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MICE in SPAIN

C O N V E N T I O N A N D T R A D E S H O W S PA I N ®

#3 SECOND QUARTER ‘08

COVER

WHY IN

EXTREMADURA Because it is a vast and spectacular land, where its cities, people and institutions serve the Meeting Industry to surprise in each and every way.

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CONVENTION CENTRES

INCENTIVES

CITIES

CONGRESS CENTRES OF EXTREMADURA constitute one of the most recent and innovating supplies of spaces for great meetings which also count with the appeals of the cities where they are located.

TRANSCANTÁBRICO, is possibly one of the most original and of perfect quality incentive journeys to discover the spectacularly green Spain comfortably and with all the details.

CÓRDOBA offers history, character and appeal which can be added to the great fairgrounds and specific spaces to hold events that form, on the whole, a suggesting urban proposal.


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EDITOR’S LETTER Spain is a predominant country for its enormous and varied tourist offer in all the different market segments. The extensive experience there is in the country, which is one of the main world destinations since the 60’s, has given a great advantage which translates into only too well consolidated infrastructures. This same experience, its continuous update for a quality customer’s service, the revaluation and care granted to monuments and natural appeals, apart from including all the new demands of the market concerning tourist specialities and activities have meant great recognition and international prestige. Nevertheless, its charms, settings and possibilities are so numerous that on occasions, these might be overlooked by tourism professionals, specially those who specialise in the Meeting Industry, who could do with some external help to be introduced to the new scenario and places with the objective of including them in their proposal agendas and to be useful as solutions to their acquired engagements to clients and companies. It is precisely for this raison d’etre that MICE in SPAIN was born, and it is in this same way you want it to continue being, as the majority of opinions that you have sent us about our first two issues indicate. Without any doubt, this is one of the unmistakable signs to continue offering new ideas based on the different possibilities Spain has to offer and the different autonomous regions which form this country. If on the first issue the main topics were, amongst others, the congress centre of Línea de la Concepción, in the Spanish South, or on the second, a special place like Palau de la Música Catalana of Barcelona in its centenary, in this issue we present a singular region which is Extremadura, which is at hand for the Meeting Industry professionals who want to request the excellent services and the great disposal of its professionals and businessmen. And I remind you that the rest of the sections also consider other proposals. We hope you find them useful. JOSÉ ALARCÓN

Honorific Editor: Juan Robles • Assessor on Contents: Pau Morata • Director: José Alarcón • Adversiting: Antonio Melchor, Antonio Gracia, 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, Juan M. Hernández Puértolas, Fernando Martorell, Joan Molas, Pau Morata, Fermín Pérez, Joaquim Sagués, Ramzi Shuaibi, Santiago Soteras, André Vietor, Antonio Wangüemert. • Writers: Marta Martínez, Pau Morata, Victor Puig Vilarrubís, Francisco Rivero. • Edition: Synergias de Prensa, S.L. C/ F. Pérez i Cabrero, 11-B, entlo. 8ª. E-08021 Barcelona. Tel.: +34 93 241 73 12. revista@miceinspain.es Editorial Production: Publications & Meetings Industry, S.L. MICEinSPAIN® #3. Barcelona. Spain. 2008 • Depósito Legal: B-47.057-2007


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SUMMARY News

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Convention centers Palacios de Congresos de Extremadura, contemporary architecture at the service of the best events

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Cover Extremadura, will get you

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Destinations Sitges, the ideal setting for meetings and congresses

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Incentives The Transcantábrico, a rolling luxury through green spain

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Cities Córdoba, a city of scientific and cultural congresses and other types of events

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Wellness & Spa Mondariz-balneario, a magic place and meeting point of society during the Belle Époque

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Hotels Valentín Sancti Petri, quality events under Cádiz sky

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Fairplay Golf Hotel & Spa, paradise under the andalusian sun

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Velada Hotels, unique places for the best events

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Special Venues Coto de las Canteras, a natural egiptian temple in the heart of Andalusia

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Incoming Álava incoming, quality imprint

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Events in Spain Alicante, in the spotlight in the world for the Volvo Ocean Race

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Useful guide

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News

CCIB 2007 RAISED INVOICING TO 53% AND CAME TO 36 MILLION EUROS

AYRE HOTELS INCORPORATES A NEW HOTEL IN OVIEDO

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he Hotel Chain Ayre has purchased Alfonso II Hotel in Oviedo with 19 rooms. With this one, the chain has two hotels in the city of Asturias where the chain is already present with Ayre Ramiro I Hotel. With this incorporation, Ayre Hotels has a total of seven establishments located in the cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Oviedo and Ibiza. This year, the chain has planned the incorporation of a third hotel in Barcelona which will be located near Sagrada Familia.

