HOUSTON - April 20 2016. Visit Houston, the Destination Marketing Organization- DMO for the City of Houston, and MCI Group, a key driver of innovation in global meetings, events, association and congress industries, announced today a two-year strategic partnership designed to attract more international medical meetings to Houston.

“We are excited to work in this new initiative with MCI Group, and confident that it is a step in the right direction to position Houston as the leader in a vertical market with so much potential for our city,” said Mike Waterman, President of Visit Houston.

Home to the world’s largest medical complex, the Texas Medical Center, Houston intends through this alliance to ‘build bridges’ between its medical community and international medical associations, becoming a global premier meetings destination.

MCI will strengthen its presence in the Texas Medical Center which comprises 56 renowned medical institutions including The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Texas Children’s Hospital among others, as well as other member institutions, including academic, research and medical schools. The collaboration will open opportunities for shared knowledge and education for both organizations through hosting conventions, meetings, and educational activities.  

“MCI has been active in the US medical market for many years and this alliance will give us an opportunity to strengthen our foothold in that sector”, declared Richard Torriani, Chief Operating Officer Americas for the MCI Group. “We are excited to see the affirmative impact of this union on our medical clients and professionals, current and future.”
Visit Houston is an active partner of BestCities Global Alliance, a unique and innovative partnership among eleven top convention cities including Berlin, Bogotá, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Houston, Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo and Vancouver. 

Commenting on the announcement, Paul Vallee, Managing Director, Best Cities Global Alliance said: “This exciting partnership further reinforces Houston’s excellent reputation as a world leading destination for medical conferences and events. By working together, sharing knowledge, leveraging each other’s networks and building partnership with like-minded organizations, BestCities members are setting a standard of excellence that creates a tangible legacy and added value for its clients.” 

As one of the top convention cities, Houston is equipped with all the facilities and infrastructure required for any type of meeting or convention: the airport services 70 destinations worldwide, there is an outstanding variety of convention venues, more than 77,000 hotel rooms, a diverse and lively dining scene and world-class shopping.

“Houston is a cosmopolitan city with many international ties, and this strategic alliance with a leading global PCO and AMC in the meetings industry will solidify our presence in key international markets,” said Daniel Palomo, Director of Global Sales for Visit Houston.

The new partnership between Visit Houston and MCI Group is ready to welcome medical meetings of all sizes, visit us at www.visithouston.com/meetings.

Media Contacts:
Visit Houston                                                                        MCI Group                 
Daniel Palomo – dpalomo@visithouston.com           Sylvia Andre – Sylvia.andre@mci-group.com
Celia Morales – cmorales@visithouston.com                        

About Houston First Corporation/ Visit Houston: Houston First Corporation operates the city's finest convention and arts facilities to position Houston as a world-class destination. In 2014, Houston First and Visit Houston aligned their operations to create a single clear voice representing the city. Houston First owns the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel and manages more than 10 city-owned buildings, plazas and parking facilities. Properties include the George R. Brown Convention Center, Miller Outdoor Theatre, Wortham Center and Jones Hall for the Performing Arts. For more information, visit HoustonFirst.com and VisitHouston.com.

About MCI Group: MCI is a global leader in engaging and activating audiences.  Since 1987 we have been driving innovation in events and production, meetings, incentives, congresses and association and community management.  Through our creative, consulting, analytics, sustainability and digital services, MCI helps multinational companies and international associations enhance their organizational performance, grow globally, energise communities and drive their business results.  MCI is an independently owned company with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.  Our 1,800 professionals in 60 cities and 31 countries help clients across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, India, the Middle East and Africa.  Find out more at www.mci-group.com.