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MEETINGS INDUSTRY IN SPAIN CONVENTION AND TRADE SHOW SPAIN®

#10. FIRST QUARTER ‘10

WHY NOT AN INCENTIVE TRIP ON

LA ROBLA EXPRESS?

A new tourist train from Feve, a company specialized in this type of products, will begin operation in March with special introductory offers at uncommon prices. With capacity for 56 passengers, the journey is an evocative and modern mixture of the classic and the modern, perfect for an incentive trip or special event.

REPORT AVIATION SECTOR A review of specific MICE products which certain aviation companies are marketing both internationally and for the Spanish market and are basically aimed at companies and professionals in the sector.

SPECIAL VENUES THE HOTEL SEÑORÍO IN URSÚA This establishment in the heart of the Spain’s Basque Country overflows with nature and shines in the greenness of the surroundings. Its facilities and services form part of a mansion full of 17th-century history.

EVENTS IN SPAIN BARCELONA ‘2010 The Ciudad Condal, who surprised the world with its celebration of the ‘92 Olympic Games, now faces a new sports challenge. This time it has the responsibility of hosting the 2010 European Athletics Championships to be held next July.


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EDITOR’S LETTER 2010: A YEAR FOR MODERATE OPTIMISM According to a recent study by Ultramar Event Management, the Meetings Industry on our continent envisages better performance with the coming of the new year, as compared to the results from now-finished 2009. In terms of countries, top European markets such as Great Britain, France or Germany will start stirring, according to these previsions, somewhere between moderately positive trends and a fiscal year with clear improvements in respect to last year. Undoubtedly, such affirmations appear to be made to perfectly fit into the economic recovery registered in these countries and others in Northern Europe in the last quarter of 2009. The same previsions put special emphasis square on Great Britain, where everything points to evident signs of recovery, especially to anything related to incentive trips, as clients have increased their proposal requests for 2010; nevertheless, they also warn that other agents and organisations are leaning toward the thought that this will be a year with performance levels similar to those of 2009, where the general trend of arranging events nearby or even within the same territory will be holding fast. As for Spain, this Ultramar study also indicates that it will remain the preferred destination among operators, but a good number of professional organizers advise that there is a strong need for the destination to reinvent itself and apply new, more appealing formulas and explore the so-called green events more profoundly. In this sense, from these pages we want to stick our necks out for this country, its professionals and institutions, as we are well aware that work has been long under way, even before the shadow of the crisis reared its ugly head, in favour of making a more satisfactory, appealing and stronger offer to the Meetings Industry. And we serve as example the ongoing creation of specific organisational bodies whose objective is to facilitate the arrangement and marketing of M.I packages. Some examples can be found at the regional level in the recently created Catalonia Convention Bureau, or in smaller cities such as the Lloret Convention Bureau on Catalonia’s Costa Brava, or the impulse given from the Alicante Regional Government to the Costa Blanca Convention Bureau. These are not just mere initials or simple offices, but behind them are able-bodied groups of professionals who make coordination happen and ensure that understandings and agreements are reached between the private sector, professionals and administrations. If not, could you believe that such meetings in Spain would be organized as that which will take place in Malaga in a few weeks? We refer to the European Meetings & Events Conference of MPI, a professional association with more than 22,000 associates around the world, where for 4 days more than 700 delegates will be gathering to attend high-level courses, talks, and using firsthand the facilities offered by the city of Malaga which have made it a reference in the Congress, Convention, Events and Incentive Trip sector. Believe us that to achieve this, the Costa del Sol Convention Bureau has intervened, along with the institutional support from Turespaña, Turismo Andaluz and the Malaga City Government through its Tourism Department and the Malaga Convention Bureau. All these organisational body squarely focussed on M.I. tasks, make no doubt about it.

JOSÉ ALARCÓN, editor

Honorific Editor: Juan Robles • Director: José Alarcón • Technical Director: Martin Robles • Adversiting: Antonio Melchor, Roberto Teigeiro, Tere Serra • Art Director: Sofía Alonso • General Coordination: Vanessa Jordá • Administration: Manuela Fuster • Editorial Council: José Alarcón, Sofía Alonso, Francisco de A. Carrió, Pere Camprobí, Estrella Díaz, Alberto Díez, Fernando Martorell, Joan Molas, Pau Morata, Fermín Pérez, Joaquim Sagués, Ramzi Shuaibi, Santiago Soteras, André Vietor, Antonio Wangüemert. • Writers: Marta Martínez, Raquel Alba, Pau Morata, Victor Puig Vilarrubís, Jesús Díaz Gámez, Daniel Bra • Edition: Synergias de Prensa, S.L. C/ F. Pérez i Cabrero, 11-B, entlo. 8ª. E-08021 Barcelona. Tel.: +34 93 241 73 12. www.meetingsindustryinspain.com Editorial Production: Publications & Meetings Industry, S.L. • COVER PHOTO: FEVE (Juan Marigorta) MEETINGS INDUSTRY IN SPAIN ® #10. Barcelona (Spain) 2010 • Legal Deposit: B-47.057-2007


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SUMMARY News Cover

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La Robla Express

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Report The Airline Industry

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Hotels La Joyosa Guarda Hotel El Capricho de la Portuguesa

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Wellness & Spa Hotel Cañitas Spa

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Special Venues Señorío de Ursúa

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Events in Spain The 2010 European Athletics Championship

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Event Trends Spain, cutting edge creativity for destinations and events

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Co. Events Useful guide

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THE HOTEL ARTS: MEETINGS WITH A VIEW

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he Hotel Arts Barcelona has expanded its available meeting halls with a brand new space, Arts 41, exclusively devoted to holding meetings and private events on the 40th and 41st floors. 150 metres high with a sweeping view of the Mediterranean, this additional space measures 400 m2 and is distributed in six halls with capacity for 12 to 200 people. Avantgarde design, the latest generation in audiovisual equipment, 50” plasma screens, high-definition videoconferencing equipment, secretarial and catering services -these are just some of the features available to guests in Arts 41. As does the blue of the Mediterranean flood the entire space through the enormous windows, so does the colour give the different rooms their names, in as many languages: the two Blau Rooms on the 40th floor and the Azul, Bleu and Azzurro Rooms on the 41st. The Blau Room can host banquets, work meals and cocktail parties for 200. The rooms on the 41st floor are more appropriate for meetings from 10 to 20 people, board meetings or going over ideas away from the office in an unmatched setting.

CCIB, AN ENVIRONMENTAL REFERENCE

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n 29 November, directors from 25 international convention centres visited the temporary waste transfer plant at the Barcelona International Convention Centre to take notes on this environmental initiative. The tour formed a part of the Event Management Summit of the AIPC, the International Association of Congress Centres, which was held in Barcelona on 29 and 30 November. The plant, which was opened in October 2008, is a first in Spain, as it classifies waste into six different types and separates metal from plastic in order to lower its environmental impact. Such classification means going a step beyond what has been established by city law, which requires the separation of waste into five types.


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MADRID HOSTS THE 5TH INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF THE EARTH CHARTER

THE ARAGON GOVERNMENT AWARDS THE COMMUNITY’S TOURISM SECTOR PROFESSIONALS

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nder the slogan of Values for Living and Companies, the 5th International Congress on the Earth Charter was held in Madrid over the weekend of 13 November and served as a way of focussing the attention on companies as the most decisive entities to achieve a more sustainable lifestyle. One of the most heralded speakers at the congress was Leonard Boff, the founder of The Theology of Liberation, who explained that the solution for our planet lies in the result between a coalition of forces around integrated ecological awareness. The main conclusion of the congress was purporting that companies are essential to establishing change towards a culture that takes the environment more into account. On Thursday the 12th, a meeting was held with the president of the International Foundation for the Culture of Peace, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, who underscored the importance of companies in building a new more sustainable and just economic model.

oinciding with acts held for World Tourism Day, last September the Aragon Government awarded several distinctions to recognize the labour of companies, organizations and professional in the tourism sector of Aragon. Among the awardees bestowed with the Medal of Tourism Merit was the Zaragoza Metropolitan Council for its dedication to promoting culture, tourism and religion at the Catédral del Salvador, the Basílica del Pilar, and the Ruta Mariana. Among the plaques recognizing tourism mer-

it were several prizes for individuals, such as the Briceño Seone brothers and their children whose Brial Group has welcomed guests to their outstanding hotels for over than 80 years, or the director of the Zaragoza Grand Hotel, Carmen Cenzano Gutiérrez, for her remarkable career. Awards were also given to different companies in the hotel and restaurant business, such as the Hotel Balfagón Alto Maestrazgo de Cantavieja in Teruel, or the La Rinconada de Lorenzo Restaurant in Zaragoza, among other winners.

