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Meetings tourism consolidates in Barcelona

Professional meetings tourism in Barcelona consolidated in 2014 with around 580,000 delegates registered at conferences, conventions and conferences, a similar figure to that recorded the previous year. However, overnight stays in Barcelona rose significantly by 7%. In addition, the Catalan capital has already secured a total of 223 conferences for the period up until 2021. Barcelona’s 2014 year-end results in the meetings tourism sector was made public this morning during the Annual General Meeting of Barcelona Convention Bureau (BCB), Tuirsme de Barcelona’s specialist convention programme.

The total number of delegates attending meetings, conferences, seminars, courses, conventions and incentives in Barcelona in 2014 was 579,855, which was 0.7% down on 2013. While the number of participants remained almost the same, what stood out last year was the trend in overnights, with 2,071,586 invoiced nights. Those attending professional meetings last year stayed more nights in the city, which led to a significant increase in overall overnights, up by 7% on 2013’s results.

The cyclical nature of some of the most important conferences held each season in different cities means that a year-on-year comparison has less significance in the meetings tourism segment, and longer trends need to be taken into consideration.

Main promotional focus on the United States
These results were discussed at the Annual General Meeting of Barcelona Convention Bureau, which met today to analyze, among others, the factors that put Barcelona at the forefront of Europe’s meetings tourism sector.

This year BCB will be putting special emphasis on attracting business from the US market, taking advantage of the depreciation of the euro against the dollar over recent months. Apart from the world’s richest nation, Turisme de Barcelona’s professional meetings programme is also prioritizing other markets, like Germany, the UK and France, with some specific promotions also in Asia, among others. 104 candidature bid processes for new conferences ongoing
For the period 2015-2021, the capital of Catalonia has already got confirmations for hosting 223 new congresses in the city. For these seven years, Barcelona has secured the arrival of more than 753,000 delegates, not including additional participants that will come from the 104 congress bids that Barcelona Convention Bureau is currently involved with and that could end up choosing Barcelona, too.

Barcelona Convention Bureau ( is Turisme de Barcelona’s specialized professional meetings programme that promotes the city as a destination for congresses, conventions and incentive trips. Created in 1983 and a pioneer in Spain, BCB offers advisory and planning services to all those companies that want to organize a professional meeting in the city.

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