The Palacio de Congresos has already proved to be a success. | Teresa Ayuga

Conferences and exhibitions tourism in Majorca has grown by 45% in the past two years. This has largely been due to the success of the Palacio de Congresos. Between its opening in April 2017 and this December, there have been 90,000 attendees.

At a forum on Tuesday dedicated to MICE tourism (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions), the president of the Mallorca Convention Bureau, Ramón Vidal, said that the Palacio has attracted a market which had previously not been available because of the lack of the necessary infrastructure. Events now bring in an average of between 2,000 and 5,000 participants. Vidal, who is also the Palacio's managing director, restated the fact that expectations for the Palacio had been exceeded.

Looking ahead, he forecast that there will be more attendees in 2019 than the 60,000 this year and that there will be "spectacular growth" in 2020. Palma has become attractive to events' organisers in the medical, pharmaceutical and automobile sectors. These events, Vidal observed, have given Palma international visibility that is set to increase in the short to medium terms. The aim, he stated, is for Majorca to be the main European centre for events in 2020.

Factors assisting this are good air connectivity, hotels, restaurants and shopping. Vidal highlighted the conference for Semergen, the Spanish association of primary care doctors, which filled boutique hotels and holiday rental accommodation when it was held in October. Among events scheduled for 2019 is a TripAdvisor conference.

The events mainly take place between September and May, when there is plenty of available hotel accommodation. They provide a type of tourism that addresses the impact of seasonality and boosts all sectors in the low season.