42 % of tourists who arrived in Barcelona in 2010 did so for professional reasons, the year in which congress, meeting and convention tourism had an economic impact of 1,326 million euros in the city, which reinforces its ranking in the top 5 European urban destinations, owing to the record number of tourists and overnight stays achieved last year.

According to the Barcelona Tourism consortium, the city hosted last year 2,138 professional meetings with 616,833 delegates, figures that mean a growth of 15 % and 7 % respectively, boosted by the recovery of the business convention sector, representing a return to levels of activity of 2007, prior to the credit crunch.

The conventions and incentives sector recorded a rise of 18.8 %, the delegates attending this sort of events increased by nearly 40 % last year, whereas conference attendees decreased 11.7 %.

Hotels are still the ultimate place to hold these events and attract 70.7 %, followed by convention centres and private auditoriums.

This year, among the most important events to be held in Barcelona are the Mobile World Congress 2011, with 63,000 delegates, last February; the 1st Congress of CE-ORL-HNS, with 2,500 delegates, in July; the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) with 2,000 delegates, held in the same month; the International Exhibition of Textile Machinery (ITMA), with 100,000 delegates, in September; the V Southern European Veterinary Conference which gathered 7,000 delegates in October and the 2011 edition of EIBTM, last month, which gathered 12,000 delegates.

The main source markets in this sector are the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and Israel.


Host of the Mobile World Congress for seven years

GSMA, organizer of the Mobile World Congress, has chosen Barcelona to host the congress for seven consecutive years, from 2012 to 2018, both inclusive, as well as hosting a research centre for mobile technologies and a cultural festival on new technologies. The seven editions will make Barcelona 3,500 million euros and will place Catalonia at the forefront of innovation.

Despite a lack of direct connections, the Catalan capital’s experience in organizing events, fairs and congresses, its infrastructures, hotel facilities, transport network and model of public-private collaboration  was what prevailed. Confirmation of the event, in part, is in recognition of the Fira de Barcelona, organizer and host of the event since 2006.


Forces of fate

Barcelona has four conference centres that enables it to hold both small and large events: two in Fira de Barcelona (Fira Montjuic and Fira Gran Vía, the latter with practically unlimited capacity), Barcelona’s International Convention Centre (CCIB), with a capacity for 15,000 people and the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya, which can hold up to 3,000 people. It also has several hotels which have a capacity for up to 1,000 people such as Hesperia Tower, Arts, W, Hilton Diagonal Mar, Fira Palace and Juan Carlos I, Princesa Sofia, among others.

All in all there are 280,000 square metres of covered surface area for exhibitions and a capacity to accommodate close to 700,000 congress delegates. Another of its attractions as opposed to other competing cities is the amount of unique venues to hold receptions, gala dinners or parties in different environments, whether historical or modern. The sea also offers the opportunity to carry out water-related activities for incentive groups, such as yacht races.

Source: Especial Ferias y Congresos 2012 - Hosteltur



posted by flytobarcelona.org