The Sister Cities International conference was held in San Antonio July 11-13. More than 600 delegates from 30 countries attended the conference. By comparison, Jacksonville, Florida drew 180 delegates in 2012, so there was a 320% increase for the San Antonio conference.
Our International Relations Office coordinated the visits of nine official delegations, including delegations from six of our existing sister cities: Monterrey and Guadalajara, Mexico; Gwangju, South Korea; Kumamoto, Japan; and Chennai, India, and Wuxi, China.
A total of five mayors led these delegations, marking the first time in San Antonio history that multiple sister city mayors have been here at the same time. Mayor Castro and many members of our City Council played a very prominent role, hosting numerous events and meeting with each visiting mayor independently.
The City and its community partners hosted events to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our relationship with Kumamoto and the 60th anniversary of our relationship with Monterrey. In fact, we were sister cities with Monterrey three years before the Sister Cities organization was created by President Eisenhower in 1956.
Using the multiplier that the Convention and Visitors Bureau uses to measure the economic impact of visitors, the conference generated more than $500,000 for the local community.