The report of the Spain Convention Bureau (SCB) states that last year our country hosted almost 5,000 congresses that represented just over 6,100 million euros in turnover, 3.38% more than in 2016 and moved around 1.3 million people, 17.93% more than last year. These figures allowed Spain to surpass for the first time the figure of 6,000 million euros of turnover, a figure that places us as the fourth country in the world in this sector, behind the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom. It should also be noted that in 2017, almost 25,000 meetings were held in the cities associated with the BCS, a slight decrease (-0.61%) over the previous year. The entity, which depends on the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP), currently has 56 congress destinations that represent 85% of the Spanish MICE offer.
In this report, Madrid and Barcelona continue to lead the country in terms of the number of conventions, with 43% of the total between them, while 28% is distributed among medium-sized cities (it should be remembered that Barcelona was the city in the world that hosted the most international congresses last year, while Madrid ranked seventh, according to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).
One in three events is held in a conference centre
The medical and health meetings are the most important sector of the congresses. They represented one in five events (21% of the total), closely followed by economic and trade conventions, which accounted for 20%. As for seasonality, the Spain Convention Bureau report details that the congress season has been extended to seven months, with May, September, October and November as the months most in demand by the organisers.
In addition, the report concludes that one in three such events is held in conference centres (32.5%) and that the majority of participants are accommodated in four-star hotels. The report was presented in the framework of the General Assembly of the Spain Convention Bureau held in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, a destination that its own mayor stressed that it should focus on this type of sector, that of meeting tourism that is of interest to cities and that it is necessary to continue to focus on its growth in a coordinated manner, creating a network between cities.