triangle Halloween event, October 31-November 3, bringing 1,862 invited guests and contest winners from around the world for a three-day/two-night Halloween-themed extravaganza party at Palomino Island - a private, uninhabited island – at El Conquistador Resort-A Waldorf Astoria Resort located in the east coast of Puerto Rico.  Participants will enjoy music spun by word-class artists Calvin Harris, Kendrick Lamar and Ellie Goulding.

The 1,862 number honors the year Facundo Bacardi founded Bacardi rum.  This is just one of the 96 events including, conferences, annual meetings and sports activities, coming to Puerto Rico this upcoming winter.

These winter events represent an estimated 40,894 room nights and a total direct spending of $23 million into the local economy, Milton Segarra, president & CEO of Meet Puerto Rico (MPR-Puerto Rico Convention Bureau), announced today. MPR is a private organization responsible for attracting meetings, conventions, trade shows and incentive groups to Puerto Rico.

"Puerto Rico has everything to make a successful meeting or convention - including a state-of-the-art convention center, prime hotels and infrastructure-and with the advantage that we are on a tropical island in the Caribbean,"

said Segarra.  “In addition to our unconventional meetings offerings, we are also a destination for major large-scale events – from social events like the Bacardi Bermuda Triangle event to major sporting and special interest events. Now, planners are seeking locations that provide experiences that make the event memorable while maintaining an authentic experience. We are fortunate that Puerto Rico delivers that charge.”

Group experiences include trips to Old San Juan, the Bacardi Rum Factory, El Yunque Rainforest, the bio bay and zip lining, haciendas and private islands, among other offerings. Groups range from multinational companies, to medical, educational conferences and sporting events.

Segarra said that for November there are 30 groups confirmed for a total of 12,998 room nights with an impact of $7.2 million in direct spending for the benefit of the tourism industry.  He mentioned the National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference 2014, the Renewable Energy Latin American & Caribbean Conference & Exhibition (RELACCX) 2014 and the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation / Regional Association for the Americas 22nd Annual Conference.

During the month of December the Island will host 20 groups for an estimated total of 8,834 room nights and a direct expenditure of $5.0 million. Newark Museum Meeting 2014, Harland Clarke National Sales Meeting and the American Canoe Association National Paddlesports Conference are some of the groups escaping the conventional for their meetings. January is the busiest month with 46 groups generating a total of 19,062 hotel nights and a contribution of $10.6 million. Groups include the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association Travel Marketplace, the Harvard and Tufts University women swimming teams and the Oakley 2015 RetailAssault.

Meet Puerto Rico recently announced that it reached its annual goal by ensuring 409 groups and over 100,000 delegates who, in the next few years, will visit the island either for a meeting, conference, convention or incentive travel producing approximately $110 million to the local economy.

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