The managing director of Palma's Palacio de Congresos convention centre complex, Ramón Vidal, yesterday reported that there were 173 events last year which attracted 28,895 attendees. The financial impact, he said, was 9.4 million euros, 18% more than had initially been forecast in the business plan. The prediction for 2018 is that attendance will climb to 60,000.
Among the conferences held in 2017 were five for the medical sector, which is one of the most important markets for business tourism. Vidal also highlighted the significant economic impact of the Volkswagen exhibition, which brought in more than 12,000 people in the low season.
The Palacio opened on 1 April last year, and Vidal pointed out that there was negative cash flow of almost four per cent in the first months. This was attributable to costs of the launch, pre-inauguration and promotion. This year, by contrast, the cash flow will be positive.
He restated a wish that the Palacio will become a European leader and will be integrated into the Balearics' social and business fabric, thus establishing itself as a driver of increased value for the islands.
Vidal referred to the Palacio's "responsible" management model and to its sustainability "as a differential value". In this regard, he pointed to initiatives such as the "Ecomeet" project, which promotes energy efficiency and a minimisation of the environmental footprint. He noted the fact that almost 200 local suppliers were involved with the Palacio in 2017, making it a "social, cultural and business epicentre of Palma".
The president of the Palacio board of directors, Palma tourism and trade councillor Joana Maria Adrover, observed that the figures from last year "confirm the viability and sustainability" of the complex.
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