The Palacio de Congresos itself and the hotel are performing above expectations. | MDB

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Overseas demand and the level of requests lead Meliá Hotels International to believe that there will be a doubling of attendance at Palma's Palacio de Congresos next year.

The managing director of the convention complex, Ramón Vidal, says that 2017 will close with there having been 170 events that have attracted 30,000 participants. This activity applied to just nine months of the year, as the Palacio opened on 1 April. Vidal is sure that there will be a 100% increase in the number of participants in 2018 and therefore also a doubling of the number of people booking into hotels. Around half of those attending events at the Palacio have stayed in hotels this year.

Meliá considers the first year of operation to have been positive and forecasts for 2018 to be above expectations. When the centre opened in April, Meliá CEO Gabriel Escarrer anticipated there being a profit and no losses in the first nine months.

Progress made in promoting the Palacio leads the hotel group to assert that in 2018 it will establish itself as one of the main international centres for the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) sector. Meliá also believes that the Palacio is having a beneficial impact in tackling seasonality, as is reflected by hotel bookings in Palma and in Magalluf.

Vidal explains that in January alone there will be some 10,000 participants. Promotion at the main travel fairs and at specialists events for conferences and exhibitions has shown that "there is great interest in coming to Palma".