Palma.—The construction of the Conference Centre, or Palacio de Congresos at the eastern end of the Paseo Maritimo in Palma was brought to a halt at the end of last week due to lack of interest by developers, so the City Council is now considering awarding separate management contracts for the hotel and conference centre, an option which was not available under the terms and conditions of previous bidding sessions.

The Palau de Congressos company and Palma City Council made it clear yesterday that there were no circumstances under which the project, once forecast as a leading light for Balearic business tourism, would be abandoned; but the lack of interest in bidding for management contracts on two separate occasions has prompted the Council to use a new approach.

The City's Mayor, Mateo Isern said that whilst he was surprised that no Majorcan hoteliers had come forward with bid packages for the hotel and conference centre, he understood that the current business climate means that there are not many organisations who could make such an investment and not expect to get a return until several years had passed. Tourism Councillor, Alvaro Gijon said that there is still a contract with the builders “Acciona” - the Council had to agree the closure of the site with company representatives and 38 million euros remains outstanding to the constructors. Meanwhile Palau de Congressos S.A. is negotiating with banks to secure a further 70 million euros which is required to finish the project. It is also reportedly still on the cards that further public funding will be set aside for the purpose despite strict budget limitations. However, the completion date of June 2013 will not be met.

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