National Travel & Tourism Week

Visit McAllen is hosting a variety of special events and engaging social media activities in celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week! Here’s the line-up:

April 29, 2019
Door decals & buttons for Front Desk staff ready for delivery or pick-up from the Chamber.

May 6, 2019
Press Conference to Kick-off NTTW / Unveiling of custom designed photo-op piece 10:00 am @McAllen Convention Center – Oval Park

May 7, 2019
McAllen Greeters Welcome arriving travelers 5:00 pm @McAllen International Airport

May 11, 2019
Sunset Live helps celebrate NTTW 6:00 pm @McAllen Convention Center – Oval Park

For more information call Leigh Wooldridge at 956-682-2871

Lopez Named Interim Vice President of Visit McAllen

McAllen Chamber of Commerce President/CEO, Steve Ahlenius, has named Robert Lopez Interim Vice President of Visit McAllen. Lopez has served as the organization’s Director of Sales for seven years and has 13 years experience working in the hospitality industry. As Director of Sales, he has accounted for 73% of the total hotel room nights generated by the McAllen CVB over the last seven years, with an estimated economic impact of $73,054,182.

“We have made major strides forward in positioning McAllen as a premier destination for meetings, conventions and tournaments, and I look to continue that momentum and having a positive impact on the tourism industry,” said Lopez

Lopez is a member of the National Association of Sports Commissions where he earned his Certified Sports Event Executive accreditation and is responsible for revitalizing the sports tourism industry in McAllen. During his time as Director of Sales, McAllen hosted the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation Games of Texas and Pop Warner Southwest Regional Championships twice, for the first time in each organization’s history.

“Rob brings a keen insight and understanding of selling and booking events. He is whip smart and dynamic. The McAllen CVB is on pace to have a record year and I wanted to ensure that momentum Nancy Millar started this year continues.” Said Steve Ahlenius, President and CEO of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce.

Lopez is a McAllen native and graduate of the University of Texas-Pan American where he earned a degree in Broadcast Journalism. He is a member of the Texas Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus where he served on its board of directors in 2017.  In addition, Lopez is a Leadership McAllen graduate and a member of McAllen’s Parks & Recreation Advisory Board.

McAllen Hotels Awarded Bid from Wells Vehicle Electronics

Wells Vehicle Electronics has selected McAllen hotels to lodge a rotation of its teams from 2019 to 2020. The first team is set to arrive February 2019.


For almost two years rotations of consultants and engineers from Wells’ parent company (NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD., headquartered in Nagoya, Japan) will serve its manufacturing plant in Reynosa, Mexico, while lodging in McAllen- generating an estimated $571,230 for local businesses.


“McAllen hotels have been honored to host executives from Wells since the 80’s,” said Lisa Ramirez, Sales Manager for the McAllen Chamber of Commerce’s Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This will be the company’s largest group and longest stay with over 5,700 hotel room nights.”


Wells is a global manufacturer and supplier of advanced vehicle electronics components for automotive original equipment and replacement applications. Founded in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in 1903, and acquired by NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. in 2015, Wells operates a state-of-the-art headquarters and electronics manufacturing facility in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, a product distribution center in Centerville, Iowa, and an additional manufacturing plant in Reynosa, Mexico. It was thirty years ago that Wells broke ground in a nearly empty industrial park in Reynosa, Mexico. Today, hundreds more have joined the company. The Reynosa plant is home to state-of-the-art thermoplastic injection presses and manufacturing of end assembly engine management parts for today’s automotive, agricultural and off road vehicles segments. To learn more about Wells, please visit


“Lisa Ramirez was instrumental in helping me determine the best option for housing our teams. Her research helped me evaluate the options and move forward confidently,” said Brian Aho, Director of Manufacturing and Quality for Wells Vehicle Electronics. “Wells Vehicle Electronics is very excited about our new business growth opportunities in the McAllen region which will bring long term sustainability to our organization and employees.”


“We are delighted to have the Wells team with us here in McAllen for a longer presence, and will continue to do all we can to ensure that their time in our city is not only productive, but also enjoyable so that they become ambassadors for us when they return home,” Ramirez said.


If your organization is in need of long or short term housing, please contact the McAllen Convention & Visitors Bureau at 956-682-2871.


Brian Aho

Brian Aho, Wells Vehicle Electronics

Sales Team Attends Southwest Showcase


The Visit McAllen sales team participated in the Texas Society of Association Executives 2019 Southwest Showcase in January in an effort to promote McAllen as the premier conference destination in South Texas.


The event is designed for CEOs, meeting planners, education directors, exhibition managers and other support staff from associations, government entities and corporations. It provides them with the opportunity to receive professional development and meet with suppliers who can address their meeting and event needs in one day, at one place.


Visit McAllen along with representatives from the McAllen Convention Center had an exhibitors booth at the conference, highlighting its “I Know A Place” marketing campaign and was successful in bringing awareness to the city and the various amenities that make McAllen an ideal conference destination.


“Our message to planners is that we will help your conference be a success by offering first-class facilities, ensuring high attendance and creating a memorable experience for everyone involved,” said Robert Lopez, Director of Sales, Visit McAllen.


The team was able to connect with more than 50 planners and event organizers throughout the state and plan on attending Southwest Showcase in 2020.


To learn more about the conference and find out how you can be involved next year, contact one of the Visit McAllen sales team members at 956-682-2871.

sw showcase_candid shot

6th Annual Summer Relaxation Celebration

6th Annual Summer Relaxation Celebration

This is a reminder about our Summer Relaxation Celebration. If you want to participate, contact Leigh Wooldridge ( Space is limited, so reserve your spot soon!

6th Annual Summer Relaxation Celebration

June 13, 2019

5:00 – 7:00pm

Hiatus Spa & Retreat

Austin, Texas


Southwest Showcase Getaway Packages

We are thrilled about participating in Southwest Showcase again and have strategic giveaways for meeting planners! Interested in teaming up? Look over the themed getaway packages below, and email Leigh Wooldridge ( before  Tuesday, January 15, 2019 to reserve your sponsorship and arrange the details.


We are asking participating hotels to donate a free two-night stay during the event. We will provide tickets to the event! The packages are limited and available on a first-come-first serve basis.


MXLAN Getaway Package (event dates: July 24th-28th 2019)


Taste McAllen Getaway (event date: April 4, 2019)


Performing Arts Getaway Package (dates to correspond with a show:


Nature Getaway Package (flexible dates)


Shopping & Dinning Getaway Package (flexible dates)