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Front Page » Top Stories » Hub Role Drives Miami International Airports Growing International Share

Hub Role Drives Miami International Airports Growing International Share

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Written by on August 17, 2000

By Candice Ventra
Two major medical associations will hold national conventions in Miami-Dade County and pump about $35 million into the local economy during the next decade, according to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Meetings of the Society for Neuroscience in 2005 and the American Academy of Dermatology in 2010 are expected to attract a total of 40,000 participants, says William Talbert, president & CEO for bureau.

This is the third time the neuroscience group has chosen Greater Miami. It met here in 1994 and 1999.

"That’s a significant rebooking of a very large convention. It’s the largest booking we’ve had over the past several years, " said Mr. Talbert.

In 1999, the society brought about 20,000 people into the area with an impact of about $18.5 million, said Bill Anderson, director of planning and research for the visitors bureau.

Mr. Talbert said Miami beat out destinations such as Orlando and Washington, DC, to host the neuroscience conference from Nov. 12-17, 2005, at the Miami Beach Convention Center. It is expected to draw about 25,000 doctors and pharmaceutical professionals who will spend about $21 million, he said.

In addition, the American Academy of Dermatology plans to gather Feb. 27-March 2, 2010, at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

That meeting is expected to draw more than 15,000 medical professionals, educators and researchers. The four-day convention could have an impact of more than $14.6 million.

"We were delighted with our site visit, which highlighted the abundance of new and expanded hotels, meeting space and entertainment options," said Cheryl K. Nordstedt, the academy’s interim executive director. "It was obvious that Miami has evolved into a destination that can comfortably meet our convention needs."

Philadelphia, Orlando and Washington, Mr. Talbert said, were vying to host the dermatology group’s convention.

Medical conventions carry among the heaviest economic impacts because their participants tend to have high disposable incomes, Mr. Anderson said.

The American Society of Nephrology met here in November and brought $9.5 million to the economy. About 11,600 professionals attended that meeting, Mr. Anderson said.

Economic impact is determined by considering factors including the number of attendees using hotel rooms, room-to-person ratio, length of a convention and the average daily expenditure, he said.

Mr. Talbert said more than 40 hotels, including the four-star Loews Miami Beach, will be used for accommodations and events related to the neuroscience and dermatology conventions.

Tourism officials attribute both bookings in part to the number of large upscale hotels that have opened or are under construction here.

Additional high-end hotels such as the Mandarin Oriental and the J.W. Marriott, Mr. Talbert said, are to open this fall. And the Ritz Carlton Coconut Grove and the Ritz Carlton Miami Beach will be completed in 2001.

"Conventions don’t come here if the destination is not good," Mr. Talbert .

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