Gabriel Escarrer of Meliá leading the presentation of Palma's Palacio de Congresos. | Jason Moore


Palma's Palacio de Congresos convention centre cleared one of its final hurdles today when Palma town hall signed an agreement with the Meliá hotel group at the World Travel Market. The Meliá Group had won the tender to mange the complex, which will finally open in March.

The long delayed centre has cost in excess of 110 million euros and has taken almost a decade to build. But the long wait is finally coming to an end. The chief executive of Meliá Group, Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, writing in our special supplement for the World Travel Market, said that Palma, Majorca and the Balearic Islands provided an exceptional destination for conference tourism.

The town hall agrees. It believes that the Palacio will be used by more than 50,000 tourists a year, which will mean more tourists during the winter months. Mayor Jose Hila said that it was a proud day for the city. Today’s agreement will mean that the convention centre will now form part of the network of one of the world’s leading hotel chains.

The launch could not have come at a better time for the city, as Palma has recently been named as the best place to live in the world and its tourism industry continues to go from strength to strength. But many will say that the convention centre has come at a high cost.

The town hall added that no costs had been spared in the actual construction process. Many had believed that the Palacio was a white elephant. Today in London it was the star of the show.