Ibtm and Barcelona, the keys to business tourism
Barcelona enjoys a position as a reference for business tourism, fairs, congresses, conventions and incentive trips. This type of travel has expanded by 95% in the last 20 years, and the city has emerged as one of the world’s premier destinations for business meetings.
As if to demonstrate this status, the capital of Catalonia will become the centre of the international meetings industry between the 29th November and the 1st December when it hosts Ibtm World, a congress that it has held since 2004 and which brings the whole international business, congresses and incentive travel industry together. To get an idea of the importance of this event, it is worth recalling the figures of the last edition: over 15,000 industry visitors from 73 countries, nearly 87,000 business meetings, over 7,000 overnight stays by purchasers invited to the event.
Exhibition, innovation and training
The event has been organized by Reed Travel Exhibitions, and includes an exhibition space with more than 300 businesses, from travel agents to conference and convention centres, hotel chains, service companies and international event organizers from 150 countries. One new feature this year is a tool that offers the invited purchasers personalized recommendations for the exhibitors that they are going to meet, to make sure that the appointments made during the event will be as relevant as possible.
Ibtm World places special emphasis on the Innovation Zone, where the latest technological innovations and products that will shape the meetings sector in the future are put on display. This zone will also present the 10 principal innovations that were selected by an international panel of experts on technology and innovation in the sector.
There will also be training sessions, networking events, interactive workshops, high level debates, new subject areas and presentations on global issues that are widely expected to affect the industry in the short, medium and long term which will take place during the event.
Impact on the sector… and Barcelona
Holding Ibtm World has a beneficial effect on business tourism in Spain, which rose by 15.5% in 2015 to the figure of 5 million visitors, all of whom visit the country for this reason.
According to the classification carried out by ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association), Barcelona enjoys a privileged position in the sector’s global network. In 2015, Berlin achieved top position as the city with the greatest number of international events, leaving Paris in second place. Barcelona rose two places to third position, followed by Vienna, London, Madrid, Singapore, Istanbul, Lisbon and Copenhagen.
In the period 2015-2021, Barcelona has confirmed that it will host a total of 223 new congresses in the city, and according to calculations that have been carried out, this will mean the arrival of more than 753,000 delegates.
Fira, with its Montjuïc and Gran Via sites, has played a decisive role in this situation, ensuring that Barcelona occupies this prominent position in the competitive world of cities that organize major business events.