12 Oct Conferences in Spain
Tourism has played a major role in the recovery of Spain’s economy since the crisis of 2008. The number of tourists visiting the country has risen for seven consecutive years, reaching a record-high 75.3 million visitors in 2016. To this day, tourism accounts for 11% of the country’s GDP, and shows no signs of slowing down for the next few years. MICE tourism is equally on a constant increase, and the number of conferences in Spain keeps rising each year.
In 2016, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) published its Statistics Report in which it listed Spain as the fifth most popular destination worldwide for MICE tourism. The same report listed Spain’s two largest cities Madrid and Barcelona as two of the top ten cities for welcoming the highest number of MICE delegates in the world. With some of the largest international conferences being held in Spain each year – take the likes of Mobile World Congress, FITUR, IBTM World 2017, for example – and some of the most prestigious conference venues, Spain deserves its place in the top 5 destinations for business tourism. In this article, we take a closer look at the distribution of conferences in Spain in order to determine which regions are at the forefront of MICE tourism in the country.
Conferences in Spain: geographical distribution
For the purpose of this article, we compiled a list of all the conference listings in Spain that were published on a number of websites. Listings included predominantly upcoming events, however some sites also included past events. We collected listings from the following websites: lanyrd.com, www.allconferences.com, www.eventbrite.es, 10times.com, www.worldconferencealerts.com, conferencealert.com, and www.conferenceseries.com. The statistics we compiled are based on data that we collected on 10th October 2017.
The images above show the most popular regions for conferences in Spain. The communities of Catalonia and Madrid lead the way with 40% and 30% respectively of the total number of conferences held in Spain. The Valencian Community comes third with 13%, followed by Andalusia with 6%, the Basque Country with 5%, and Galicia with 2%. Here is a full breakdown of how conferences are distributed in the different regions of Spain:
- Catalonia – 40%
- Community of Madrid – 30%
- Valencian Community – 13%
- Andalusia – 6%
- Basque Country – 5%
- Galicia – 2%
- Canary Islands – 1%
- Castille and León – 1%
- Aragon – < 1%
- Balearic Islands – < 1%
- La Rioja – < 1%
- Extremadura – < 1%
- Castille la Mancha – < 1%
- Navarre – < 1%
- Cantabria – < 1%
- Region of Murcia – < 1%
Conferences in Barcelona / Catalonia
Catalonia sits firmly at the top of our list with 40% of the total number of conferences in Spain, thanks mainly to its buzzing capital Barcelona. The International Convention Centre of Barcelona (CCIB) and the Fira de Barcelona are the city’s most prestigious venues for conferences, attracting delegates from all parts of Spain and from international horizons. Some of the largest events in the region include the Mobile Congress World, EIBTM, Carbon Expo, the International Motor Show, and many more.
Conferences in Madrid
Madrid comes in second position in our list of most popular destinations counting 30% of all conferences in Spain. The country’s capital is the largest city in the country with an estimated population of 3.3 million (6.5 million counting the surrounding Madrid metropolitan area) which is the third-largest metropolitan area in the European Union behind London and Paris. Madrid is a hub for all types of national and international MICE events with its staple IFEMA centre, hosting the famous FITUR international tourism trade fair and countless other shows and conferences.
Conferences in Valencia
The Valencian Community is Spain’s third most popular destination with 13% of all conferences in Spain. Unlike Madrid and Catalonia which primarily owe their top positions in our list to the activities of their capital cities, the Valencian Community splits its events between the two cities of Valencia and Alicante. Both are equipped to host large numbers of conferences. The main conference venues in the region are the modern complex of Feria Valencia (pictured left) and Alicante’s Palacio de Congresos.
Conferences in Seville / Andalusia
Andalusia comes in fourth in our list with 6% of the total number of conferences in Spain. The cities of Seville and Malaga lead the way in terms of MICE events in Andalusia, followed by Marbella and Granada. Andalusia’s staple Conference and Exhibition Centre, FIBES, and a leading venue in Spain, is home to some of the largest international conferences including EAIE 2017, ECFS 2017, EuCheMS Congress 2016, etc. For more information on FIBES’ premises and to host events in Seville, please contact Raquel Martínex Arija using the contact methods listed on our contact page.