• 21 July, 2011

    Fifteen years promoting conference centres as a key element of local economic development

    The Valencia Conference Centre is the driving force behind the 15th anniversary celebrations for the Spanish Association of Conference Centres which are taking place today and tomorrow at the emblematic Valencian venue as part of the 9th APCE Congress, an event which features an impressive scientific and social programme.

This morning, the Mayor of Valencia, Rita Barberá, the Deputy Mayor, Alfonso Grau, and the APCE Chairman and CEO of the Valencia Conference Centre, José Salinas, officially opened the congress to an audience of almost a hundred delegates, including leading management figures from various Spanish conference centres.

A total of 28 conference centres are taking part in the programme which takes stock of the know-how accumulated during the fifteen year history of the Association, whose work has made a significant contribution to promoting event tourism in Spain.   

During this period, the initiatives undertaken by the Association to promote their members’ profiles have helped conference centres to become Spain’s main event tourism venues, hosting 70% of international congresses and 80% of large national congresses in the last 10 years.

In the words of the Mayor of Valencia, Rita Barberá “Conference centres are undoubtedly efficient and effective tools for generating wealth and are playing a fundamental role in overcoming the current economic difficulties".

According to the APCE Chairman “thanks to its members’ efforts, the APCE has become a launching pad for Spanish venues on the international stage and has contributed to making Spain a leading destination for event tourism”.  This prominent role has been endorsed by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), which has positioned Spain in third place in their international ranking with 451 congresses. In fact, Spain was the fastest growing destination in 2010 with an increase of 25%.

Over the last fifteen years, the Association has championed conference centres as key players in the event tourism industry and as the driving force behind the expansion and transformation of the cities in which they are located. Their capacity to face up to new challenges and contribute to the progress of the economy has meant that over the last year conference centres generated an economic impact of over €1,600 million.

In addition, the APCE’s extensive experience has made it a point of reference for the industry as a whole. Its dedication to quality, professionalism, and innovation adds value to the venues it represents and is reflected in the 1,000 specialised staff who work in the centres.

These and other aspects will be showcased on the first day of the congress, which will be attended by a host of personalities, including Emilio Duró, an expert in business coaching, whose speech is set to focus on the influence of job satisfaction and personal self-awareness on professional development.

The culmination of the Association's anniversary celebrations will be the gala dinner held at the Las Arenas Balneario Resort Hotel, during which the APCE Award will be given to the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, represented on this occasion by its Chairman, Dr. José Carlos Moreno. Likewise, awards will be presented to the APCE’s founding members in recognition of their contribution to the Association as well as to personalities who have supported the APCE's work over the years.   
About the APCE

The Spanish Association of Conference Centres (APCE) aims to represent and defend the collective interests of its members in their dealings with industry peers and with the relevant administrative authorities. The APCE enables its members to exchange business ideas and experiences and acts as the focal point for conference and event tourism in Spain.

It currently has 37 members, and the 5,108 events which they hosted over the last year were attended by 4,214,377 participants.

For further information about the APCE’s 15th Anniversary, go to www.9congresoapce.com    

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