The XV Congress of the Spanish Society of Glaucoma, which was scheduled to take place on Thursday at the Palacio de Congresos in Palma, has been cancelled because of the coronavirus crisis.
More than 400 ophthalmologists from Spain and other European countries were scheduled to attend and the suspension has taken organisers completely by surprise. Many of them are already in Palma and were busy preparing for the event.
“The cancellation was due to administrative impositions of the Ministry of Health. The objective that we have set ourselves is to offer alternative dates and be as flexible as possible with the current situation,” said the General Director of the Palacio de Congresos, Ramón Vidal.
The Health Department says it wants to avoid having a large number of Health technicians in one place, to prevent a massive infection, as has happened in the Basque Country.
The Palacio de Congresos hopes that the measures adopted by the Health Department will be temporary, because nearly 5,000 delegates are booked to attend events at the venue in the coming months.
500 people are scheduled to be at the XXVII Congress of the Spanish Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition; 2,500 delegates are booked for the XXVII National Congress of General & Family Medicine, or SEMG and another 1,500 will attend the Congress of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics.
The President of the Hotel Association of Palma and Cala Mayor, Javier Vich, says there is deep concern in the Hotel and Service sectors.
“This situation directly affects hotels and businesses in Palma and the whole of Majorca,” he said, adding “we trust that the events that have been postponed can be held in Palma sooner or later."
The crisis has also had an impact on Spanish airline reservations and tourism companies in Majorca and the recent suspension of a large convention in Calvià, resulted in the cancellation of 500 hotel room bookings, numerous tours and transport arrangements.
“The short-term negative impact on economic matters on the Island is unquestionable,” says the Mallorca Covention Bureau, “and every effort will be made so that the MICE programme (congresses, conventions and incentive trips) is not affected.”
Meetings in Berlin
During a series of meetings in Berlin, the Secretary of State for Tourism, Bel Oliver, has sought to reassure the German Secretary of State for Tourism, Thomas Bareiss and the TUI tourism group that Spain is not in a risk zone and the situation is under control.
TUI has already confirmed that “there have been cancellations and there will be a decline in German tourists."
Councillor Iago Negueruela will travel to Berlin on Thursday for meeting with the CEO of the TUI group, Fritz Joussen, to discuss the current situation concerning tourist reservations.