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he International Convention Centre of Barcelona (CCIB) has raised its invoicing to 36,6 million euros in 2007 which means an increase of 53% compared to 2006 figures. Last November all the complex invoicing records were broken with the celebration of Microsoft and Hewlett Packard events for the European market with more than 9,000 attendees each. During 2007 the convention centre held a total of 125 events with more than 160,000 delegates. In 2008, CCIB is holding great significance as the Nature World Congress to which more than 8,000 delegates are attending or the Human Reproduction and Embriology European Congress with more than 5,000 attendees.

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Awarded the best convention Centre Finally, we would like to mention that CCIB has been awarded with the second prize in the category of Best International Conference Centre at the Incentive Travel and Meeting Industry Awards. The Barcelonan centre has only been surpassed by Monaco Grimaldi Forum. The awards ceremony took place the last 18th of February at the London Novotel where more than 600 industry professionals from all over the world attended.

ccesible and inclusive congress tourism in Extremadura, test city Badajoz” is the title for the research study carried out by Extremadura Convention Bureau to analyse the situation in the tourist sector for disabled people, and in addition, fix the city of Badajoz as an example of an ideal accessible city for the sector. Out of this study we can clearly come to two conclusions, one is that there is an ample market of disabled people which is increasing, and the other one is that the working environment is becoming more and more specialized. On the other hand, the study advocates that Badajoz becomes a city without barriers for disabled people. At the presentation ceremony the tourist general manager, José Villa, and the manager for the support of the disabled of the Office for the Promotion of personal attention, María Luz Madrigal, and the general manager of Extremadura Convention Bureau, Román Sánchez Rajal attended.

EXTREMADURA CONVENTION BUREAU CARRIES OUT RESEARCH STUDY ON DISABILITY IN THE TOURIST SECTOR

HILTON MADRID AIRPORT OPENS ITS DOORS

The best projectors On the other hand, the Barcelonan centre has invested 750,000 euros purchasing 16 high definition projectors Barco which are the only projectors offering an optimum quality image even on screens of more than thirty meters wide. The first client who used this equipment was Microsoft when celebrating its two main European events TechEd Developers and TechEd It Forum with more than 9,000 delegates. CCIB is the first meeting space in Spain having had this system installed.

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n March the Milton Madrid Airport opened its doors, located at only five minutes from the airport and fifteen from the city centre. The new hotel of 284 rooms is divided in two great eight storey towers which connect to each other through an ample hall; the south tower has communal areas as the reception, the restaurant and the executive floors or the suites. The north tower has a convention centre with fifteen halls to celebrate meetings and congresses, a Business Centre totally equipped and 150 rooms. The hotel also offers a resting area with hydrotherapeutic swimming pool, sauna and gym. This new Hilton does not forger the gastronomic part and includes a restaurant with a varied offer for dinners a la carte in a unique and select atmosphere.


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CREATIVE AND SIGNATURE CUISINE AT THE OPENING OF NUCLO

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oie gras with almond and Money praline, hare canapé, Kobe beef rolls which is a Japanese beef fed with beer and massages, or prawn cappuccino are some of the dishes that more than 699 guests tasted at the opening of Nuclo restaurant last 22nd of February. The opening relied on the presence of some of the most prestigious chefs in Spain as Ferrán Adrià, Joan Roca, Nandú Jubany or Christian Escribà who accompanied the chef Jordi Narro, chef and soul of Nuclo, in his immersion in the Catalonian cuisine of the highest level. The opening of the restaurant had the space “show cooking” where four cooks made some of their representative dishes at Nuclo live. The restaurant with a modern and cosy decoration by the Japanese architect Toyo Ito is located at 58 Joan Carles I Avenue in Hospitalet de Llobregat and has a wine cellar with more than 1,500 bottles.

