Puerto Vallarta: A Treasure Chest of Opportunity and Adventure
To dive or not to dive. That's one of the luxuries of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where the warm tropical ocean teems with colorful fish and giant turtles while the land attractions offer plenty of space for work and play.
Nested between the Sierra Madre Mountains and the Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta has been gaining ground as incentive, as well as trade show and convention destination.
Its home state of Jalisco may be famous for tequila and Mariachi, but this beachfront town can hold its own with plenty of colonial charm, lots of new and established convention infrastructure and a friendly attitude, not to mention the ocean that's impossible to resist. One of its top assets also is accessibility thanks to several non-stop flights from U.S. cities.
Puerto Vallarta got on the convention map in a big way when it hosted the 2012 World Economic Forum on Latin America, which was inaugurated this morning by Mexico's President Felipe Calderón at the Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center. Over 900 global leaders in business and politics required a red-carpet treatment, and the destination delivered. Several high-profile events have followed and are on the books for 2013.
"One of the reasons why we're seeing an increase in our conventions is because organizers feel that it's safe here," said Laura Sauzes Ramirez, vice president of sales and marketing for Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center. "We've never experienced any issues. There are over 80 cameras that monitor high-traffic tourist areas and for specific events, local authorities provide additional security."
Opened in 2009, the convention center is able to accommodate events from 15 to 5,000 people. It offers 53,820 square feet of convention and trade show space, including 4,843 square feet of flexible meeting space upstairs that can be divided into seven rooms.