LANZAROTE TO PROMOTE LA GERIA VOLCANIC REGION

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n 20 November, the president of the Lanzarote Council, Pedro San Ginés, signed a joint agreement with the Spanish Tourism Institute (Turespaña), the Government of the Canary Islands and corporations from Grand Canary, Tenerife and La Palma, plus several different business associations, for the development of a Tourism Competitiveness Plan The Canary Islands: A Volcanic Experience. The plan includes Lanzarote: the Oenological-Culinary Experience of a Volcano, a project to be developed in the volcanic region of La Geria to generate better mobility for tourists and bring visitors closer to the agriculture and cuisine of products near the volcano. Present at the act, which took place at the Bodegas Stratvs facilities in La Geria, were the Canary Government Tourism Chancellor, Rita Martín, the director of Turespaña, Antonio Bernabé, the chancellor and president of the Grand Canary Tourism Board, Roberto Moreno; the Council President of Tenerife, Ricardo Melchior, the Council President of La Gomera, Casimiro Curbelo, and representatives from Feth, Ashotel and Asolan.


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THE PALACE OPENS AGAIN CASTELLÓN AND PEÑÍSCOLA PROMOTING THEMSELVES AS CONGRESS DESTINATIONS

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anagement at the Convention Centres of Castellón and Peñíscola has prepared an ambitious programme to secure a place among the top destinations for tourism, congresses and social forums in the brand new year. The objective? Promoting both cities in order to attract the largest number of congresses possible. Thus the Intur Group, belonging to the Tourism and Entertainment Division of the Gimeno Group, who has vested interests in the area, has prepared a campaign to highlight the advantages of hosting nationally-based congresses in Castellón. On one hand, in January 2010, the Inter Group has a date at the International Tourism Fair (Fitur Congresses). Simultaneously, the company will promote the Convention Centres of Castellón and Peñíscola in Madrid and Barcelona with an eye to present its campaign All included, without the fine print, an innovative formula of professional and guaranteed service when organizing events and congresses. Finally, the Intur Group has published a new edition of its Intur Events Magazine, which features the acts, events and congresses being held at the Convention Centres of Castellón and Peñíscola. This information is complemented by the launch of the Discover Castellón campaign.

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he mythical Palace Hotel in Barcelona reopened its doors this past autumn after over a year of renovations. Since October, the common areas, banquet halls and a total of three floors of guestrooms have been open to the public, if indeed work has continued on other parts of the establishment. The renovations form part of a plan to return the Palace to all the former splendour of its golden years, when the hotel became the Barcelona home of the highest-ranking royalty and the beautiful people. Thus the facade of the Palace has been completely redone in due respect to the original, with the railings, mirrors, windows, walls, and ceilings having

recovered the appearance they had when the hotel first opened in 1919. Even the furniture is a replica of the old pieces used at the turn of the century. When renovation is complete, the Palace will have 125 guestrooms, 42 of which will be suites and junior suites, all equipped with the highest technology available. The hotel will once again feature eight halls for all types of events, while its renowned Caelis Restaurant, serving a wide range of culinary delights, will have the company of the remaining catering services including the New Bar Hall and the über-famous Scotch Bar in 2010. A Barcelona classic has returned.


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THE LLORET CONVENTION CENTRE, THE BEST

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he Girona Convention Bureau Awards, held on 20 November, singled out the Lloret Convention Centre, part of the Evenia Hotels chain, as the best congressional space in the province. The Convention Centre, a 4,166-m2 space adapted to host business meetings, conventions and incentive trips, includes an auditorium with capacity for 750 people and four spacious modular halls. In addition to the infrastructure in terms of halls, the Convention Centre also features the Evenia Olympic Resort of Lloret de Mar, which includes four fourstar hotels and a fitness Centre and spa. Evenia Hotels, with more than 30 years in Lloret de Mar, also brings its lengthy experience and history to the table when hosting both national and international events and congresses, as was the case at the Costa Brava Rally, the International Congress on Parkinson’s, the International Con-

gress of FFWPU Europe, or the International AMWAY Convention. Attending the awards ceremony was a delegation of the Lloret Convention Bureau led by the manager of economic marketing, Francesc Oliva. Oliva emphasised the satisfaction of the Lloret

Convention Bureau that one of their members had received the award. A recognition he affirmed, “confirm s the position and projection of Lloret de M ar as a destination for business tourism and events on the Costa Brava”.

THE BIRTH OF PARADOR MUSEUMS

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ost of the Parador Tourism Hotels located in historic buildings will become Parador Museums. The news was announced at a November press conference by Miguel Martínez, president of the state hotel chain. The museumification of the Parador Hotels had already started in autumn with the conversion of the Santo Estevo Parador in Orense into the first Parador Museum in history. In the case of Santo Estevo, its transformation into a museum required profound historical-artistic research which today is displayed on a series of information panels strategically distributed around the establishment. What is more, the Parador Museum provides a pamphlet to guide visitors around the key sites of the establishment and give an in-depth look into the history, art, and even the legends that surround it. The next to be added to the list of Parador Museums will be, as Martínes announced, the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos in Santiago de Compostela, whose project is planned to be inaugurated in January, coinciding with the beginning of the Xacobeo. After San-

to Estevo and Santiago, the next to follow will be the Parador of Granada. The next Parador Museums will be those of Cardona in Barcelona province, Jaén in Andalusia, Leon, Oropesa in Toledo province, Sigüenza in Guadalajara province, Hondarribia in Guipúzcoa, Plasencia in Cáceres province and Santo Domingo de la Calzada in La Rioja. This first phase will give way to a second in which the museumification will reach nearly 50 Parador Hotels. Martínez clearly explained the aim of this ambitious project, “By converting Parador Hotels into Parador M useums we believe we fulfil three objectives. Firstly, we will be offering an added incentive to our guests. Secondly, we will be helping spread the art and history of Spain. And thirdly, we will attract more Spanish and overseas visitors. Undoubtedly we will manage to generate more culture, more wealth and more employment to those regions where our Parador Hotels are located”.


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VALLNORD BUSINESS CREATED TO ENCOURAGE BUSINESS MEETINGS

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he Vallnord Ski Resort has created Vallnord Business, V2B, to offer companies a comfortable and peaceful environment two thousand metres high to hold events that strengthen their business ties. The Vallnord Business team is in charge of organizing custom events for businesses that take their interests into full account. This new service places emphasis on the opportunities here to arrange group activities such as team-building which improve the cohesion, loyalty, motivation and productivity within a company. This initiative is formed by the three areas Vallnord encompasses: Arcalís, Arinsal and Pal.


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ROBLA EXPRESS A DIFFERENT TRAIN FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT An unforgettable journey over century-old tracks for four days and three nights abounding with history, culture, art, landscapes and fine cuisine. All this and much more is onboard La Robla Express, an appealing new train tour from Feve, and the whistle is set to blow this March. With nine cars and room for 56 travellers, the express brings classic and modern together in an evocative yet minimalist journey cloaked in a sumptuous aura of glamour. by F.V. photos FEVE (Juan Marigorta).


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a Robla Express, entirely outfitted at Feve workshops, is one of the season’s best railroad tour options and has three lounge cars built using all the refined aesthetics of BB-series passenger cars from the mid-twentieth century. These cars are incredibly versatile, as they can be used as restaurants, travel lounges for gazing out on the passing scenery, or halls for holding meetings or giving courses or conferences. What’s more, the express has a bar, an office, and a pub – lounge with large screens, plus interconnected sound system and independent climate control.

Dedication to Comfort and Luxury The 3500-unit middle carriages have been completely converted into bunks. All in all, the train has seven compartments per car, which is equivalent to a total of 28 double cabins for a maximum of 56 people. Each compartment has been equipped with a true luxury of details; the two-bed cabins feature a clothes wardrobe, luggage carrier, reading lamp, climate control, music service, telephone, and a full bath with hydro-massage shower; all intended to make every journey a comfortable and unforgettable experience. The train as a whole has also been connected through the interior, so traveller can make their way from one end to another without needing to step out on the walkway. Finally, a detail that makes the difference: so passengers can relax in better comfort, the express stops at the station throughout the night until the train is set to leave the following day.

A Route Lined with History La Robla Express takes its name from the emblematic León-Bilbao line laid down at the end of the 19th century. To be exact, both cities constitute the geographical ends of the route of La Robla Express, one of the three journeys the express will cover in the 2010 season. The other two are the Romanic Workshop Tour and La Robla Tour. All are available at competitive prices with special introductory offers which include three night’s accommodation onboard the train, three dinners and three lunches featuring local cuisine, three onboard open-buffet

breakfast, scheduled excursions with tickets and tours included, daily newspaper and magazines, multi-language guide throughout the journey, security service and transfers via modern coach, which follows the train along the entire trip.

A Journey to the Heart of Romanic Times The Romanic Workshop Tour combines a train journey with visits to Romanic sites and conferences on this artistic style from the 11th, 12th and part of the 13th centuries which reached unmatched heights in Castile and León along the Jacobean pilgrimage route. The journey begins and ends in Leon (from Thursday to Sunday) and carves a path through regions of León, Palencia, Burgos and Cantabria. Among the scheduled stops are the Church of Santa Maria del Mercado, Collegiate Church of San Isidoro, the Church of Santa Marina in Villanueva de la Torre (Palencia), the highly representative Monastery of Santa Maria La Real, or the churches of San


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La Robla Express takes its name from the emblematic Le贸n-Bilbao line built at the end of the 19th century


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The lounge cars on the express have been built according to the refined aesthetics of passenger cars from the mid-twentieth century.

