ASUTIL Secretary General José Luis Donagaray confirms to The Latin America Report that the newly-combined event of both ASUTIL and IAADFS will stay in Orlando, but will be held at a different hotel, the name which will be revealed in the coming weeks.
In the past year there has been much discussion over moving the event from Orlando, and even out of the U.S. With many Latins unable to get direct flights to Orlando, and the U.S. President continuing to threaten to tighten entry requirements (not to mention his recent reported slurs against El Salvador, Haiti and Africa) organizers had considered future locations such as Panama, Mexico and Las Vegas.
Donagaray explains that Las Vegas was studied as a potential venue, however, costs were prohibitive, and it would mean a longer and pricier flight for Latin attendees. “We did a lot of studies,” on various hotels and locations, he said.
However, Donagaray insists that the Summit of the Americas show is not guaranteed to stay in Orlando, as other possibilities continue to be examined. He said in three years a new hotel and conference facility will be built in Panama, which could be a potential new venue as early as 2022. “We need to give people at least three years advance notice of a venue move because of the complexity of moving the stands,” he told The Latin America Report. While Miami is also slated to have a new hotel/conference complex built in three years that could accommodate the show, Donagaray says it’s an unlikely location. “If the event was held in Miami many people would have meetings in local offices and not at the show,” he explains. “That is not good for the show.”
Guest speakers and networking time, a staple of previous ASUTIL conferences, will be incorporated into the Summit of the Americas, says Donagaray. Next year, there is also a possibility of a pool party where attendees can get to know each other in a less formal setting, he says.