TOURISM and payment systems on internet are the main topics which will be analysed at Online Marketing Europe, the first congress on the subject on a European level which was opened in Palma yesterday by Balearic leader Jaume Matas. The congress, which is being held in the Pueblo Español, is being attended by 2'000 experts.
Miguel de Reina, the director general of Google Iberia, said that one of the main themes will be economic transactions related to tourism, the most important market on the net. He added that figures provided by the Spanish Electronic Commerce Association indicate that tourism products and services are the favourite with Spanish surfers, and represent 30 per cent of transactions in a sector, retail electronic trade, which last year had a volume of business of 1'837.3 million euros. But, according to Bruce Hoang, vice president of Interactive Advertisement Bureau in Europe, this is a long way behind the US, which had a sales volume of 163'000 million euros last year. In his opening speech, Hoang said that “a revolution” was coming, in which relations between consumers and firms would change, affecting all the distribution channels. Sales via internet is another of the main themes of the congress, as it is a sector which is expected to grow by 22 per cent worldwide this year, attaining a volume of sales of 137'000 million euros. This will be thanks in particular to the subsectors of cosmetics, jewellery and travel.
Sebastiá Sansó, the Palma city councillor in charge of finance and commerce, said it was important for Palma to become “a meeting place” for experts in electronic trade and encouraged entrepreneurs to come to the city. Parallel to the congress there is a fair with 29 stands showing novelties, services and products connected with electronic payment, communications, trade on the net and internet providers, among others.

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