Exciting MICE news from Central America this week, with the announcement that the Costa Rica Convention Centre (CRCC) has opened for business.

Described as a “futuristic and sustainable15,600-square-metre space located just 10km away from the capital city of San José”, the CRCC is Costa Rica’s very first purpose-built convention centre.

The CRCC puts its eco-friendly credentials front and centre of the development, and uses a range of green tech such as roof-top solar panels, water treatment plants, energy-efficient air conditioning, internal and external LED lighting and naturally lit interior spaces – all incorporated into a bioclimatic and environmentally sustainable architecture.

The $35 million project – which can handle more than 6,500 guests across with 4,400 square metres of dedicated exhibition space – features a main hall (divisible into three sections); six conference rooms; six meeting rooms; large foyers and pre-event areas; a business centre and a VIP lounge. This signifies the importance of the MICE market to the nation, who are determined to be seen as big player in the industry.

Mauricio Ventura, Costa Rica’s minister of tourism, said: “The new Convention Centre is what we needed to help us put the country firmly on the map of the international association events market, where success relies on the quality of the facilities and services offered.”

The CRCC was constructed as part of a plan drawn up by the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) to maximise their efforts over the last three years in order to raise its profile on the MICE scene by heavily increasing its presence at international trade fairs and shows. The ICT also created the ‘Ambassadors Programme’, a drive to get institutions and associations involved in bringing events to the country.

According to Mr. Ventura, this strategy has put Costa Rica in the 53rd place among 200 countries in the 2017 International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) world ranking. Surely this move will bump them up at least a dew notches.

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