A 365-day tourist destination for congresses

Congress tourism moved 1,740 million euros in Catalonia in 2019. A type of business on the rise that has become candy for tourist destinations, which are struggling to become recipients of conventions and congresses. There, the Costa Daurada plays a very important role, which this week hosts the Meet Cataloniaan event for professionals in the organization of events. Yesterday, the PortAventura Convention Center became the meeting point for 65 specialized European tour operators, who were able to see first-hand the offerings of 90 Catalan companies.

This type of tourism, known by the English acronym MICE (meetings, incentives, congresses and events), has also become a perfect formula for deseasonalizing the season in sun and beach destinations like ours. «This sector of tourism is the sauce that binds all dishes. It is the sector that can generate that, in the off-peak seasons and the average seasons, destinations such as the Costa Daurada meet minimum reservations and dynamism of economic activity", stated Narcís Ferrer, director of the Catalan Tourist Board, which promotes this initiative.

The professional meeting was held throughout the day, with a space to hold quick meetings. At different tables, the 65 purchasing agents, from 14 European countries, could see first-hand the 90 trading companies, about twenty of which were from the Costa Daurada.

Some 90 Catalan companies presented their products at the 'Meet Catalunya'

Judit Comas, head of the events department at the Hotel Gran Palas de La Pineda, stressed that “it is very good to be able to introduce ourselves to new agencies outside of Catalonia. Sometimes it is quite difficult to make the Tarragona area known internationally and these meetings go very well to explain everything you offer and the capabilities you have». Along these lines, Aitor del Río, sales director of PortAventura Business & Events, stated that "being able to receive so many people here and for them to see it first-hand helps us to be able to sell the spaces to be able to hold big events."

On the other hand, event organizers also positively value this type of meeting space to be able to see first-hand what they will offer their clients later. Rudolf Frenken, representative of the German company KP Travel, explained that “this visit helps us find new inspirations for the group trips that we organize. Having all this information in one day makes it easier for us.”

Since 2017, the Meet Cataloniawhich is the most powerful commercial action for the sector in Catalonia. “This sector has suffered a lot from the pandemic. Now the exit of the pandemic is being brilliant, like a cork of champagne, but we must ensure that after all this foam economic activity continues, "explained Narcís Ferrer, also underlining the importance of the complementary offer that Catalonia offers to stand out among the other destinations and become a benchmark. That is why, after the working day, the sixty international agents visited different points in Catalonia to learn in the place both the charms of the territory and the specialized companies.

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