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Medical and tech drive Houston's conference rise

Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau reports 730,000 room nights were booked in 2015

Pictured: Houston's George R Brown Convention Center

Medical, education and technology-related conferences underlined a year of huge growth for Houston in 2015.

The US city’s Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau reported that it booked 730,000 room nights for future events last year, compared to 570,000 in 2014 – an increase of 29 per cent and the largest on record.

Science, technology and engineering events are grouped into one category (STEM) by the bureau, and saw numbers leap 40 per cent from 222,000 to 312,000. Medical conferences were up by 98 per cent to 70,000 room nights, and educational more than doubled to 54,000 room nights.

A pooling of resources between the bureau and Houston First Corporation, a refurbishment of the George R Brown Convention Center and a hotel-building programme, which will see a 1,000 bedroom hotel attached to the centre open this year, has helped drive the increase, says bureau president Mike Waterman.

“We have been able to connect our enhanced physical offerings, including the updated convention center and new hotel development, with Houston's intellectual capital around medical, STEM and energy to expand our target base and attract new customers both domestically and globally,” he added.

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