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Tampa Bay-Lakeland
Business Observer Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014 7 years ago

Chile trade mission generates $9M

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Tampa Bay Export Alliance says the December trip also resulted in more than 30 solid sales leads for businesses.

TAMPA BAY — Leaders of the Tampa Bay Export Alliance, a partnership of Pinellas County Economic Development and the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., say that the latest trade mission to Chile likely generated $9 million for the local region.

Several city and county politicians led a delegation of 40 Tampa Bay business leaders to Chile from Dec. 1-5 with the goal of promoting business opportunities, education and cultural activities between Chile and the Tampa Bay region. The 14 companies participating on the trip conducted more than 100 meetings with prospective customers and several of them signed deals and sold products while on the trip.

The businesses say the results so far include an estimated $9 million in expected export sales and more than 30 sales leads.

“To say this trip was productive would be an understatement,” Rick Homans, president and CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., says in a press release. “Every participant benefited. This mission also gave us the opportunity to build more business travel between Tampa Bay and Chile with Copa Airlines. Missions like this one help us spread the word about our community on an international level, and is one way we help Copa be successful and increase the frequency of their flights to and from Tampa International Airport.”

As a result of the trade trip, tour operators and travel agents from Chile are also putting together a familiarization tour to the Tampa Bay area for early next year. The goal of the trip, which could occur as early as February, would be to give travel agents and tour operators a firsthand understanding of the Tampa Bay region as a destination so they can help their clients make travel choices.

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