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AUSTIN-This city has been named the US candidate to host a large information technology conference in 2006. The city now competes with cities in Canada and South America to be the site of the World Congress on Information Technology in five years.

The Information Technology Association of America made Austin its unanimous nominee and will submit the choice to the World Information Technology and Services Alliance. The group will select the host city in February at the 2002 World Congress in Adelaide, Australia.

The World Congress brings together leaders from business, education and government to discuss information technology issues. When last held in the US, the event drew 1,900 senior executives from 90 countries. The organizers of Austin’s nomination estimate the meeting could generate $17 million for the Austin economy.

“We won this round because of three strengths — Austin’s IT industry, Austin cultural and natural environment and Austin’s community,” says Paul Toprac, executive director of the Austin Software Council.

Austin’s bid was put together by a coalition of groups such as the software council, the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. The next step will to work with the national group to prepare the international bid.

The expansion of the Austin Convention Center and the construction of an 800-room Hilton Hotel, to open in January 2004, gives Austin the capacity to host such a gathering

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