OLOT PROMOTES MICE TOURISM WITH THE INITIATIVE OF MEETINGS SURROUNDED BY VOLCANOES

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eetings surrounded by Volcanoes is a project of the Tourist Office of the Municipal Institute for the promotion of the city of Olot aimed at stimulating the city as the headquarters for congresses and conventions of small size. The project was presented last January. The initiative, which has already begun, wants to encourage two to five day stays at times when the tourist flow is lower as working days in winter or spring. One of the first steps which they will carry out is the commercialization of this initiative attending specialised fairs and trips to familiarize for event organising companies and journalists and also personalised visits to companies and chartered associations of the state and the autonomous regions.


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THE CONGRESS CENTRE OF THE CANARY ISLANDS INCREASES ALL FIGURES

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he Congress Centre of The Canary Islands in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria celebrated a total of 315 events in 2007 to which more than 200,000 people attended. This means 18% more attendees than the previous year. The figures have translated into an invoicing increase of 31%. On the other hand, the congress centre has received the best of critics by attendees as 90% of its facilities were graded as good or very good.

EXPOURENSE TO HOLD THE IBEROAMERICAN FAIR CONGRESS

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xpourense has been chosen the fairground for the celebration of the IXth International Iberoamerican Fair Congress which is being held from April 24th to 26th . The meeting is being boosted by the Iberoamerican Fair Union of which the Spanish Fair Association is part. During the meeting it is planned that issues like the Latin American fair market world approaches, how fairs have become a dinamizing element of a territory, or how to obtain more visitors from a fair organization perspective or the basic strategies to foster customer loyalty.

PALEXCO ISSUES A NEW CORPORATIVE CATALOGUE

THE CONGRESS CENTRE OF CATALONIA REDESIGNS ITS WEB PAGE

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he Congress and Exhibition Centre of A Coruña presented on the 27th of February its corporative catalogue, in which the essential values of the space are defined and the qualities for carrying out events and meetings are presented. The new promotion tool combines the traditional paper medium combined with the digital technology of CD and DVD. With texts in Spanish, Galician and English the catalogue combines technical information about the congress centre with images and the promotion of A Coruña. The flyer tries to present a Galician city and Palexco as centres of interest capable of celebrating any type of event.

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he Congress Centre of Catalonia has since the end of February an innovating web page to facilitate quick access to information about clients and people interested in organising events in its fairgrounds. The new portal has a content organiser which processes the information in an intuitive way and allows more personalised searches; the virtual map of the centre’s infrastructures is outstanding and allows the visualization of the different levels and halls onn the computer’s screen. The web page has been created by eMascaró, a specialised agency on interactive marketing and communication for the tourist sector.


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News

IBEROSTAR SUITES HOTEL JARDÍN DEL SOL REOPENNING

SUCCESS AT THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE EXTERIOR COMMERCIALIZATION OF JEREZ AS A DESTINATION

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fter renovating all the rooms and facilities Iberostar Suites Hotel Jardín del Sol located on the Calma Coast, near Santa Ponça in Mallorca, has reopened its doors showing its 261 suites totally renovated. The renovated hotel offers an ample gastronomic and sport offer as well as a modern spa which invites to discover an innovating world of experiences and sensations with treatment and massage cabins. As for gastronomic offer the new panoramic restaurant Bellevue is outstanding, with live cuisine, buffet for breakfast and a diet spot. And for sport lovers, the hotel offers the possibility of practising multiple activities such as diving, golf, sailing or horse riding. At the same time the hotel is perfectly prepared for business stays with two modern conference halls with capacity for 75 to 90 people.

SHERATON DISEMBARKS ON THE COSTA DAURADA

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uring the year 2007 Tui España and Jerez Council have developed an initiative to increase Jerez notoriety as a destination at an international scale and position it as a destination with an ample variety of supplies. Amongst the main actions that took place last year more than 200,000 fliers and 150,000 presents were given, this destination was also promoted at Fitur fair, and the mailing to clients in their country of origin amongst other actions. Once these promotional actions were done, Jerez has increased the number of tourists 15% and contracted trips to visit Jerez 50%.

