Ramon Vidal of the Palma Palacio de Congresos. | Jaume Morey

The Palacio de Congresos turnover in 2019 was down one million euros to 14.1 million. Presenting the annual report on Monday, the Palacio's managing director, Ramón Vidal, said that the number of people who attended events fell by 10,700 to 65,963 but that the number of events increased by 50 to 282.

Half of the people who attended did so for social and cultural events or for trade fairs. The other half attended conferences. Eighty per cent of attendees were Spanish. The highest foreign participation, nine per cent, was German, followed by British five per cent

Vidal explained that the convention centre generated 25.2 million euros for other parts of the Majorcan economy, e.g. accommodation, restaurants, transport and retail. This calculation is based on approximate average spend dependent upon the type of event and its duration.

Asked about coronavirus, Vidal said that hygiene measures have been stepped up at the request of event organisers. There is "absolutely no alarm", he noted, adding that these measures will remain in place until the end of the year and observing that Asian attendance at Palacio events is very low. He made a firm distinction with these events and the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona which was called off.

This year, he observed, will be "good". Twenty-four events are confirmed so far; these are for the pharmaceutical sector in particular.

Speaking at the same press conference, Palma's tourism councillor, Elena Navarro, assessed the figures very positively and believed that the Palacio will become a leading venue in Europe.