Lorenzo in Vallejo de Mena, Santa Maria in Siones, and San Juan Bautista in Vivanco de Mena. As for the conferences given onboard the train during the trip, some of the best include Europe and Romanic Art or Discovering and Recognizing the Romanic: the Basic Fundamentals and Characteristics of Romanic Architecture. These conferences are imparted by qualified experts and accompanied by meticulously prepared audiovisuals. Participants receive an official diploma at the journey’s end.

Places Waiting to be Discovered The Robla Tour (Bilbao-León-Bilbao) travels through the regions of León, Palencia and Burgos, with an incursion into Biscay province. The journey begins and ends in Bilbao (from Thursday to Sunday) along a route that includes stops in such alluring towns and cities as Balmaseda, Espinosa de los Monteros, Sotoscueva, Mataporquera, Vado Cervera, Cistierna, Boñar, Matallana, León… This fascinating trip also features a stop at the Karstic Site at Ojo Guareña, the Mining and Steel Museum in Sabero or the Porma Reservoir. The Cathedral and Basilica of San Isidoro in León, the Hoces de Vegacervera and the Valporquero Caves, the Alcázar de los Condestables in Medina de Pomar, or Torre de Loizaga Castle, which houses the world’s largest collection of Rolls Royce, are also some of the stops along the way to some of the north’s most enthralling nooks and crannies.

An Authentic ‘Pilgrimage on Rails’ The Jacobeo Tour (Gijón-Santiago de Compostela-Gijón) will be operative starting 24 June until mid-September. The journey (from Thursday to Sunday) has been drawn as such to become an authentic pilgrimage on rails. With this in mind, the capital of Galicia is the primary objective of this route, but by no means the only one. The route also passes through Ribadeo, Viveiro, Ortigueira, Cariño, Cedeira, Ferrol, A Coruña, Foz and Mondoñedo. Among the scheduled visits include the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and the city’s old quarter, the mouth of the Eo, Cape Ortegal, the Sanctuary of San Andrés in Teixidó, A Coruña’s Tower of Hercules, or the Cathedral of Mondoñedo, among other unique spots and landscapes found in this swath of Galician and Asturian territory.

FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION ON ROUTES, PRICES AND BOOKINGS: www.elexpresodelarobla.com


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The Airline Industry The wings of MICE by Raquel Alba, photos from various sources and archives

Taking a regularly scheduled flight, flying by charter, or opting for a private jet? MICE, the most globalized sector of all, is closely tied to need to fly. Here at Professional Events, we take the pulse on the main airline options that focus of the tradeshow, convention, conference and events sector.


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nyone who regularly attends tradeshows, conventions, conferences or events, knows that for the vast majority of the time, taking a flight becomes rather sine quae non. Flying is essential to the Meetings Industry (M.I.), one of the most globalized industries around. Turning off your cell phone, buckling up your seat belt and listening to the instructions from the cabin crew are all automatic in professionals in this tourism segment. As MICE travellers are such a desirable commodity and their presence on board is so frequent, both companies offering regularly scheduled flights and those running or owning private jets and charters tend to make every possible effort to offer ever more competitive packages to bring the horse to water, or better said, the impresario to the fair. At Meetings Industry in Spain, we shall take the pulse on this intense affair the airlines industry and MICE have been involved in for so many years. This romance, however, seems to be hovering around its lowest point due to the economic crisis. Nevertheless, neither party would be so bold as to let the other go, as it is a relationship with plenty of future.

The end of the romance? Last September brought the news that shocked Spain; Sonia Gandhi had swapped her flights in business class for coach. That gesture from India’s powerful Congress Party president was by no means an isolated incident. The economic crisis had infected companies with cost-cutting fever, which has irremediably affected the airlines industry and their once-swooning relationship with MICE. Many companies have decided in 2009 – poor economic results oblige – to reduce their conventions and conferences and replace them with the much more affordable format of video-

Thanks to the new ways of communication paved by the Internet, a significant amount of companies have opted to cut the expenses conferencing. Thanks to the new ways of communication paved by the Internet, a significant amount of companies have opted to cut the expenses (fundamentally transportation and accommodation) involved in bringing their executives together in situ. As it could be no other way, airlines with regularly scheduled flights and charter companies and private jets have been sorely affected. Last August, the International Association of Air Transport (IATA) announced it was studying the option of eliminating business class seats on its short and mid-distance flights (routes with durations of less than three hours) in the face of the drop in demand. And all the sources contacted here agree that the crisis has incurred a severe downturn in their activity.

Poor results but optimistic forecasts In the case of Suraviation, a Malaga-based company handling private flights to destinations all over Spain, Europe and Africa, manager Diego Moser explains, “We can’t deny that we’re feeling the pinch of the crisis. Many companies have reduced their air travel budgets due to poor economic forecasts, but in the last few weeks we’ve seen some improvement”. Patricia Vidal, director of Jet Class, a Madrid-based company whose many activities includes the leasing of planes and helicopters to individuals, many from the Meetings Industry sector, shares a similar view. “I’d be lying if I said the economic crisis had not


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Many airlines continue upgrading their business-class services because they add a touch of quality and prestige affected our company. This year has been rather difficult”, she notes, yet she too eludes to a certain degree of optimism. “In the last few months interest is once again stirring around the need to contract our services.” As for Global Charters, a Majorca-based company providing its clients with “everything from planes able to transport just one passenger to those with capacities such as the B747’s or A340’s”, they informed us that the decline in the contracting of their services has mostly come from the M.I. sector. “At this moment, although commercial flights in general are suffering from low passenger turn-out, congress and incentive trip flights seem to be the most affected”. Nevertheless, despite the MICE and airline industry not having the best year in their long relationship, companies running regularly-scheduled flights, charters and private jets all point out that the crisis is short-term and agree there are already some signs of recovery. Long live the romance between the Meetings Industry and the airlines.

Regular airline, Premium service When it comes time for those in the M.I sector to book air services, the options are wide open, ranging from opting for economy or business class seating on a commercial airline, arranging a chartered flight, or even hiring a

private jet. Despite the premium-class crisis on regularly scheduled flights we previously mentioned, many airlines continue upgrading their business-class services because they add a touch of quality and prestige these companies are unwilling to give up. Pampering the MICE passenger sits high atop their agendas. An example of this would be this summer’s news that Air China has become the first Chinese civil airline to launch special vouchers offering services and exclusive promotions to businessclass travellers. Further examples can be found in companies such as Mexicana de Aviación or Czech Airlines, who remain steadfast on featuring business services despite the buffeting winds of the economic crisis. Thus, the many pleasure enjoyed by the Elite Class on Mexicana de Aviación includes a true luxury for sybarites: a gourmet menu created by Enrique Olvera, one of the latest gurus of Mexican cooking. Nor is Czech Airlines being left behind. Their latest twist? Giving their business class passengers free transport service with chauffer to whisk them from Prague airport to any part of the city, or vice versa.

Charters and private jets, MICE tools of the trade Regularly scheduled airlines, in particular their business-class services, can claim the lion’s share of MICE demand. Nevertheless, hiring charter flights (especially advisable for accommodating large groups) or private jets, the so-called air taxis, have become common currency in the past decade. Proof of this can


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MEXICANA DE AVIACIÓN LOYAL CUSTOMERS, BUSINESS CUSTOMERS With 90 years’ experience and recently inducted in the select One World alliance, Mexicana de Aviación tailors its service especially to business travellers. One of the services from this MICE-oriented company is MexicanaGO, a new customer loyalty programme that offers greater flexibility and awards to its regular customers. Mexicana de Aviación likewise features its Elite Class, providing personalized attention and sparing no detail whatsoever, from comfortable seats to a delicious gourmet meal created by Enrique Olvera, considered one of the top five chefs in Mexico.

We spoke to Adolfo Crespo, Customer Service and Corporate Communications Manager at Mexicana de Aviación Low-cost airlines have eliminated business services. And airlines such as Air France are studying the prospect of eliminating business class services on short distance flights. Do you think this is a long-term trend? We do recognize the difficult situation facing the airline industry today, but for the airlines forming part of the Mexicana Group, offering these types of service is essential. This is due to the fact our priority lies in surpassing our customers’ expectations and satisfying their needs by 100%. Our passenger profile indicates to us that it is imperative to maintain our Elite Class services. From the point of view of Mexicana de Aviación, what value would you place on your Elite Class service? What do you feel is the importance of providing personalized treatment in holding on to your business customers? Undoubtedly we shall continue offering our award-winning Elite Class services. We work under a mission and philosophy that lies in always offering the best where service is concerned, which is why in 2009 we were bestowed with the World Travel Award for the “Best Airline in Mexico and Central America”, now for the eleventh time. Which among the routes your company covers are the ones most used by your business customers? In the domestic market, we must mention Monterrey and Guadalajara; in the United States, New York and Dallas; in South America, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo; and in Europe, London.


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be seen in the nearly thirty companies in Spain alone that have a stake in the air taxi business. What might the advantage be for those who choose this type of air travel, commonly referred to as business aviation? José Ramón Barriocanal, general manager of Gestair Private Aviation, one of the leading air taxi companies in the Spanish market, explains, “business aviation means not only adding efficiency and security but also significant savings for large companies and corporations.” He adds that, “In this sense, it is often more affordable for companies to take a round-trip private flight than incur the cost of hotels, travel expenses and lost working hours for their executives”. Without a doubt, it sounds like the old saying “going cheap costs more”. “Corporations see business aviation as a tool of the trade. This way they optimize the time of their executives, who often have to travel from the home office to several different places. They avoid boarding procedures, check-in, airport delays and waits, travel expenses... What’s more, they can make several stops in the same day and even hold on-board meetings. This type of client is very aware of the added value that comes from using private planes in terms of their work and family life.” concludes Gestair Private Aviation’s general manager.