SEVILLE HELD THE INTERNATIONAL CONFEC RED EVENT

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he main experts in the congress, convention and incentive market met in Seville from the 7th to the 11th of February for the International Confec Red event organised by Mc Lean Events. More than 250 people attended and for two days they worked their way through a scheduled agenda with the purchasers belonging mainly to the British market and sales people from the European market. Seville’s Tourist Board, Turespaña and Andalucian Tourism collaborate with the organisers of this professional event facilitating the logistic and institutional support necessary for the perfect organisation and development of the meeting

heraton Bonmont Golf Resort & Spa is the name of the new hotel belonging to the Sheraton chain. It is opening in June on the Costa Daurada. The hotel will be a relax and comfort centre thanks to its spectacular golf court of 18 holes and thanks to the 1,500 m2 of the spa and fitness area. The golf court will occupy an extension of 72 hectares with six km of length, ninety bunkers, practice field and a club with a restaurant. The spa will have areas dedicated to beauty, water activities or nutrition. The new Sheraton includes 136 rooms six of which are executive suites with 50 m2 and a terrace of 20m2, a presidential suite with a luxurious dinning room, a fully equipped kitchen and an ample bathroom. At the same time, the hotel offers 56 luxurious residences which will be on sale with the particular detail that their owners will have access to all the spaces and commodities of the hotel and will also be able to rent them out to the Sheraton Bonmont Golf Resort & Spa to maximize their investment.


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Convention Centres

CONGRESS CENTRES IN EXTREMADURA CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE AT THE SERVICE OF THE BEST EVENTS Extremadura has been characterised from the beginning of its foundation, more than two thousand years ago, by being the centre of attraction and meetings, Romans, Visigoths, Arabs and Jewish all left their imprint and made, passing by, this autonomous region the decisive setting for many events. Extremadura is a region that has wide experience, so to speak, as it has been organising events for 2,000 years. By MICE EDITORIAL STAFF. photos courtesy of CONGRESS CENTRES EXTREMADURA

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he new congress infrastructures in Extremadura, which best examples are Badajoz and Mérida Congress Centres, are the great bet of the community to continue being the reference setting in the Meeting Industry field. Both buildings, of innovating design and awarded architecture, enlighten the cities in Extremadura with their modern look and their future projection is convincing for a tourism which bets on quality and originality. Privilegedly located, Extremadura is a border territory between Spain and Portugal, at the same distance with respect to key cities such as Madrid, Lisbon or Seville. The communication networks facilitate


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its access, either by land or air. The dual carriageway of La Plata connecting north-south Spain and Extremadura dual carriageway, place Badajoz at only 3 hours journey from the Spanish capital city. At only two hours we find the airport of Lisbon, with all types of international flights. But if you want to land closer, Badajoz also has an airport with daily flights to Madrid and Barcelona. The best facilities for MICE combine with the cultural richness that Extremadura treasures. Not less than three are the avowed world Heritage groups by UNESCO in this autonomous region: Mérida, Cáceres, and the Monastery of Guadalupe. The old Emerita Augusta, the city founded by Octavious Augustus in the year 25 BC, has one of the most spectacular and best preserved roman theatres in the world. In fact, even today its stage serves for the performance of all kinds of shows and concerts. Another contemporary space in the city where all types of events are held is its Congress and Exhibition Centre. Badajoz, city which shelters one of the most modern Congress Centres in Spain, offers endless appeals. One of the most emblematic buildings is the Cathedral, which resembles a fortress with solid walls and an impressive tower of 41 metres high and eleven metres wide and where the belltower is placed. Another reference monument in the city is Puerta de Palmas, the entrance gateway in the middle of the XVIth century fortified city. The gateway is formed by a commemorative arch and two cylindrical towers which in the past served as the royal prison.

