BARCELONA. – Growth in the economic impact of Meetings Tourism continues
30 Apr 2019

BARCELONA. – Growth in the economic impact of Meetings Tourism continues

The Meeting Tourism closed the year 2018 with very positive results, as can be seen from the data that has been made public at the General Assembly of the Barcelona Convention Bureau. One of the most significant figures is the 2.7% increase in economic impact compared to the previous year. A new historical record despite the slight decrease in the number of meetings and congresses held, but compensated by the expense of delegates and assistants.

Barcelona continues to maintain its strength in the MICE sector, and it is evident in the projection of events that took place during the first four months of the current year. On the other hand, if there is no exceptional international situation that could lead to planning, by the end of 2019 the forecasts are also very positive and going upwards .

At mid-term, the transfer to ISE (Integrated Systems Europa) congress is also worth mentioning. It is the world’s largest exhibition for Visual Audio and Systems Integration. After the next edition of 2020 in Amsterdam, the organization of the congress is already preparing its transfer to Barcelona, ​​where it will disembark during the first half of February 2021 in the facilities of the Fira Barcelona complex in Hospitalet de Llobregat (Fira 2).

Aerial view of the facilities of Fira Barcelona (Fira2)

The decision to change, after 18 months of study and monitoring the growth of exhibitors and attendees, is due to the saturation of the current headquarters in the Netherlands. In the last edition there were more than 80 thousand delegates and almost 1300 exhibitors who have pushed the growth of this event to the limit. Fira Barcelona, ​​with more than 400,000 square meters of floor space for exhibitions and 14 rooms, has been the new destination chosen so that Congress can continue its line of growth.

Cruise tourism contributes significantly to the deseasonalization and redistribution of tourism spending.  

Empresa Autocares Barcelona

For its part, Barcelona, ​​as a destination for “Base Port” of the different cruise companies operating in the Mediterranean, has also contributed significantly to the good health of tourism revenues in Catalonia. The cruise passengers who spend the night in the city spend a lot more than the average tourist, which allows a big boost to the overall tourist spending in Catalonia.

The contribution of tourists of scale in the ports of Palamós and Tarragona, have also contributed to this general increase.

Precisely the novelty of this season is that some cruise companies operating in Barcelona have launched the new ships powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), a much less polluting alternative fuel. Like the Port of Barcelona, ​​in its own facilities, it has a regasification plant that allows it to have a jetty to supply LNG and to be able to recharge these ships. These facilities give Barcelona a competitive advantage for the arrival of new ships that use this cleaner fuel.

The LNG is the only alternative fuel for cruises that reduces polluting emissions. Currently, there are 400 ports around the world that receive cruise ship scales of which it is estimated that only 150 could prepare to supply this new fuel.

Overview of one of the cruises of the Aida Company in Barcelona

The last April, the Aida Nova cruise ship (Aida Cruises) was the first ship that uses LNG to get to Barcelona. It will also be followed by the Costa Esmeralda, (Costa Cruceros) which has agreed scales starting this May. By 2030, more than 30% of cruise ships are already using this new propulsion fuel for ships.