The view from the Palacio will finally be enjoyed by actual conference participants next year. | Archive


The opening of Palma's Palacio de Congresos convention centre gets ever nearer. The tender board of the Palacio company (which is run 50:50 by the town hall and regional government) has made the award for managing the centre and the adjoining hotel to Meliá Hotels International.

The final envelopes were opened this morning. These revealed the financial offers being made by the two remaining bidders - Meliá and Barceló Eventos Empresariales (i.e. the Barceló hotel group). The financial element represented 80% of the scoring procedure for arriving at the winning bid. A minimum annual rent of 1,558,000 euros had been set in the tender specifications along with a minimum 5% variable related to turnover.

The actual bids were higher. Meliá offered 2,150,000 euros annual rent plus 5.5% of turnover, while Barceló's bid was for two million euros plus 5.1%. The award is for 15 years with a possible three-year extension. Meliá will need to ensure that the Palacio is operational by March next year.

A third bidder, Hotusa, was disqualified at the first round of the three offer presentations for not having observed secrecy rules.

Barceló has therefore failed in its attempt to operate the Palacio, having been the winner of the original bid. That was annulled last year owing to what a report by the University of the Balearic Islands said had been "irregularities" with the procedure.