Latest News
HomeRegional NewsEuropeThe organisers of the FITUR Congresos 2004 pre-tours bring their congress infrastructure up to date

The organisers of the FITUR Congresos 2004 pre-tours bring their congress infrastructure up to date

Business tourism refers to the flows generated by professional activities. It is an emerging segment that has undergone a growing evolution over…

Business tourism refers to the flows generated by professional activities. It is an emerging segment that has undergone a growing evolution over the past few years in Spain, regarding the number of meetings and of participants. Data provided by the International Congress and Convention Association put Spain in the second place in the world ranking of this type of tourism, which contributes to the exploitation of the available resources and as it concentrates its activity in the months of April, May, June, October and November, it minimizes the effects associated to the seasonality of holiday and leisure tourism.

Due to the high spending capacity of its practitioners and the nature of quality and prestige that these segments grant to the receptive areas, promoting the image of a city associated to professional and congress tourism, with promotion and growth of the corresponding congress infrastructure and its complementary services, contributes to its launching as a destination and it articulates itself as an important marketing strategy.

Spain enjoys an exceptional offer of facilities for the holding of trade fairs, congresses and exhibitions, which will be complemented with new openings foreseen for 2004. Within the framework of FITUR Congresos 2004, international buyers from the meetings market have the chance to see the potential of different Spanish provinces on site with an interesting programme of pre-tours where this year Cadiz, Extremadura, Gerona, La Coruna, La Rioja, Tenerife, Toledo, Vitoria and Madrid are taking part.

The province of Cadiz with the Congress Centre located in the centre of the old town and over 50 hotels with infrastructure for this type of event, is an example of the parallel development that business tourism brings with it: The 23 hotel accommodations of four and five stars in 1998 have been doubled in the present day and the province has over a hundred companies with wide experience in the organisation and welcoming of congress attendants.

In Extremadura the opening of the Congress Centres in Merida and Badajoz in 2004 gives both cities emblematic centres for cultural use and ensures the future holding of this type of events with the best technical and human possibilities, amongst which are IFEBA and FEVAL, the Exhibition Institution of Badajoz and Extremadura, respectively.

The Gerona Convention Bureau has been backing the spreading and promotion of the image of the regions in Gerona as sites for congresses, conventions and incentive trips since its opening in 1991 and over 10 years of constant work has meant that the province and its surroundings has become one of the most attractive proposals for the holding of these events, with a direct impact on the local economy in 2002 that exceeded 3,300,000 Euros. Looking to 2004, the construction of the Congress Centre, with 12,000 square metres of surface area and holding up to 1,500 people, as well as several top class hotels that will meet the increase in the demand for accommodation that the business tourism causes should all be mentioned.

In La Coruna, the new Congress Centre that will be finished in 2004 is made up of two buildings that form an

exceptional complex. The most representative of this highly versatile proposal signed by the architects Ricardo Bofia and Cesar Portela, is the design of its roof, which when seen from the sky looks like two birds in flight.

Next March the first Congress Centre in La Rioja will open, called Riojaforum, with a contemporary look, over 25,000 square metres of surface area and areas for exhibitions and congresses, an auditorium and different offices and logistics rooms, with a layout based on functionality.

Madrid, as Spain`s capital city and the centre of the country`s economic activity, stands out due to the quality and capacity of its congress infrastructure, amongst which are two congress centres, one of them municipal and two exhibition centres, as well as a wide range of facilities to give each meeting more suitable. The Casa de Campo Exhibition Centre offers organisers versatile spaces; While the FERIA DE MADRID has ten halls, outdoor areas, 2 auditoriums and many versatile rooms where only trade fairs annually bring over three million visitors.

To organise an attractive social programme of conventions and incentive trips, Tenerife has a privileged geographical position, in addition to some landscaping peculiarities that have made it into a top-visiting place for scientists, artists and nature lovers for centuries. Some 80 associated companies linked to the congress sector are collaborating with the Tenerife Convention Bureau, and amongst its emblematic buildings, to which the South Tenerife Convention Centre will be added in 2004, the Piramide de Arona the Puerto de la Cruz Congress Centres and the Auditorium and the International Trade Fair and Congress Centre stand out, both works by the architect Santiago Calatrava.

Toledo is specialised in the holding of small and medium sized meetings, for which the Hotel Beatriz and the Monastery of San Pedro Martir, from the 16th century, offer the largest rooms at present, which in 2005 will be completed by a Congress Centre with space for 1,200 people in its main hall.

The quality of the Spanish congress centres is obvious not only due to the level of the events organised in them, but also due to their prestige in the international field. The Apex Award, with which the International Association of Congress Centres, AIPC, every year distinguishes the best congress centre in the world, was granted in 2003 to the Palacio Euskalduna in Bilbao and the top award granted by the International Congress and Convention Association, ICCA, the Best Marketing Award 2003, went to the Kursaal centre in San Sebastian.

Along with the improvement in the infrastructure necessary for the development of this tourism product, the attractions of each of the above mentioned cities contributes to their positive evolution in the business tourism, which has one of its top commercial reference points in FITUR CONGRESOS, which takes place from 26th to 27th January 2004.

SOURCE: Information provided by the Pre-tours organizers at FITUR CONGRESOS 2004 and by the Spanish Association of Congress Centres.(/small)