Barcelona is consolidating its position as a leading destination for congress tourism. Closing the year 2023 with an impressive 450 congresses, the Catalan capital is consolidating its position as a magnet for international events, a vital asset for its economy and global reputation.
And to achieve this, the Barcelona Convention Bureau (BCB) of Turisme de Barcelona has been and is fundamental with more than 150 ongoing applications for future events.
Some of these events are repeaters, confirming previous satisfaction, while others choose Barcelona for the first time, attracted by its charm and infrastructure.
The current and future outlook for conference tourism
The year 2023 will be remembered as another impressive year for congress tourism in Barcelona. Although the figure is close to the previous year’s figure of 466 congresses in 2022, it is still a testament to the city’s sustained attractiveness as a venue for international events.
In addition, more than 100 meetings have already been confirmed for the coming years, underpinning Barcelona’s position as a long-term destination for congress tourism.
For the coming year, Barcelona is already gearing up to host major events spanning a variety of industries. One of the most notable is ESMO, which expects to attract more than 30,000 delegates to explore developments in medical oncology.
Another significant event is the ECCMID clinical microbiology congress, which anticipates the participation of 15,000 delegates. In addition, annual events organized by Fira de Barcelona, such as the Smart City Expo World Congress, scheduled with 25,000 delegates in early November, will contribute to the city’s growing dynamics.
Diversification in meeting tourism
Three out of every four events in the meetings tourism sector in Barcelona are corporate and company conventions.
This corporate focus is manifested in events such as the first non-U.S. convening of McDonald’s Corporation Worldwide, scheduled for April in Barcelona, with an expected attendance of 15,000 people.
This move reflects the confidence of major corporations in Barcelona’s ability to host events on a global scale.
A promising future for Barcelona
Christoph Tessmar, director of BCB, emphasizes that Barcelona becomes the international epicenter of the sector with events such as IBTM World. According to him, the forecasts for the event and the annual number of congresses confirm Barcelona’s “undisputed leadership in this sector”.
The city not only stands out for its architectural and cultural beauty, but also demonstrates its ability to offer world-class services and an infrastructure that meets the demands of large-scale events.
Barcelona not only enchants tourists with its historical and cultural charms, but also attracts professionals from all over the world, consolidating itself as a key pillar in the world congress tourism circuit.