The best facilities for MICE combine with the cultural richness of Extremadura


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Conventions Centres

The Congres Centre of Badajoz Chosen by the MOMA of New York as one of the 53 most representative buildings in Spain, this congress centre in Badajoz named Manuel Rojas, is a piece of work by the architects José Selgas and Lucía Cano, it is a beautiful and imposing palace located in the old part of the city. The Palace is in the Bastión de San Roque, the old walls of Badajoz, becoming a connecting link between the old part and the new extended part of the city of Badajoz. The palace is set in the same place where the old bullfighting ring used to be, it has been done in a way that the centre of the building, the auditorium, coincides with the place where the arena used to be. This auditorium is of great visual beauty as it is a luminous white cylinder surrounded by a veil which works as a protecting filter for the place and it is made up by a series of greenish translucent polyester rings through which air and light go through. The entrance to the building slopes down to preserve the wholeness of the cylinders from which we access the great hall which remains buried and illuminated and which is the main distributor to reach any point in the building.

The architectonic beauty of a peculiar palace One of the aesthetic keys of the Congress Centre in Badajoz is its façade. It functions as a great light match as there is a direct relation between the time of the day and the shades and shadows in the façade. There are two facades really: an interior one, in the shape of a cylinder, which finishes in illuminated methacrylate rings over a yellow and white background, and an exterior one formed by multiple polyester exterior rings and which forms a veil that marks the place where the old bullfighting ring was. Both façades make a light effect of a lantern. At the same time, the roof of the building is formed by a central crystal vault with a fake ceiling which clarifies the light giving a much more beautiful light effect. Another characteristic which give its own personality to the centre is an ample stage of 40 metres wide and 20 metres deep and which is the third biggest stage in Spain only surpassed in size by Teatro Real de Madrid and Liceo de Barcelona. A stage which matches the acoustic quality of the place, which has been advised by one of the most outstanding personalities in this field, Higini Arau, who has produced the acoustic planning of Scala de MIlán Theatre or the Kuursal in San

Sebastián. The Congress Centre in Badajoz has been thought out to the last detail, and this can be proved by the seats called ‘flow’ which have been created by the Sweedish designer Mónica Forster and which are exceptional for their beauty and comfort. One of the seats has been awarded for the best design in the International Design Fair of Stockholm.

A multidisciplinary space for meetings and congresses The Congress Centre of Badajoz, Manuel Rojas, is a multidisciplinary space where a congress or meeting can be easily organised as its 17,000m2 offer all types of perfect spaces to carry out any activity of this kind. The auditorium is ideal to celebrate company conventions or conferences as it has a capacity of 1,000 seats. The centre has five floors offering different halls open to all types of activities as a conference room with capacity for 350 seats or an exhibition hall of 700m2. All of which have the latest technologies like simultaneous translation, stage lights or plasma screens. One of the most important aspects in any space of this kind has not been forgotten here, catering. This space includes a restaurant of great capacity with a kitchen in sight for the clients and with a pleasant view over the patio. The restaurant offers a gastronomy rich in products of the land as the Ibérico ham or the Torta del Casar cheese and the best delicacies of the season all accompanied with a wide selection of appellation contrôlée wines.

Congress and Exhibition centre of Mérida The concept of uniting history and modernity pervades the conception of the Congress and Exhibition Centre of Mérida. We are talking about a unitarian piece, which opens up in itself and forms with its full and empty spaces a great terrace or raised balcony looking onto Guadiana river. The Centre offers a magnificent view of the gateways that access the city of Mérida. Past, present and future can be seen on the walls thanks to a key construction material: reinforced concrete. This material and how it is treated not only gives the basic character to the image of the building, but also constitutes an essential part of the argument of the architectonic project of Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano. Contemporary in its construction technique, the concrete is at the same time


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the trace of the old walls of the roman city. The palace reinterprets in this way the classical materials to make its facilities the best investment in the future, internationally speaking, in the area of the Meeting Industry. Ordered in five different storeys the built surface of this congress centre surpasses 9,000m2.

