• 7 February, 2013

    The Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism and the APCE join forces to advocate international promotion

    The Spanish Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism met up with the Spanish Association of Conference Centres (APCE) in an encounter that highlights the importance of congress venues in local economies.


The Spanish Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism met up with the Spanish Association of Conference Centres (APCE) in an encounter that highlights the importance of congress venues in local economies. 
Within the framework of the activities carried out at the International Tourism Trade Fair, FITUR, the members of the APCE’s Board of Directors, in representation of the Association, took part in a meeting with the Spanish Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, José Manuel Soria, to explain the weight and importance event tourism has in the industry as a whole.
The meeting highlighted Spain’s leading position in the international event tourism market in which it is third on the world ranking, according to International Congress and Convention Association statistics, with an approximate increase of 100% in the number of meetings held over the past ten years. On the European circuit, Spain ranks second only behind France, and ahead of Germany and Italy. 80% of the events that are held in different European venues around Europe include Spain on their circuit and 3 out of 4 choose a conference centre to stage their meeting.
Conference centres are currently the main venue of choice for congress activities and play host to 70% of international events staged for between 1,000 and 4,000 visitors in Spain. The APCE, which represents the country’s main conference centres, plays a key role in this industry. Spain has a highly significant 10% share of the European market with APCE members accounting for over 40% of the venues used to host these events.
The Association’s Chairman, José Salinas, pointed out that although almost €1,500 million has been invested in these conference centres, the benefits have far outstripped this figure through the economic impact they have generated, which has brought in €8,200 million in the last five years. This impact is based on the intense activity which takes place in these buildings. Since 2003, the APCE’s members have welcomed over 38 million people to their facilities which have held a total of 50,000 events, of which 4,800 were congresses and almost 3,500 were conventions, with 4.6 million and 2 million delegates respectively. The benefits of congress activity lead to the creation of around 3,000 jobs between venue staff and outsourced work, and reduce the seasonal nature of tourism.
In the words of José Salinas, “over a third of congress and convention delegates in the past year came from abroad, which makes conference centres a tool for foreign promotion and a launch pad for the image of Spain on the international stage. The Association continues to encourage continuous improvement, increased professionalism and innovation to strengthen Spain’s brand image as a quality destination and thus contribute to making our country more competitive to ensure it continues to lead the international market”. 
The meeting between the Ministry and the APCE strengthens the ties between both organisations and helps to improve the quality of Spanish tourism and the diversification of the tourism products available so as to increase the number of international congresses and conventions held in Spain.
About the APCE
     The Spanish Association of Conference Centres (APCE) is an essential tool in promoting the venues’ role as the driving force behind local development. Its objectives include defending the collective interests of its members and enabling the exchange of ideas and experiences on event tourism issues.