‘Flexible timetables, discretion, embarking and disembarking speed, getting to the airport 15 minutes before flight time is sufficient...’

The rise of ‘go-now’ flights Another virtue of business aviation is its ability to react quickly, an excellent attribute in these times and this sector, MICE, where time is money. When we spoke to Air Charter Service, a London-based company and air charter leader in Europe, which has had a Spanish office since this past February, we were told “when a client contacts us for a last-minute flight, we do request there be a minimum period of advance notice, but this may be only two hours from confirmation, something we call a ‘gonow’ flight”. In these cases, departure time always depends on airport permits, operating hours and the availability of planes and crews, plus other outstanding circumstances. As for Catherine Gaisenbad, director of the Majorcabased company Assistair, with over 20 years of experience in air taxi services, hiring planes and assisting charter companies, she sums up the advantages of business aviation in a single phrase: “flexible timetables, discretion, embarking and disembarking speed (getting to the airport 15 minutes before flight

time is sufficient), the fact that these types of flight tend to fly into smaller airports which are much less busy than large ones, and security”. Mint Airways, part of the Interflights Group, is another charter flight company operating on Spanish soil. It has the means and experience necessary to be completely ready for operation in 90 minutes from accepting the operation and has the latest Boeing 757-200 with 232 seats which can make up to seven-hour flights. Among the many services offered by Mint Airways we have found is option of bringing the corporate brand image on board the plane, so a sales meeting can be held there right in mid-flight.

Is the democratization of jets on the horizon? With a price ranging between 2,500 and 6,000 Euros an hour according to the type and size of jet in question, flying private is still widely perceived as somewhat elitist by a large part of the general public. It came as no surprise when in the 50’s the famous reporter of the New York


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Tunisair brings Spanish tourists to Tozeur, one of their most favourite destinations, corroborated by the fact that 75% of those travelling to Tunisia take a tour to the southern part of the country.

TUNISAIR ROUTES WITH MICE IN MIND Starting on 5 November, the airline company of Tunisair will have a new route connecting Madrid and Tozeur, making it the only regular flight from the Spanish capital to this southern Tunisian city located at the gate to the Sahara Desert. This two-hour twice-weekly flight will bring Spanish tourists to one of their most favourite destinations, corroborated by the fact that 75% of those travelling to Tunisia take a tour to the southern part of the country.

We spoke to D. Moncef Ben Dhahbi, Manager of the Spanish delegation of Tunisair. What response do you expect to have within the incentive trip sector thanks to the new route between Madrid and Tozeur? In general, the Tunisian desert is one of the main draws for Spanish travellers, along with cultural tourism. For the incentive trip sector, the new route linking Madrid and Tozeur will represent an excellent option for them. In particular, companies which want to concentrate their stay in four days will find in the same tourist area exotic places, a good price-quality ratio, hotel facilities and professional tour agents. All in all, a successful incentive trip is guaranteed. As for the days when this new route will be operating, we consider them to fit perfectly into what incentive trip organisers require. We fly out of the capital of the Tunisian desert on Thursdays and Sundays. We could also say the timetables for our flights are unbeatable for this sector. We are therefore convinced that this new route will increase the demand for incentive trips in the most exotic part of Tunis, the gate of the desert. What Tunisair routes have been most successful in terms of the MICE sector? According to our statistics, 60% of MICE demand comes from Madrid and Barcelona, so up until now, the routes we have from these two cities have been the most successful. Nevertheless, we are seeing a growing demand from other parts of the peninsula, in which case special flights are arranged. Due to the previously mentioned characteristics of the direct flight to Madrid – Tozeur, we expect to see a good return, not only for city breaks, but also incentive trips, team-building trips, conventions, etc.


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Report The Airline Industry

Czech Airlines provides its business-class passengers with free transport and driver to whisk them from the Prague Airport to any part of the city

Journal-American Igor Cassini coined the phrase jet set to refer to the international group of millionaires who travelled the world from cocktail party to cocktail party and soirée to soirée. However, according to Catherine Gaisenbad at Assistair, “although it continues being somewhat elitist, the use of private jets is being democratized”. As Gaisenbad states, “midsized companies are using these types of services for their executives more and more often, as when several managers from the same company travel on a jet, they can save on travel expenses (hotels, transfers, etc.,) and arrange two or three meetings on the same day in several cities.” All in all, says Gaisenbad, “taking a jet can sometimes be cheaper than using a regular airline”. For Patricia Vidal, manager of Jet Class, “taking a jet is becoming less and less a question of being elite and more and more a question of having options”. She went on to say that, “the business world is closely-linked to this type of flying, although it’s obvious that not everyone who wants to is able to take a private jet, only those who can afford to”. With this idea in mind, it is worth underscoring the rise of a new generation of corporate aircraft, Very Light Jets, which are leading the democratization of the business aviation market,

something that will take place over the next 10 years, according to market analysts. Very Light Jets are four to six-seat jets priced between one and three million Euros that cover short distance trips. In speaking of Very Light Jets, Diego Moser, manager of Sur Aviation, notes: “With these new jets and affordable prices, this way of flying will become a service capable of competing with the airline business-class fares on most fronts”. He concludes that “it is evident that Very Light Jets, with their reduced costs and new operating systems, are key to democratizing the sector”. Mayoral Aviation, a company with 20 year’s experience in the sector of corporate and business aviation, shrugs at the idea that the future can be found in Very Light Jets. In the words of general manager Wieslaw Ochmanek: “Perhaps for personal use it will be, but I don’t think that they’ll be essential in the future because they are uncomfortable and can only be used for short distances. Our clients tend to seek out excellence and comfort, and Very Light Jets don’t fit the bill.” Patricia Vidal of Jet Class does not share the same point of view: “Very Light Jets are completely equipped airplanes perfect for nearby destinations which translate into cost savings. Personally, I’m quite fond of them. Using them is like flying in your car.”

CZECH AIRLINES REGULAR EXCLUSIVENESS Czech Airlines continues betting its hand on business class as one of the services that best helps raise the company’s quality and prestige. The business class service from the Czech airline company provides a wide range of advantages specially intended for business travellers. We have found that the baggage allowance is quite high: two pieces of carry-on luggage (a maximum total of 18 kilos) and 30 kilos of check-in luggage. Likewise, the fast-track service at Prague Airport allows business travellers to pass rapidly through security checks, as they enjoy their own priority queue. Another added value is that business passengers flying with Czech Airlines (or any other company of the Sky Team alliance) have free access at the Prague Airport’s Crystal Room, designed by renowned artist Borek Sípek, and its Wi-Fi connection. What about this surprising new initiative: Czech Airlines provides its business-class passengers with free transport and driver to whisk them from the Prague Airport to any part of the city, or vice versa. Passengers only have to call the reservation service when they arrive in Prague or want to head for the airport, and in a short span of time, they will have their car and driver waiting.


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LA JOYOSA GUARDA HOTEL A SYMBIOSIS OF HISTORY AND MODERNITY This hotel takes its name from Olite’s castle tower, the very same where Princess Blanca of Navarra, the countess of Champagne, was once confined.


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The hotel proprietors and all their staff are completely dedicated to making sure their service is the best it can possibly be

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ocated in the historic quarter of this medieval town, the hotel occupies a late 18th-century palatial home which has been completely remodelled, yet the traveller is sure to find the ever-present mark of the past in the form of decorative touches and swathes of the old building that speak of the way of life in this land and evoke the town’s lengthy history. Here past and present, history and modernity, are all bound together in one outstanding architectural union that presents an exemplary model of what true symbiosis is. The hotel features 24 spacious well-lit guestrooms spread over the building’s three floors. There are three suites, nine junior suites and twelve standard rooms, each with a different decor. Breakfast is served in the dining room during the winter months, and conversely in the garden courtyard on summer or warmer days. All is put forth in such a way that tranquillity and good eating accompany guests throughout their stay. This is the ideal setting for private parties

and undoubtedly a perfect yet pleasantly surprising place for business meetings. The hotel proprietors and all their staff are completely dedicated to making sure their service is the best it can possibly be. All in all, the Joyosa Guarda is the just the right spot to set body and soul in perfect harmony.

