Conference & Meetings World September 2021 | Page 33

US Report

Miami heat : hotel activity hots up

uring the pandemic the Greater Miami CVB has been helping rally the local hospitality community helping it adhere closely to the Greater Miami Health & Safety Destination Pledge . This included implementing the strictest social distancing guidelines and highest health and safety measures to ensure peace of mind to visitors and residents alike .
The City of Miami Beach also developed an MB Standard program , which provided decals to businesses adhering to specific guidelines and the CVB has also been connecting clients through virtual familiarisations and workshops .
Sindy Bohada , convention sales manager at Greater Miami CVB , describes a situation that appears to be opening up to business .
“ While safety measures have loosened on a state level , we remain in compliance with the CDC and city standards . We are open for business and remind our visitors to travel and meet responsibly .” Would-be travellers can visit miamiandmiamibeach . com / travelguidelines for the latest travel guidelines .
And what of current visitor numbers compared with 2020 and 2019 ?
“ We don ’ t have projections for 2021 . Covid has made everything unpredictable . That said , Q1 2021 was down from 2019 and 2020 but I anticipate Q2 2021 to be on par with 2019 . Our airport and hotels are as full right now as they were two years ago at the same time ( which is being driven by a stronger than usual domestic market ),” says Bohada .
“ We don ’ t know how the situation in European feeder markets will affect tourism so we are in limbo in that regard . One month ago , I was saying we should be seeing a ‘ second wave ’ of tourism as European markets started travelling again but Covid variants [ could ] potentially affect travel in the upcoming months .”
In terms of recent investments in the events infrastructure , The Miami Beach Convention Center ( MBCC ) has completed a $ 620m transformation , including introducing free Wi-Fi . The MBCC achieved LEED Silver Certification during the expansion .
The significant investments mean the MBCC will be able to welcome over 35,000 visitors and fintech industry leaders for the largest Bitcoin event in the history of cryptocurrency , Bitcoin 2022 , from 6-9 April , 2022 . Other big events in the coming months include Art Basel Miami Beach and the Miami International Boat Show .
The MBCC was also awarded GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation , supporting
Above : Sindy Bohada
Visit the website : www . Miami Meetings . com comprehensive cleaning and disinfection protocols with third-party validation . The convention center boasts over 1.4 million sq . ft . ( 130,000sqm ) of flexible meeting and event space and has nine acres of surrounding public green space .
The Center has also introduced Health Ambassadors to help facilitate the entire event planning process and reinforce CDC recommended practices , including Covid testing .
Planners can get CVB help in making the most of Miami ’ s booking incentives , with rebates offered for any new group of 25 rooms on peak booking before December 2021 .
So , which areas / industry verticals will the CVB be targeting most as the industry rebounds ?
Bohada says the idea is “ to capture a fair share in tech , fintech , medical pharma , and incentive business , but we are grateful for all future opportunities ”.
Miami is a major conference destination , with hotels for all budgets and ample meeting , convention , and trade show options . Bohada adds that Miami also provides easy accessibility with over 400 + flights daily through Miami International Airport – the first airport in Florida and second in the US to receive health accreditation from Airports Council International ( ACI ) World .
“ When it comes to mixing business with pleasure , no city does it quite like Miami . For international organisers looking beyond conference dates - great weather , beaches , over 1.1 million acres of outdoors to explore , eclectic dining options , and thriving cultural scene throughout Miami ’ s unique neighbourhoods are only some of Miami ’ s endless possibilities for entertainment and exploration ,” Bohada says .
She believes people are ready to meet in person and notes the bureau ’ s hotel pipeline report shows that before the end of 2022 , 25 new hotel openings will provide around 4,000 extra rooms , with a further 22 projects already envisaged and set to offer a further 4,000 rooms in the area by the end of 2025 .