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The Advantage Travel Partnership has announced that its 2024 flagship annual industry conference will be hosted in Mexico, selected as an opportunity to showcase the destination as a market that is highly relevant to leisure and business travel.
With British holiday makers flocking to Mexico, a recent Advantage survey revealed it is one of the top three long haul destinations for UK travellers for 2024. Mexico, with its magnificent beaches, UNESCO World Heritage Cites and vibrant cities, has become one of the most popular global destinations for tourists. The capacity and tourism infrastructure of its cities also makes it a premium MICE destination, as business travellers can enjoy the destination whilst attending meetings and conventions.
The three-night event will be hosted from 15th to 18th May 2024 at the 5-star Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort and Spa, in partnership with the Palladium Hotel Group. The resort, located on the Costa Mujeres beach, has an extensive range of facilities including three pools, a state-of-the-art spa and seven à la carte restaurants. All conference delegates will be hosted in the resort’s junior suites.
Mexico has been chosen for the conference given its prominence as a key destination for both leisure and business travellers. Costa Mujeres is highly regarded as a bucket-list destination, and Mexico is generally seen as an important and growing business travel destination, attracting annually nearly half a million business trips.
Delegates will arrive on Wednesday 15th May and enjoy a three-day programme of events that will include a blend of insightful business sessions and social activities. The programme will incorporate a wide range of relevant and inspirational keynote speakers, alongside dedicated business travel and leisure travel content relevant to both sectors.
Saturday 18th May will be a day devoted to delegates participating in a ‘giving back’ activity or taking part in an environmental project. Delegates will also be able to opt to stay an additional night and depart on the Sunday giving them the opportunity to either enjoy all that the destination has to offer or spend further time working on local projects with a positive impact.
Julia Lo Bue-Said, CEO, Advantage Travel Partnership, said: “The power of travel lies in its ability to create positive change, fostering cultural understanding, promoting peace and inspiring communities worldwide, and at Advantage we want our annual conference to reflect all of this and more.
“For the first time, the conference will be a global event for our global partners and members. Our members are facilitators of travel, drivers of progress, contributing to a more compassionate, interconnected, and sustainable global society, and during our time together in Mexico we very much intend to focus on these key themes.
“We wanted to be ambitious about where we host delegates in 2024 and felt that it was time to take the conference long-haul again, after staging it in short-haul destinations since 2018. “Mexico met all our criteria and is a destination that our members will be excited to visit. It’s a country thriving with unique culture and history and has the highest level of tourism in Latin America, giving visitors vast opportunities to explore or indulger in one of its many unique resorts rights on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific Ocean. It’s also a growing business travel destination, one that has recovered well post-pandemic and is set to grow even further.”
As the Partnership announced at its annual conference in Benidorm in May last year, the 2024 conference will have a strong emphasis on the positive impacts of tourism and ‘giving back’.
Lo Bue-Said, continued: “We made a commitment last year that our annual flagship conferences going forward will have a significant bias to tourism that has a positive impact and this will be the case when we meet in Mexico. As well as all the usual thought-provoking business sessions, workshops and networking opportunities, delegates will also have time to participate in local projects. The event will also incorporate all aspects of our 8-point sustainability pledge, that we announced at last year’s conference.
“As we get into the more detailed planning stages of the event, we will be working with a number of our supplier partners who have operations locally to ensure we can provide a host of activities that will give delegates a greater insight to the work that is taking place across the region to help the environment or the ability to spend time with locals, working on special projects.”
Steven Esom, Chairman of The Advantage Travel Partnership, added: “In true Advantage style, the decision to take the conference to Mexico is both bold and progressive. With the area of sustainability getting, quite rightly, higher on every business agenda, it’s great to see Julia and the team making sure this important issue is at the centre of the Partnership’s conference plans and will play a key role in what delegates will experience whilst at the event.
“Our thanks to Palladium Hotels for their generous support in hosting our flagship event and we look forward to working with them to make it a resounding success.” Joanne Peters, Senior Business Development Manager UK & Ireland, Palladium Hotels, added: “We are over the moon to have been selected to host the Advantage 2024 conference and are so excited to be able to showcase our newest resort in Mexico, the Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa.
“Attendees will have the opportunity to take advantage of the whole resort, including seven à la carte restaurants, two show cooking restaurants and 24 bars, including the Xtra Time Sports Bar, and with Infinite Indulgence®, with everything included! There’s also the wonderful Zentropia spa, four pools, a stunning white powdery sand beach, lots of entertainment and activities to enjoy, as well as the Rafa Nadal Tennis academy.
“We know the value of when delegates can really immerse themselves in the location fully, so there will be plenty of opportunity to really get to know the resort and discover the three different brands of hotels within it: Grand Palladium, Family Selection and the TRS Coral Hotel. We feel extremely grateful that we have been given this amazing opportunity to host the Advantage conference. We can’t wait to welcome all of the team and the delegates to our beautiful resort.”
The resort opened in November 2018 and whilst a completely brand-new development, Palladium Hotel Group has maintained its ethos of sustainable tourism, executing extensive environmental studies to ensure minimal impact on the land, while maintaining the highest standard of quality at the properties.
Commenting on the choice of destination, Advantage member, Paul Hardwick, Director of Retail, Fred Olsen Travel, said: “I am thrilled Advantage is taking the event long-haul again and in Mexico they have picked a popular and thriving destination. I am particularly excited to see that they will be running events where delegates can ‘give back’ to the local community as part of the conference which is a great initiative.
James Beagrie, Managing Director, Meon Valley Travel, added: “Advantage is the conference of the year. It is memorable and supports business opportunity and relationships with a wide array of influential content and for 2024, an impressive sustainable twist. Each conference we attend gifts us something unexpected and new. South America has become a hub for foreign investment and business start-ups and as business transforms in the post Covid era, the need to keep on top of automation, innovation and supply becomes paramount. The travel ecosystems’ ability to promote sustainable recovery with all the right values and, the hospitality of Mexico as a destination will be the stuff of legend.”
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