Contact and more information: Olite 31390 Rúa de Medios, 23 948 74 13 03 / 948 74 13 04 mailto:hotel@lajoyosaguarda.com


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Selección de establecimientos que suponen garantía de éxito para cualquier reunión

EL CAPRICHO DE LA PORTUGUESA AS COSY AS THOSE OF YESTERDAY


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ar from the stereotypical sun-andsand of Alicante is Vall de Gallinera, where Spain’s first cherries of the season blossom and then are shipped off to Germany for their fine quality. To the north of Alicante is a region known as La Marina Alta, a verdant side of Alicante unknown even to the Alicantinos. Green valleys with plenty of springs bubbling up all year long, fruit of the plentiful spring and summer rains making this area and its surroundings some of the most raindrenched parts of Spain. Set inside a 300-year-old olive mill is El Capricho de la Portuguesa, a place taking full advantage of all the flavour of the old, fused together with a bold mix of colour in the furnishings, walls and paintings of Luisa Mora (the excellent painter from Moral de Calatrava) to create a cosy atmosphere, just as

if you were wrapped up in a blanket. Inside the authentic interior of El Capricho de la Portuguesa, in its bowels as it were, a water zone unlike no other awaits you, where you can enjoy a fine, lovingly-made gin tonic while you hear to the tinkle of music and enjoy the aroma of vanilla-scented candles. The guestrooms vary in shape, colour and size so you can choose one to suit your state of mind, plus some pillows and mattresses that capture your relaxation. All this has led some to call this place the Zen Mediterranean.

Trinquet, 7 03787 Beniali (Vall de Gallinera) Alicante. Tel: 966 40 66 74 www.elcaprichodelaportuguesa.com

Fruit of the plentiful spring and summer rains, this area and its surroundings are some of the most raindrenched parts of Spain


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Selección de establecimientos que suponen garantía de éxito para cualquier reunión

HOTEL CAÑITAS SPA GOOD HEALTH IN A ONE-OF-A-KIND PLACE This historic building in the town centre of Casas Ibáñez opens its doors onto a hotel combining both past and present.

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he building from the early 20th century houses the town’s first and only hotel, lending its name to this establishment. After many years and a meticulous renovation, once again its doors are open, this time as a spa-hotel (certified with the Q for Tourism Quality) to offer guests seeking a holiday in the country or health and relaxation complete harmony, reflected in the

architecture along with avant-garde design and modern guestrooms, providing a oneof-a-kind atmosphere in the region. Guests have the option of enjoying a Turkish bath, the sauna, a relaxing pool, hotbeds, hydro-massage bath and treatments, aromatherapy, and lymphatic drainage, plus much more. The Mi Bar café, located inside the hotel, is designed to please and to be different.

The eight suites stand out for their surprising combination of rooms and decorative touches. The turn-of-the-century staircases and ceilings give way to ultramodern rooms with the latest decorative touches; glass bathtubs, steel decor, and impressive paintings.


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After many years and a meticulous renovation, once again its doors are open, this time as a spa-hotel, certified with the Q for Tourism Quality Hotel Cañitas Spa Tercia, 24 02200 Casas Ibáñez (Albacete) Tel.: 967 461 054 www.hotelcanitas.com


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Selección de establecimientos que suponen garantía de éxito para cualquier reunión

SEÑORÍO DE URSÚA IN THE MIDST OF NATURE The hotel, located in the unparalleled Baztán Valley at the foot of the Baztanés section of the Camino de Santiago, is flanked by majestic hills and meadows dotted with secluded hamlets, amidst the forests and immersed in beautiful hospitable nature.


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djacent to the former estate of the Ursúa Palace, where Pedro de Ursúa left from in search of the mythical El Dorado in the company of Lope de Aguirre, this house loaded with history has vestiges of the 17th-century, which can be seen throughout the entire building. The interior shelters 19 guestrooms in the maximum expression of comfort and repose, each with a different decor in terms of colour and furnishings, altogether making a stay here an experience to live through again and again. The hotel is notched high up in the Pyrenees in the Baztán Valley. Forests, meadows, orchards and flowers cloak this valley rich in tradition and culture whose deep-rooted folklore, exquisite cuisine and architecture combine the noble and the local. Among the many services offered by this unique hotel include a spa alternates a pleasant stay with the best in hydrotherapy where guests can enjoy themselves and relax in a precise circuit formed by a steam bath, dry sauna, Jacuzzi-hydromassage, contrast shower and a jet shower. On the other hand, the establishment has plenty of leisure options and spots to take a stroll around, thanks to the hotel’s 4-hectare terrain, a handball court, and the garden tables and benches under the shade of the trees, a wonderful place to take delight in the surroundings

and the superb view over the valley. As for the facilities, the hotel has several areas, from the halls offering a private corner for reading to the meeting and game rooms, not to mention all the enchantment of the fireplace. One will feel right at home playing a game of billiards or sipping a fine cup of coffee while chatting next to the fireplace. Also forming part of the hotel’s facilities are the handball court, private parking, and also a private meeting room with all the features necessary for small groups and equipped with projection equipment and high-speed WiFi Internet connection. Another aspect that the Señorío de Ursúa stands out for is its unmatched natural surroundings, not to mention the possibilities this open up for exciting activities such as horseback riding, hiking, and fascinating visits and tours to the Urdaz Caves and Roncesvalles.

Contact and More Information: Arizkun – Valle Del Baztán N-121-B Cruce de Errazu-Azpilkueta 31713 Caserío Ikazatea 948 45 35 00/ 948 45 35 01 mailto: info@hotelursúa.com


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The 2010 European Athletics Championship A NEW SPORTS CHALLENGE FOR BARCELONA The city of Barcelona will be the world capital of athletics for the last week of July when it hosts the European Athletics Championship featuring the continent’s best athletes. There will be more than 1,200 athletes competing in over twenty different events in the world’s second most important athletic competition, after the Olympic Games. B10, a must-see event for sports fans. By Víctor Puig Vilarrubís photos from the Organización Barcelona 2010 and JAG


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The young pole vaulter and world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva will be one of the stars of the competition.

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hen competition starts on Tuesday, 27 July, at the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium in Barcelona, the continent’s best athletes will be on the track; athletes who dream of setting new world records and finals that will unleash the passion of spectators at home and stadium alike. Obviously, this will not be the first time Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium was the site of a top-ranking sporting event, as it was host of the 1992 Olympic Games and other international competitions as well. But this time the main characters have changed, as eighteen years after the Olympics, the great names of yesterday have retired from competition and new athletes with new challenges have taken their place.

The athletes, the main characters Among the many athletes to be competing in Barcelona 2010 is the young Russian polevaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, world record holder in the pole vault and Olympic champion in Athens and Peking, or the Norwegian hurler

Andreas Thorkildsen with one European and two Olympic titles under his belt. Another name to remember is the Croatian high jumper Blanka Vlasic, whose personal best of 2.07 metres is just two centimetres shy of the world record set by Bulgarian Stefka Kostinova in 1987, a record that may indeed be broken here in Barcelona.

Barcelona, a big sports town The city of Barcelona continues to have the same appeal and sports facilities it had for the Olympics, plus a populace which has always shown its passion for any type of sporting event, whether it is the Cursa de la Merçè, the popular half-marathon now run for over thirty years with the participation of more than ten thousand runners in 2009, or the Conde de Godó Trophy (the Barcelona Open) that always manages to fill the court seats at the Royal Tennis Club of Barcelona. This is why Barcelona is the perfect city for any sort of event, as whatever it may be, its citizens always respond with great enthusiasm. Barcelona has several excellent sports facilities, starting with the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium and continuing with the Palau Sant Jordi and the Bernat Picornell Swimming Pools. But for the European Championships, the key is the Olympic Stadium, where all the action will take place. For seven days, the stadium will be the world capital of athletics. This event has led the city to carry out numerous improvements before competition starts to leave the stadium in perfect conditions for the championships. This is why it has invested more

than 30 million Euros in renovating the stadium’s façade and essential areas inside such as the locker rooms, pressroom or the warm-up track. Around the stadium, the true motor of the championships, there are other areas to be occupied by the athletes. To be specific, during the championships all the stadiums


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1,200 athletes will be participating in over 20 different events in the athletic competition with the highest profile after the Olympic Games

BARNI, THE FUNNY SIDE OF THE EUROPEAN GAMES Created by the workshop Dartoka Disseny, Barni is the official mascot of Barcelona 2010. He could be described as a child fan of athletics whose smile and cheerfully fun outlook have already been seen at tours the organising committee has arranged. He has also been spotted at public events and acts representing B10 and has taken part in scholastic activities for children.


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For seven days Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium will be the world capital of athletics Barcelona has will be busy, either with competitions or so athletes can train and get ready for their events. For example, a few minutes from the Olympic Stadium rises the Pau Negre Stadium, opened in 1989. It will carry out the same function it did in the Olympic Games: the place where the athletes can warm up right before competing. Other stadiums to be used are Can Dragó, Joan Serrahima and Mar Bella, which athletes can use to train on the days prior to their event in the European championships.

On your mark, get set, go! Let the games begin At the 20th European Athletics Championship, over 1,200 athletes are set to compete in over twenty different disciplines. The games will begin on Monday, 26 July, with an opening ceremony unlike the usual ones for these types of events, as the action will instead be centred outside the Olympic Stadium, on the Avenida María Cristina, just a few minutes from the stadium itself, yet right in the city centre. Competition will begin on Tuesday, 27 July and the remaining days will be full of the many events, with important finals such as the men’s hundred-metres final on Wednesday evening, the 28th, the women’s pole vault final on Friday, and the men’s marathon on Sunday morning, 1 August. The European Athletics Championships will end on Sunday evening with the closing ceremony in Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium.

