New GHCVB leader to focus on Houston's strengths

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Today’s Chronicle runs an L.M. Sixel Q & A with the GHCVB’s new leader, Greg Ortale. Here’s an excerpt:

What I really want to do is to tie our convention solicitations with the economic demographics of the city.

We’re the energy capital so it makes sense to go after the energy conventions.

It’s the same with the Medical Center.

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of meetings.

Secondly, because we are a global city I want to go after international meetings and symposia and conferences. Why shouldn’t the international AIDS conference be in Houston?

The third is really to position Houston as an international tourist destination.

Q: Are you building relationships with people in the Medical Center and NASA and the engineering industries who have the ties to bring conventions and meetings to Houston?

A: Some of them already exist and some are yet to be built. We’re moving in that direction.

He also says there aren’t enough hotel rooms in downtown for mid-range conventions that require between 2,500 and 5,000 rooms. Hopefully that’s not an invitation for a government entity to build a hotel…again.

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Anne Linehan is a co-founder of blogHOUSTON.