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June 29, 2015

On Location at the Inaugural Latin America Meeting & Incentive Travel Exchange

The inaugural Latin America Meeting & Incentive Travel Exchange wrapped up this weekend at the Real InterContinental in San Jose, Costa Rica. LAMITE was developed when Questex LLC, organizers of the flagship Incentive Travel Exchange and parent company of International Meetings Review, realized the growing strength of the Latin American MICE market.

Fifty suppliers from around the world came to meet with 50 Latin America-based meeting planners and incentive buyers for one-to-one appointments in private, luxury suites.

Buyers came in a day early for a pre-event FAM trip and the event opened unofficially with a casual reception sponsored by Event Partner IHG. The buyers then attended a pre-fam tour to the Rainforest Adventures Costa Rica Pacific, courtesy of event sponsor ACTÚA DMC.

While buyers toured the rainforest via aerial gondolas, suppliers arrived on site in San Jose. The official opening reception, sponsored by the Costa Rica Hotel Association and the Costa Rica Tourism Board, took place Thursday evening and was opened with a welcome from Costa Rica’s Minister of Tourism - Mauricio Ventura Aragón.

Buyers represented clients from a cross-section of industries (pharma, auto, finance, and medical), who book global and long haul programs including India tourism and VisitScotland. Additionally these buyers were looking for local programs through Costa Rica, Panama and Peru of which many had suppliers in attendance. 

Aruba Convention Bureau sponsored the first breakfast, highlighting Aruba as an incentive destination for Latin American buyers with easy flight access. The day then went into full appointment mode with more than seven hours of one-to-one meetings throughout the day.

Costa Rica Convention Bureau sponsored the lunch, which highlighted the region’s growth and economic development that is driving investment. Costa Rica is promoting itself as a premier destination for both major conventions and small incentives.

Cruise lines played a pivotal role in the event with participating suppliers from Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.

The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) had a strong presence at the show, with more than 25 members from seven countries including Jose Ferreras, regional director of sponsorships LATAM and Managing Director for MICE Media LATAN, and former SITEGLOBAL President Alejandro Verzoub.

The evening was then capped off with a Dine-a-Round activity on Avenida Escazú, sponsored by Enjoy Hotel Group and ACTÚA DMC, with shopping, crafts and a breakout of the group for two dining options- L’Ile de France and La Divinia Comida.

LAMITE 2015 rounded out the last day with a breakfast sponsored by Maui Jim, and nearly an additional five hours of one-to-one meetings, totaling 1,075 one-to-ones over the course of the two days.

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