Destination looks to regain weddings and meetings-conferences market share as restrictions lift and new International Convention Center opens in December
The Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende started its reopening process on July 15 and has proceeded with the recovery of its economy slowly and carefully and in line with recommendations by local and international health and wellness authorities. With local hotels already able to book up to 50 percent of available rooms and 37 non-stop flights per week arriving from the U.S. to Guanajuato’s international airport (BJX), which serves San Miguel de Allende, the city is now looking to regain its footing in the business and romance travel markets.
A key part of this work will be the opening of a new International Convention Center (CCI) in December. The new conference center will provide 34,000 sq.ft. (3,200 square meters) of meeting and event space with a capacity for 1,400 people, further increasing San Miguel de Allende’s offer to the business travel and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions/MICE markets.
San Miguel de Allende’s MICE infrastructure is world class, anchored by its current convention center, La Casona, which offers almost 17,000 sq.ft. of flexible indoor function space and a maximum capacity of 800 people. The destination is also home to 165 hotels, of which 70 are well prepared for the meetings and conventions experience. Five international chains are set to further increase capacity over the next two years.
Event with a maximum of 60 people can take place currently, but the city expects its event spaces to be a big visitor draw, particularly for weddings, once COVID-19 restrictions on crowd sizes are lifted.
The weddings market is of great importance to the colonial city. With cobblestone streets and romantic architecture, San Miguel de Allende brings both Old World flair and the latest in international nuptial trends to couples’ special day. In 2019, 830 couples, of whom 70 percent were foreign, were wed in the city. This year, 300 weddings have been canceled and another 300 postponed until 2021, according to the San Miguel de Allende Tourism Board.
As of August, Guanajuato’s international airport (BJX), which serves San Miguel de Allende, is receiving 175 flights from the U.S. per month. This includes 68 flights from Dallas (DFW); 60 from Houston (IAH); 13 from Los Angeles (LAX); 17 from Chicago (MDW and ORD); nine from Oakland (OAK); four from San Jose (SJC); and four from Sacramento, Calif. (SMF).
The San Miguel de Allende Tourism Board will be hosting a virtual presentation on the latest information regarding the city’s reopening and the future of its meeting and incentives offering on Sept. 29 at 2 PM EST. To learn more or register, click here.
San Miguel de Allende is located in the far eastern part of Guanajuato, Mexico. A part of the Bajío region, the city lies 170 miles from Mexico City, and 60 miles from the state capital of Guanajuato. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated the Protective town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco as a World Heritage Site in 2008. The World Heritage Site is highlighted by a core zone of 43 hectares in San Miguel de Allende’s well-preserved historic center, filled with buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. For more info, visit visitsanmiguel.com