The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has announced that it is changing the location of its annual Global Summit from Puerto Rico to Cancun. A “major event” will be held in San Juan later this year, the organization said.
“WTTC’s mission is to promote sustainable growth for the Travel & Tourism sector globally, so it has decided to change the location of the Global Summit given what is best for Puerto Rico at this time,” the organization said in a written statement. “The financial resources that had been set aside will instead be focused on impactful, consumer-facing campaigns and marketing efforts that strongly promote Puerto Rico’s ‘open for tourism’ message and drive immediate visitor numbers to the island.”
Earlier this month, a series of earthquakes struck Puerto Rico in the island’s southern region. Heavy impacts at the time were limited to that area, with the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, the San Juan Cruise Port, the Ponce Cruise Port and Airport, the Puerto Rico Convention Center, and attractions and hotels in the island’s northern region, including around San Juan, remaining open. Since then a number of additional earthquakes have occurred, most recently a 4.6 magnitude earthquake that struck approximately 47 miles northwest of San Antonio, Puerto Rico, on January 29, and a 7.7 magnitude earthquake centered in the Caribbean Sea between Cuba, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands that hit the afternoon of January 28.
Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of WTTC, said, “WTTC remains strongly committed to supporting Puerto Rico’s amazing comeback story as seen in their record-breaking year in tourism last year. Although the Island was ready to welcome us with open arms this April, despite the recent seismic activity in the southern region, reallocating resources to continue this great momentum is the right thing to do in order to further boost tourism. We are looking forward to hosting an event in Puerto Rico later this year.”
“This switch to Cancun will enable us to host a Global Summit focused on the opportunities and challenges facing our sector in 2020 and beyond, which will help to grow tourism further. The 20th Global Summit will benefit and showcase not only Mexico, but the wider regions of the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean.”
The WTTC Summit will be held in Cancun, Mexico, from April 21 to 23, with the dates for the upcoming official WTTC event in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to be announced in the near future.