Special Meeting Small
Pictured L to R: Outgoing chair Jim Mills; Incoming chair Alex Brennan-Martin; president and CEO Greg Ortale. Click image to download high res version.

HOUSTON (Feb. 29, 2012)--The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) reflected on the last six months of 2011 and outlined its strategy for success in the year ahead at a meeting of its membership on Friday. The special membership meeting was held to report on the six-month adjustment period that ended in December as the GHCVB transitions to a calendar fiscal year.

Between July 1 and December 31, 2011, the GHCVB's national convention sales team booked 133 groups totaling 156,000 room nights-104 percent of goal--representing more than $145 million in future direct expenditures. Key conventions booked include:

  • Starbucks Global Partner Conference (October 2012): 23,000 room nights; 10,500 attendees
  • NBA All-Star Game (February 2013): 26,000 room nights; 20,000 attendees
  • American Association of Critical Care Nurses (2017): 17,000 room nights; 7,500 attendees

Also during the six-month timeframe, Houston was accepted into the BestCities Global Partner Alliance-joining an elite group of partner cities including Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Melbourne, Singapore, Vancouver and Berlin. This allows the GHCVB to share leads for convention business and participate in international promotion.

The GHCVB launched a new and improved VisitHouston.com and commissioned a study to determine the power of the site. The study determined that more than 50,000 trips (3.7 days per trip) are generated annually by VisitHouston.com, with a return on investment of more than $72 million for the site.

Looking to the Future
The goal is to book 650,000 room nights during the 2012 fiscal year, comprised of:

  • 550,000 national meeting room nights
  • 80,000 international meeting room nights
  • 20,000 leisure room nights


GHCVB Leadership


Jim Mills, general manager of the Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa, completed his term as the longest serving chairman of the GHCVB. He plans to continue promoting Houston from a more behind-the-scenes role and encouraged all members in attendance to support the city in the same way.

Incoming chair Alex Brennan-Martin, of Brennan's of Houston, plans to continue Mills' commitment to open communication, transparency and accountability. He described his chairmanship as coming "full circle," referring to his long relationship with the GHCVB and Houston. Click here for a complete list of the GHCVB Board of Directors.