The San Diego Convention Center. Photo by Chris Stone
The San Diego Convention Center. Photo by Chris Stone

More than 60 major national meetings are scheduled to take place at the San Diego Convention Center this year, generating an economic impact of $1.1 billion for the region, according to a forecast released Thursday.

About one-third of the conventions are for medical associations, which are coveted by cities because attendees generally spend more money when they travel. The report from the San Diego Convention Center Corp., which operates the facility, estimated that more than half of the economic impact will come from medical groups.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Association of Diabetes and American Association of Orthodontists are among the groups coming to town.

“The upcoming year will be one of our strongest ever for medical meetings,” said Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe, the convention center’s president and CEO.

Medical meetings are key to San Diego’s success as a premiere meeting and convention destination,” Rippetoe said. “Our region is a hotspot for research, education and the biotech industry. In calendar year 2017, medical meetings account for 27 percent of total attendance and 53 percent of our regional impact.”

According to the report, 62 major conventions and 47 secondary events are scheduled this year, which will result in a 74 percent occupancy rate. The national average is 50 percent.

The report also projected almost 794,000 attendees, nearly 770,000 hotel room nights and $24.4 million in hotel tax revenue for the city.

—City News Service