Volunteers, the key to the European Championships The participation of general public has always been one of the factors in the success of any event held in Barcelona. Since the period of the Olympic Games, the city has kept alive its great spirit of volunteering for the world of sport. During the ’92 Games, tens of thousands took part by devoting their time and know-how to all sorts of activities to help the competition come off perfectly. Now, more than three thousand volunteers are expected to lend a hand in the European Athletics Championships, doing all manner of activities. What’s more, these volunteers, if they so desire, can help

out in the two sporting events that the city will also host. On one hand, there is the Barcelona City Meet on 25 July, just prior to the B10, and on the other, the Spanish Championship Finals, held on 1-2 August, right after the end of the European Games.

The Athlete’s Village In all sporting events of this kind, one of the concerns of the organisers lies in accommodating the athletes, so they can have a place with all the facilities they need do their training, yet one which gives them access to city


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life. This is why Barcelona has arranged for the athletes to stay in hotels near the Mar Bella sports complex, the main training site of the games. The nine hotels selected are all within a 1-km radius of Mar Bella, allowing the athletes to walk to their training grounds if they so choose. This proximity, plus the affluence of the general public to the nearby beaches, will help the athletes feel more integrated in the city and closer to its residents during the games. Furthermore, the athletes will have more than six kilometres of boardwalk and several green spaces that they can use to train and enjoy the city.

Speaking to...

CARLOS MARTÍN Head of communication for the European Athletics Championship

What does holding the European Athletic Games mean for Barcelona? We hope to once again re-launch this sport in Barcelona, as after the ’92 Games, there has not been a top athletics event in the city. At the same time, we also aim to popularize the sport among a new generation of young people, who starting in 2010 will have five completely renovated facilities: the Olympic Stadium, the main site of competition at the B10, and four auxiliary buildings: Joan Serrahima, Pau Negre, Mar Bella and Can Dragó. Work has been under way on all five sites and this will be the greatest legacy of B10 in terms of facilities. What spectator turnout is expected at competitions? 250,000 tickets will be going on sale, as the stadium seating has been reduced to 32,000 seats and there are six days of competition. We expect a huge public turn-out lining the streets, not just for the opening ceremony on the 26th smack in the middle of Reina María Cristina Avenue – it will be free and last about two hours – but also on the five mornings for the marathon and walking trials. All in all, we hope to gather around a million people for the all the activities. As for television viewers, that number is hovering around 340 million people. Do you have an idea as to the level of Barcelona’s hotel occupation that holding the European Athletics Championship will incur? We have somewhat more than 20 official hotels which are distributed in three large areas of the city: athletes and officials in the hotels located on the coastline and the Forum, VIPs in the Port Olímpic and Colón, and the media and official services along the axis running from Numancia Street to Plaza de España. We have more than 13,000 authorized personnel

so all these hotels will be practically 100 percent full. Another issue is the hotels reserved for fans coming to see the Games, but in this case we don’t have reliable previsions. From a sport perspective, will all the top European athletes be coming? With two years until London 2012, these Championships are strategically important to all athletes having long-range goals. We are counting on 12 of the 14 world champions from Europe who won at the past summer’s World Championships in Berlin. We are only missing the two who have announced their retirement: Kozmus, the Slovenian hammer thrower and Nerius, the German javelin thrower. The rest have been confirmed, as has the greatest European star of the moment, Isinbayeva, Russia’s and the world’s best pole vaulter, who was unexpectedly defeated in Berlin by another European, the Polish star Rogowska. Are there plans to do some marketing campaigns or publicity in the weeks prior to European Athletics Championships to let people know that these Games will be held in Barcelona? Such events have been under way for over a year, when we started to publicize the event’s mascot, Barni. These have been city marketing actions that are linked to advertising campaigns trying to bring athletics itself into the fore and get the public more aware of its complex number of records, specialities and brands. Coinciding with the Cursa de El Corte Inglés road race in May, fans were able to try out their speed by running 100 metres down Paseo de Grácia. Then we did something even more fun with a javelin on the Ramblas, which had a really great response. We have also set up mini-stadiums of athletics for the children at the Children’s Fair over the Christmas holiday and the city’s La Mercé Festival this past September. The objective is get fans and potential fans excited by the importance of the B10 and make sure they come to the stadium and completely fill the stands for all six days of competition. What role will volunteers be playing? How many are expected to participate? We hope to count on about 3,000 and right now we have that figure, but we have to think out the normal percentage of individuals who drop out unexpectedly. Without them it would be impossible to take on an adventure of this scope. They will take part in all the tried-and tested functions, from getting the track ready and driving vehicles to working in the press office or controlling the areas of competition. Can you give us a hint at what the opening ceremony will be like, the one being held in the Avenida María Cristina and not in the Stadium? It will be produced by the company Imagina of the Mediapro group, and will truly be spectacular, playing with the traditional elements of Mediterranean culture: fire and water. We can’t tell you any more, as the designers want to save the surprises for 26 July, but they have said that the music will be by Nacho Cano and the Font Màgica fountain will be playing a very important role as the main stage.


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SPAIN

CUTTING EDGE CREATIVITY FOR DESTINATIONS AND EVENTS By Víctor Puig Vilarrubís, photos from various sources


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Creativity is the answer. But what might be the question? Well, the question refers to what events must have in order to stir up excitement and end up being remembered for a long time afterward in the minds of those who have experienced them. To do this, just a dash of creativity is needed, just a single idea.

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t the latest EIBTM Fair, held in Barcelona at the very beginning of December, two conferences were given on creativity in the events world and how to successfully make publicize a destination. One of the keys to being creative is turning reality upside down and see the world from another point of view. Sometimes looking at reality from the customer’s or the competition’s perspective can be a good starting point for being creative.

The professionals of creativity: Agencies Advertising agencies are essential when releasing products and every destination or event requires their participation. In Spain we have

the great fortune of having a long advertising tradition with excellent professionals. One may recall it has been since the nineties when our country was first considered as one of the top five most creative countries in the world in terms of media publicity. Obviously, there are many types of advertising agencies, and one of them is called guerrilla marketing. The agency Poko Frecuente is a specialist in this type of marketing that constantly sets out to break the rules. An example of this can be found using criticism of criticising their client’s product to show it in greater relief. This agency did a campaign for Panda Antivirus that consisted in leading demonstrations in Madrid and Barcelona with actors dressed up as viruses that criticised the effectiveness of the antivirus, in order to show the product in sharper relief. The antivirus was so effective that the viruses were marching against it! Another success from the agency Poko Frecuente, which proved that causing a shock is not so difficult after all, entailed an Internet auction for new relatives. Perhaps many of us would like to have a funny brother-in-law or a beautiful cousin, and this campaign made it all possible. Several people, actors all, accepted being auctioned off to form part of a new family. On the E-bay website, one could bid for any of these people to add them to your family. This was a funny idea that was simple and easy to do, but it stirred up a great deal of interest in the media and let people know who the agency was, as in this case it had been a campaign the agency Poko Frecuente did to make themselves better known in the sector.

The agency Poko Frecuente is a specialist in guerrilla marketing and is always breaking the rules Another type of agency that might be a bit more conventional in their approach, but is equally creative, is Draft FCB. This agency has been able to use the Internet to their favour, and especially social networks such as Facebook and twitter. For example, in their campaign for rum maker Ron Barceló Desalia, they were able to stir up great interest and expectation thanks to these new channels. The brand organises a dream party on Ibiza every year for more than 150 guests, and dozens more are willing to pay to attend the party. The entire leadup to the party could be followed on the social networks, which built up a considerable amount of expectation, while the entire follow-up after the event could also be seen on the Internet.


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Event Trends

MICE creativity

Without using such a direct Internet method, but with using more traditional means of using the media, Draft FCB led the campaign Madrid: 6 million people, but Friday 200 will disappear which attracted the whole press and once again stirred up great deal of excitement. The publicity stunt consisted in one morning asking young people if they would be willing to take a flight that very morning to go to a party on Ibiza, and the first two hundred to accept travelled that morning to the island, enjoyed the party and the next day were on their way back to Madrid by plane.

Using creativity to sell experiences has a very clear objective in the MICE world, as making a destination known means providing a little creativity, because it is essential to ensure a place is memorable in the mind of the client. No longer valid are on-site presentations of the destination, or power points of a recently opened convention centre, or crowded fam trips, where the number of guests counts more than the quality of guest or where they come from. All these ways of promoting a destination no longer surprise, and now new strategies are needed to make a destination speak for itself. All the speakers of the talk held at the EIBTM fair, featuring managers of the convention centres of Granada, Seville and Oviedo, were agreed that one of the keys to success was finding a target, a market niche that would be perfectly suited to their destination. This means one of the keys lies in specialisation, whether we speak of the cities themselves or their meetings and events facilities. With the exception of big cities like Madrid or Barcelona, all mid-sized cities need to be specialized in order to stand out and become a reference in the sector. One of the examples of specialisation that was mentioned during the talk was that of the Congress and Exhibition Centre in Seville, represented by Mª del Mar Carnero, who explained that for sev-

eral years they have been attracting many congresses on renewable energy. As their first experience with a congress of this type was a rousing success, since then their good knowhow has led to many companies from this same sector to trust in them.

