Destinations

San Antonio Is Big on Events, and There’s Plenty More To Come


RiverWalk area in San Antonio

Skift Take

This Texas city's rich history and culture surprises many attendees. New hotels, an Alamo visitor center, and more are all being developed with groups in mind. 

During Cvent Connect, the annual customer gathering and user conference, San Antonio took the spotlight. Welcome signs and billboards were nice touches and made attendees feel welcome throughout the city. Many attendees were visiting the city for Cvent Connect for the first time.

Meetings Are Key to San Antonio

This was the first time Cvent Connect was held outside Las Vegas. The Henry B. González Convention Center was the hub of activity.

Cvent estimated the direct economic impact on San Antonio to be more than $7.1 million. Marc Anderson, president and CEO of Visit San Antonio, said the 4,000 in attendance book an estimated $6 billion worth of meetings business annually.

Last year, San Antonio hosted 613 meetings with 533,322 attendees. The forecasted number of meetings for this year is 629, with 544,307 attendees, according to Visit San Antonio.

Significant Product Updates

Several hotel projects are underway that will change the San Antonio landscape.

The InterContinental San Antonio is opening this summer on the Riverwalk. It will offer 390 rooms with 20 suites and 18,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. It is less than a mile from the convention center.

The 347-room Kimpton Santo Hotel is set to open late this year. It comprises several 19th-century German-English schoolhouse buildings, which have been preserved and incorporated into the hotel’s design. It also has more than 13,000 square feet of event space, including two ballrooms and an outdoor atrium.

Plaza San Antonio Hotel & Spa opened in January. It features 253 guest rooms and 21,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 6,000-square-foot ballroom.

Another new hotel is under construction, The Monarch San Antonio, which opens in early 2026. This boutique hotel will have 200 rooms and more than 10,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. 

It is located adjacent to the convention center in the Hemisfair District, which was home to the 1968 World’s Fair. The Hemisfair District is being redeveloped in phases, with Phase II opening last year. The highlight is an expansive event lawn that can host 10,000-15,000 people for large gatherings.

The Gunter Hotel is undergoing a $45 million renovation that is slated to be finished in December. The hotel was built in 1909 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One of its guestrooms is where famed blues musician Robert Johnson recorded an album. There is 20,000 sq. ft. of meeting space here.

Airport and Attraction Expansions

The San Antonio metro area’s population is growing and is projected to reach the top 4 million by 2050. 

More than 10 million passengers, an average of 27,000 per day, fly in and out of the San Antonio International Airport annually. In the next 20 years, that number will reach more than 15 million passengers annually. 

To accommodate this growth, the airport is getting a new terminal set to be completed in 2028. In addition, its existing Terminal A is being renovated, and the airfield has been upgraded.

A new Alamo Visitor Center and Museum is also under construction, and a 2027 grand opening is planned.

The San Antonio Zoo is undergoing an $80 million expansion, including an event center slated to open in 2025.

In other San Antonio news, Mario Bass, COO at Visit Orlando, was named Visit San Antonio’s executive VP and chief strategy officer, a newly formed position. In addition, Tyler Orwig has been promoted to senior VP of group sales.

Photo credit: Visit San Antonio / Visit San Antonio