ICCA Congress unaffected by dengue epidemic

The 51st International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) World Congress kicked off in San Juan, Puerto Rico over the weekend, attracting 715 delegates.

Just two delegates cancelled due to fears over the national dengue fever epidemic that was declared in Puerto Rico last week.

Taking place at The Puerto Rico Convention Center, delegates are taking part in a five-day programme, which includes business exchanges, educational sessions, networking and social events.

Attendees include destination representatives, convention bureaus, PCOs and other suppliers to the association meetings industry from 64 countries, with 185 first-time attendees.

Last year’s congress in Leipzig, Germany was a record-breaking year, attracting 1,023 delegates.

The highest attendance for the annual event in the Americas region was in Victoria, Canada in 2008, which attracted 734 attendees.

ICCA CEO Martin Sirk said: "Attendance is close to previous events in the Americas, although we lost some potential members due to the event’s close proximity to IMEX America and we were unable to change the dates.

"We now have the dates for IMEX America through to 2012 and we know the gap will be at least two and a half weeks in the future."

The event’s official opening and welcome took place last night (21 October) at The Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico in Old San Juan where delegates enjoyed a typical Patron Saint’s festival of folkloric music and dance.

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