With an investment of around 15 million dollars, the new Punta del Este Congress Centre building contract will be put out to tender in 2010.
The new centre will be built on a town property located in the area of El Jagüel, some five minutes away from the centre of Punta del Este and the town of Maldonado. The site is easily accessible by road from the airport and the port.
The centre will have a number of function rooms of varying sizes, as well as an auditorium for congresses and shows, with a seating capacity of 2,600 people and the possibility of dividing the space into smaller venue, in addition to dressing rooms, breakout rooms, meeting rooms with a capacity of up to 25 people, VIP rooms, press rooms, control rooms, administrative and service office space, a dinning room, and storage space.
Fixed and mobile stage and anterooms for product showcasing and presentations, and catering services, such coffee breaks and cocktail parties, have also been included in the design.
The building of a congress centre in Punta del Este will boost the town’s hotel occupancy rate throughout the year and, consequently, its revenues, especially when taking into account that the most important months for meetings and events are May, June, September, October and November. Uruguay has an enormous MICE potential, hosting a total of 500 events in 2008, 16% of which were international, while Punta del Este hosted 10% of the total.
According to data collected by a MICE report, Uruguay has increased its market share thanks to the opening of new hotels. Nevertheless, only two or three of them are deigned to host large international conventions.
According to the report, “the countries and towns at the top of the MICE destination ranking have at least one convention centre, as well as an exhibition complex.“ In 2006, for example, Vienna, Paris, Singapore and Barcelona hosted the largest number of events (between 100-150). San Pablo was the highest ranked South American destination (18th place), with a total of 54 events.
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