The role of ambassadors Another trend which is gaining ground and becoming highly effective is having representatives or ambassadors from the destination to come to greet a specialist of a specific sector, be it medicine, automobiles, or the food industry, and ask them to speak to its highest ranking association or organization so that the sector’s next congress in their field is held in the ambassador’s city. The aim is to have a small event local in character with a specialist from the field, the upshot of which can have a

Specialization and finding a market niche are the keys to the success of a destination


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The trend now is making fam trips ever more personalized and segmented.

great repercussion on a national or international level. This system is not new but it is highly effective, particularly if the specialists that are seen are well chosen. There is no better advertising than that which appeals to the sentiments of belonging to a group or place. Another successful formula highlighted at the conference, which is by now a true classic yet is still quite effective, are the fam trips. These familiarisation trip are now to be understood as personal visits with the most important players in the sector. The aim here is to be very clear about which people are invited on the fam trip and knowing what each person is interested in knowing and what is valuable for their company.

Speaking to...

RAIMOND TORRENTS FERNÁNDEZ Founder of Torrents & Friends and moderator of a talk given on creativity in events held during the EIBTM Fair Raimond Torrents has over twenty years’ experience in organizing events. In 2005 he published the book Business Events. The Power of Live Communication (Deusto), the first book on business events published by a Spanish author. What are the keys to being creative? First of all, clearly understanding what you need this creativity for. By this I mean creativity is nothing more than a way of dressing up a message so that it reaches its destination in the most effective way. The first thing you need to do in order to be creative is know what your target is, understand the message perfectly, and be free what it comes time to think. I believe that everybody is creative, but what happens is that creativity is an exercise that is a lot like sport: the more you practice, the better you play. There are a lot of people who are not creative because they’re afraid of doing it wrong, and all of us who work in creativity do it wrong everyday! What is the key to a memorable event? The key is communication. Communicating means you have to make sure you establish a close connection between giver and receiver. One of the tricks to ensure that receivers become ready for the information you are giving them is managing to surprise them. This means bringing certain notoriety to your message. And the surprise, the non-conventional ways of communicating, generates this notoriety and makes sure the receiver of the message is more permeable and thus receives it. Is the public more exigent with advertising nowadays? Without a doubt. A few years ago, when buying detergent, the public had a choice between two brands, but not today. To-

day we are in what economists refer to as perfect markets because there are an infinite number of brands with the same product at similar prices, which means people want more value, and value not only in terms of whether their wash is whiter or costs more or less. This value rests in what that brand does for the environment, or in how the brand responds to their corporate responsibility to society, or in what the labour conditions are in its factories. Now when people but something, they assume that they bear more responsibility than just simple purchasing a product. Are some sectors more creative than others? No, although there are some cultures which allow more craziness than others. Our Latin culture sometimes enjoys a type of creativity that is more extreme, and Americans as well. But the Germans like it less, and neither do the Japanese. There is a cultural basis, which is transmitted via companies. Those of us who do events know that the same event for an American company with an American origin will not function for a German or Japanese company. This is because companies have very different cultural roots. Where does the future lie for companies that organize events? There are two directions for the future: larger agencies which can really give all the services necessary on an international level, or very small agencies specialized in market niches. That agency specialized in guerrilla marketing, that agency specialized in events for pharmaceutical laboratories, or that agency specialized in entertaining events... in other words, big agencies or specialized agencies.


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Co. Events

COCA COLA AND PERFORDANCE DANCE AROUND THE MADRID BUSINESS CENTRE

WINE FUTURE RIOJA 09 DRAWS A THOUSAND PEOPLE FOR A SECTOR CONGRESS

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hese days, carrying out a publicity stunt that manages to capture the public’s attention is rather complicated, which is why proposals such as those from Coca Cola and Perfordance are truly good ideas. Perfordance is a company specializing in emotional communication and uses tools from the theatrical arts to bring added value to a particular brand. They did the following stunt for Coca Cola: on 29 October, they set up a fictitious office within the confines of the Azca business centre in Madrid with all the features that a real office has. At 8:30, the workers at this fictitious office began working in normal fashion until 11:30, when an alarm sounded followed by music. For three minutes the fake office workers performed a choreographed dance where they took out cans and cans of Coca Cola Light from a fridge. At the same time a group of hostesses provided free samples and handed out cans in the surrounding streets. The dance ended with all the dancers freezing in position while drinking from their soda cans, maintaining the posture until two in the afternoon. The stunt was repeated at five o’clock.

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iojaforum, the La Rioja Auditorium and Convention Centre, was the site of Wine Future Rioja 2009 this past 12 and 13 November. For these two days all manner of issues related to the world of wine were covered, such as the growing interest in wine from emerging economies like China, Russia and India, or the analysis of techniques to increase wine consumption. One of the highlights of Wine Future Rioja 09 was the presence at the congress of critic and writer Robert Parker, a leading figure in the world wine-growing scene, as his wine tasting events, opinions and evaluations have set trends in wine the world over. One of Parker’s comments was that the key lies in interacting with customers, as it would be very important, Parker noted, if one were walking down the streets of Tokyo and wanted a Rioja, one should be easily found. The congress permitted La Rioja to showcase the quality of its wines, but far beyond a mere promotional view, as the events allowed opinions to be shared and compared, an experiences from experts the world over on current trends in the world of wine were given. The congress was attended by over a thousand people and more than two hundred accredited journalists, and acted as a manner of viewing the present and future of the wine world from the standpoint of one region, La Rioja; one with a grand winemaking tradition and some of the best vintages in the world.

VALENCIA GETS READY FOR THE 33RD EDITION OF THE AMERICA’S CUP

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his February, Valencia will be the site of the thirty-third edition of the America’s Cup with the participation of just two sailboats: the Alinghi, the Cup’s previous winner, and the BMW Oracle. El Alinghi won the 32nd edition of the America’s Cup by a score of 5-2 over the Emirates Team New Zealand in June 2007 in Valencia, conquering one of the most exciting competitions of all time. The two boats will have to roll up their sleeves and sign up new crews in order to get the most out of the these multi-hulls, as jinking with a boat of these characteristics is not nearly as easy as doing the same with a single hull. The America’s Cup is one of the most difficult competitions in the world of sport, proof of which lies in the fact that it took 132 years a team managed to tear the trophy from the hands of the New York Yacht Club, back in 1983. Holding the America’s Cup in Valencia has meant the city has transformed its port into a perfectly designed place to host the competition, whose spectacular economic impact has created 73,000 jobs over four years.


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THE MONTCADA H10 HOTEL WELCOMES THE ‘FACES OF BARCELONA’ EXHIBITION

THE ELX MEDIEVAL FAIR BRINGS IN MORE THAN 300,000 PEOPLE ANABEL HOTEL IN LLORET DE MAR, THE BEST ESTABLISHMENT ACCORDING TO CUSTOMERS FROM THOMAS COOKNECKERMANN

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ore than three hundred thousand people visited the city of Elche to bear witness to the 14th Edition of the Elx Medieval Fair. Such numbers have meant a 10% increase in the attendance in respect to the previous year and demonstrate the great interest the event has risen. To be specific, the Medieval Market brought in more than 250,000 people, the street performances more than forty thousand and the theatre spectaculars more than seven thousand. During the week, from 23 October to 1 November, a total of 27 acts could be seen, with music, theatre, children’s performance, and street shows from companies harking from Spain, Italy, France, Norway, Turkey and Japan.

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ustomers from the Thomas Cook-Neckermann tour operator have voted the Anabel Hotel in Lloret de Mar as the best hotel in Spain. The award is given every year and based on the results from customer surveys that evaluated aspects such as quality, service or food. Of the hundred such companies selected worldwide, the Anabel Hotel was the only establishment in Spain to receive the award. One of the keys to the success of this hotel is the establishment’s long-serving staff, who know their regular guests well and can offer them personal, friendly and quality service.

THE OLYMPIC CONVENTION CENTRE RECEIVES THE AWARD FOR BEST CONGRESS SPACE IN GIRONA

VALLADOLID, SYNONYMOUS WITH QUALITY CUISINE

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our international artists are the authors of the four views of the city of Barcelona that form part of the exhibition called Faces of Barcelona, on display at the Montcada H10 Hotel. Artist Julia Hernández has focussed on the Born and Maremàgnum in her intent on capturing what is essential to these two spots of the city in music and sculpture. Photographer Nicole Neuefeind knew exactly how to find the most remarkable corners of Barcelona’s Eixample, while British photographer James French depicted the sea from various angles of the city’s coastline. Finally, the illustrator Georgina Hoby did a collection of drawings to provide visitors with a window onto Barcelona’s Modernist traditions. This exhibition arose from the Montcada H10 Hotel’s desire to offer its guests a different way of drawing them closer to the culture of the city.

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he Evenia Hotel chain’s Olympic Convention Centre in Lloret de Mar has received the award for having the best congress space in the province of Girona-Costa Brava. The convention centre has 4,000 square metres and an auditorium for over 700 people. Once of the advantages of this facility is the fact it forms part of the Evenia Olympic Hotel Resort of Lloret de Mar, consisting of four four-star hotels, plus a fitness centre and spa. Evenia Hotels has spent more than thirty years in Lloret de Mar and has a long experience in carrying out events and congresses, such as the Catalonia Cycle Tour, the Costa Brava Rally, or the III Tourism Congress of Catalonia. Currently the chain has eleven establishments: six in Lloret de Mar, two in Barcelona, two in Roquetas de Mar and one in Cerler.

