The 77th annual SIT Technical Conference will be held in the USA this year. Registration is open. The Spousal / Guest Program is now available but the Detailed Program and List of Papers will only be available later. This year's meeting will be hosted by the US Sugar Corporation which operates the Clewiston sugarcane factory and refinery. The factory is expected to be operating at the time of the visit as well as the refinery.
Bonita Springs is on Florida's southern gulf coast about half way between Fort Meyers and Naples. It is very much a resort destination. The weather in March is usually still pleasant with daytime temperatures hovering around the upper 20's centigrade [early 80's fahrenheit] and nighttime still in the 20's [upper 60's].
Clewiston, just to the south of Lake Okeechobee, is about 70 miles to the east of Bonita Springs.
The Meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa located a bit north of Bonita Springs and right down on Estero Bay, an estuarial brackish bay of 4000 ha [10,000 acres] which is separated from the Gulf of Mexico by a chain of barrier islands. You can find out more about the hotel at its website. This year you can book the hotel online at a dedicated web page created by the hotel or, if you prefer, you can phone the hotel on +1 888-421-1442 quoting reference 'Sugar Industry Technologists'. The hotel will not accept email applications. The deadline for room booking is March 5 2018 but you are advised to book early as there are limited rooms reserved for SIT. The cost is $339.00 per night whether single or double occupancy.
The USA has strict entry rules which must be followed carefully. Citizens of some countries can enter on a visa waiver programme provided they have completed the 'ESTA' process. All others must be in possession of a valid visa. You can find out more about visa requirements at the government's visa website.
Air travel is clearly the easiest way to get to southern Florida and you have a range of international airports to choose from. Flying internally [and internationally from Canada], the closest airport is Fort Meyers.
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The guest program showcases two quite different aspects of Southern Florida :
|Day 1||Cruising Naples|
|Today's visit is to Naples and a cruise with lunch on board the Naples Princess, a 32 metre cabin cruiser licensed for up to 149 passengers. As always there will be a chance to shop before returning to Bonita Springs.|
|Day 2||19th Century Winter Estates|
|Today, the visit is to the winter estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford in Fort Meyers. The two estates, side by side, comprise 20 acres of historical buildings, historic gardens and a museum. The Edison Ford Museum has hundreds of inventions, artifacts and special exhibits.|