There are currently around 80 conference centres operating in Spain and, although the recession has brought many projects to a standstill, others are waiting in the wings, ready to emerge as soon as the economy picks up.
The majority of these buildings were publicly funded and in many cases, the authorities which did so thought no further than the initial investment required to construct them, without taking into account the high operating and maintenance costs. To cap it all, they even encouraged competition between cities located in the same province which, objectively speaking, should have complemented, not competed against each other.
There are also a whole host of other facilities (in hotels alone, around 85% of four and five-star establishments have meeting rooms) offering event tourism. Accordingly, many meetings are held in these buildings, in universities, in the facilities of professional associations, as well as in marquees, convents, theatres, wineries, country estates, cinemas, museums, stadiums, and other singular buildings which, in some cases and incidentally, do not seem to be “entirely fair competition” (VAT, free services, Corporation Tax…). There are even rumours of the possible appearance of “boutique garages”.