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he 5th City of Valladolid National Pinchos and Tapas Competition once again filled the city with the country’s top culinary specialists. Also held during the competition was the first International Meeting of Cooking Schools, which dealt with culinary techniques of the Spanish tapa and the many possibilities available to prepare pinchos, among other topics. One of the talks stirring up the most interest was the one devoted to tapas and cocktails by the head chef and barman at Sergi Arola’s Gastro Restaurant. The National Pinchos Competition had 22 finalists and the winner was Diego Guerrero of Madrid’s Club Allard with his tapa Mini Baby Bell of Camembert Trufee, while the second prize was claimed by Jordi Gotor from Barcelona’s Brown 22 for his tapa Olive+Anchovy+Pit.


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Useful guide

USEFUL GUIDE CONVENTION BUREAU Barcelona Barcelona Convention Bureau 34 93 368 97 00 bcb@barcelonaturisme.com

Bilbao

Murcia

Valencia

Oficina de Congresos de Murcia

Turismo Valencia Convention Bureau

34 968 34 18 18 congresos.murcia@congremur.com

34 96 360 63 53 turisvalencia@turiosvalencia.es

Palma de Mallorca

Zaragoza

Mallorca Convention Bureau

Zaragoza Convention Bureau

34 971 73 92 02 info@mallorcacb.com

34 976 72 13 33 zcb@zaragoza.es

Bilbao Convention Bureau 34 94 479 57 70 bicb@bilbaoturismo.bilbao.net

S.C. Tenerife Tenerife Convention Bureau

Girona

34 922 23 78 89 info@tenerifecb.com

Girona Convention Bureau 34 972 41 85 00 gicobu@cambrescat.es

La Coruña Consorcio de Turismo y Congresos de La Coruña 34 981 18 43 44 info@turismocoruña.com

Las Palmas Gran Canaria Convention Bureau 34 928 26 15 70 convention@laspalmasgccb.com

Madrid Spain Convention Bureau 34 91 364 37 00 femp@femp.es

Madrid Convention Bureau 34 91 588 29 00 congresos@munimadrid.es

Málaga Málaga Convention Bureau 34 95 206 18 30 convention.bureau@ayto-malaga.es

CONVENTION CENTRES Barcelona

Santander Santander Convention Bureau 34 942 20 30 02 congresos@ayto-santander.es

Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona 34 93 230 10 00 ccib@ccib.es

Palau de Congressos de Catalunya

San Sebastián

34 93 364 44 00 marta.rodriguez@pcongresos.com

San Sebastián Convention Bureau

Centro de Convenciones Gran Vía

34 943 48 14 66 bureau@donostia.org

34 93 233 20 00 info@firabcn.es

Santiago de Compostela

Palacio de Congresos de Barcelona 34 93 233 20 00 info@firabcn.es

Santiago de Compostela Convention Bureau

World Trade Center Barcelona

34 981 55 51 29 turismo@santiagoturismo.com

34 93 508 80 00 congresos@wtcbarcelona.es

Sevilla

Bilbao

Turismo de Sevilla

Palacio de Congresos y de la Música de Bilbao ‘Euskalduna’

34 95 459 29 15 turismo@sevilla.org

Toledo Toledo Convention Bureau 34 925 21 31 12 congresos@toledo-congresos.org

34 94 403 50 00 info@palacioeuskalduna.net


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Burgos

Logroño

Salamanca

Palacio de Congresos Y. Atapuerca

Riojaforum Palacio de Congresos y Auditorio de La Rioja

Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones

34 947 00 11 22 info@palaciocongresosatapuerca.com

Cádiz Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones 34 956 29 10 17 cadiz2000@palaciocongresos-cadiz-com

Córdoba

34 941 276 200 riojaforum@riojaforum.com

Madrid Centro de Congresos Príncipe Felipe Hotel Auditorium Madrid 34 91 400 44 00 info@hotelauditorium.com

Palacio de Congresos

Centro de Convenciones Feria de Madrid

34 957 48 31 12 palacio@cordobacongress.com

34 91 722 50 74 convenciones@ifema.es

Granada Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos 34 958 24 67 00 palacio@pcgr.org

Jerez Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones 34 956 18 07 32 ifeca@dipucadiz.es

La Coruña Palacio de CongresosAuditorio 34 981 14 04 04 director@palacongres.com

La Línea de la Concepción Palacio La Línea 34 956 769 950 info@palaciolalinea.com

Las Palmas de Gran Canarias Palacio de Congresos de Canarias 34 928 49 17 70 info@pcongresos-canarias.com

Centro de Convenciones Mapfre Vida 34 91 581 16 27 cc@mapfre.com

Palacio de Congresos de Madrid

34 923 26 51 51 congresos@palaciocongresossalamanca.com

San Sebastián Palacio de Congresos Auditorio Kursaal 34 943 00 30 00 kursaal@kursaal.org

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Centro Internacional de Ferias y Congresos de Tenerife 34 922 22 29 52 iftsa.iftsa@cabtfe.es

Santander

34 91 337 81 00 castellana.palacio@tourspain.es

Palacio de Exposiciones

Málaga

Sevilla

Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Málaga

Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos de Sevilla

34 952 04 55 00 pfyc@promalaga.es

34 95 447 87 00 general@fibes.es

Mérida

Sitges

Palacio de Congresos de Mérida

Centro de Congresos Meliá Sitges

34 924 007 308 palacios@palaciosdecongresosdeextremad ura.com

34 93 811 08 11 melia.sitges@solmelia.com

Murcia

Tarragona

Auditorio y Centro de Congresos Víctor Villegas

Palacio Ferial y de Congresos de Tarragona

34 968 34 10 60 congresos@ auditoriomurcia.org

34 977 24 55 77 info@palaucongrestgna

Palma de Mallorca

Torremolinos

Congress Palace Palma

Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones

34 971 73 70 70 info@congress-palace-palma.com

34 942 29 00 40

34 95 237 92 03 direccion@palacio-congresos.com


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Useful guide

Valencia

Bilbao

Salamanca

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

Hotel Lopez de Haro

Salamanca Forum Resort

34 94 423 55 00 lh@hotellopezharo.com

34 923 33 70 20 convenciones.hoteldb@grupomrs.com

34 96 197 45 00 rree@cac.es

Palacio de Congresos 34 96 317 94 00 palcongres-vlc@palcongres-vlc.com

Centro de Eventos de Feria Valencia 34 902 74 73 32 eventos@feriavalencia.com

Valladolid Centro de Congresos Valladolid 34 983 42 93 00 feriavalladolid@feriavalladolid.com

Burgos Hotel Landa Palace 34 947 25 77 77 landapal@teleline.es

Logroño AC Gran Hotel La Rioja 34 941 27 23 50 aclogroño@ac-hotels.com

Madrid Hotel Hesperia Madrid

Zaragoza Auditorio Palacio de Congresos de Zaragoza 34 976 72 13 00 informacion@auditoriozaragoza.com

HOTELS Barcelona Hotel Arts 34 93 221 10 00 info@harts.es

Hotel Barcelona Hilton 34 93 495 77 77 barcelona@hilton.com

G.H. La Florida 34 93 259 30 00 info@hotellaflorida.com

Hotel Grand Marina 34 93 603 90 00 info@grandmarinahotel.com

Hotel Majestic

34 91 210 88 00 hotel@hesperia-madrid.com

Hotel HUSA Princesa 34 91 542 21 00 husaprincesa@husa.es

Hotel Maria Cristina 34 943 43 76 00 hmc@westin.com

Santander Hotel Real 34 942 27 25 50 realsantander@husa.es

Santiago de Compostela

34 91 567 50 00 melia.castilla@solmelia.es

34 981 55 24 44 pcarmen@achotels.com

Hotel Miguel Angel 34 91 442 00 22 hma@occidental-hoteles.es

Sevilla

Hotel Ritz

Hotel Meliá Colon

34 91 701 67 67 comercial@ritz.es

34 95 450 55 99 melia.colon@solmelia.com

Marbella

Toledo

Hotel Don Carlos

Hotel Hilton Buenavista Toledo

34 95 283 11 40 resa@hotel-doncarlos.com

Palma de Mallorca

Hotel Princesa Sofia

34 971 78 71 00 golfhotelsonvida@arabellasheraton.es

34 93 364 40 40 reservas@hrjuancarlos.com

San Sebastián

Hotel AC Palacio del Carmen

Arabella Sheraton Golf Hotel Son Vida

Hotel Rey Juan Carlos I

34 923 28 26 26 angela@hotelalamedapalace.com

Hotel Meliá Castilla

34 93 488 17 17 recepcion@hotelmajestic.es 34 93 508 10 00 psofia@expogrupo.com

Hotel Alameda Palace Salamanca

34 925 28 98 20 info.buenavistatoledo@hilton.com

Valencia Hotel Meliá Valencia Palace 34 96 337 50 37 melia.valencia.palace@solmelia.es

Zaragoza Hotel Palafox 34 976 23 77 00 hotelpalafox@palafoxhoteles.com


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MICE IN SPAIN - FIRST QUARTER ‘10  

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