Ideal halls for all types of events The Main Auditorium, the most important hall of the Centre, is not only ideal for great conferences and events, but also fulfils the most demanding acoustic conditions, and this makes it a first line concert and stage hall. With capacity for a symphonic orchestra, this concert hall or auditorium is a unique facility amongst the stage halls in Extremadura. This versatile space, with capacity for up to 1,000 people, is also equipped with cutting edge technical services, out of which the power capacity (a maximum power of 2 megawatts) is outstanding and the audio and video can even make a digital simultaneous translation. The main hall is supplemented by three auditoriums of smaller sizes, ranking from 276 and 60 seats, three meeting halls which can hold 60 people each and an impressive exhibition hall. In this great ample space of 509 m2 a majestic olive tree presides, a symbol present in the infinite landscapes of Extremadura, glazed as if it were a sculpture to be admired. This hall has been thought out to be adaptable to the specific needs of each event. It is a sequence of ample empty spaces modulated by a structure. A second hall of 279 m2 is attached where a catering for 700 people can be organised. The delicious and well known gastronomy of Extremadura could not be missing from the services of the Congress Centre of Mérida. The congress space has various catering areas like a space for 150 dinner guests, a great annexed hall for another 150, an exhibition hall for 840 guests and a terrace for up to 500 people. The possibilities are ample to taste the region’s specialities.

The delicious and well known gastronomy of Extremadura could not be missing from the services of the Congress Centre of Mérida

Useful information CONGRESS CENTRE OF MÉRIDA

CONGRESS CENTRE OF BADAJOZ

Total surface: 9.657 m2 Auditorium I: capacity for 1,000 people Audiorium II: 276 seats Auditorium III: up to 200 people Auditorium IV: capacity 60 people Room 1, Room 2 and Room 3: 60 attendees Press room for 60 people Dinning room for 150 guests, expandable to up to 600 Exhibition hall of 700 m2 Different areas and spaces for exhibitions, congress stands, etc. All with internet connection and office area. Terrace of more than 400 m2 apt for cocktail parties and aperitifs, etc. Avda. Del Río, s/n 06800 Mérida Tel: 924 007 300 / 924 007 308 Fax: 924 007 301 direccion-palacios@palaciosdecongresosdeextremadura.es

Total surface: 17,519 m2 Auditorium: 1,000 seats Exhibition Hall: 700 m2 Conference Room: 350 seats Meeting hall: 65 m2 Three multipurpose halls: 62, 155 and 195 m2 Restaurant: 192 m2

Ronda del Pilar, s/n 06002 Badajoz Tel: 924 939 000 Fax: 924 939 030 direccion-badajoz@palaciosdecongresosdeextremadura.es


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EXTREMADURA

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WILL GET YOU Extremadura is a region which continues surprising us, even the tourist MICE sub-sector. Years ago it was perfectly unknown in the field of congresses and conventions, and today is becoming more and more popular as a destination by professionals who want to hold all types of events in its territory, either nationally or internationally. By F.R./J. ALARCÓN photos cortesy of TUREXTREMADURA, CONVENTION BUREAU EXTREMADURA AND LOSAR DE LA VERA COUNCIL.


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he same has happened to the hotel business. Extremadura was a land where two types of cuisine were known, the popular cuisine which included the sheppard and the monastic types. This has enabled the new cooks of the region to recuperate historical recipes and with the excellent products produced there, take gastronomy to the highest level of excellence, with various Michelin stars assigned to some restaurants. After this basic lodging and catering infrastructure, tourist businessmen look for the development of other market niches as the congress, convention and incentive markets. A specific fact: a few years ago, the region was considered the last on the list of MICE activities by Spain Convention Bureau. Now, after the regional authorities’ campaign and that made by the businessmen of the sector, Extremadura has increased its professional meetings and attracts specialists in the Meeting Industry for its natural, historical and monumental attractions, apart from being located in the centre of a territory which vertex is Madrid, Lisbon and Seville, with the Portuguese market appeal of 10 million clients. Before the continuous success of the meeting tourism, Extremadura has created two congress centres (Mérida and Badajoz) and a third one is being built in Cáceres. The capital city also has a historical building, the convent of San Francisco, of the XVIth century, where artistic and congress facilities mix together. This region has two fairgrounds, one in Badajoz (capital) IFEBA and the other one in Don Benito-Villanueva de la Serena (FEVAL). Other cities join the referred ones with appeals for the meeting tourism as Trujillo, Almendralejo, Plasencia and Zafra. On the whole, Extremadura has eight congress cities. In any case, the professionals of the hotel business have adapted their establishments to be able to offer their clients meeting spaces and in doing so have increased the business tourism.


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Extremadura has different fairgrounds, amongst which Don Benito, Tierra de Barros and Badajoz stand out

Good connections with Madrid and Lisbon Continuous transport infrastructures are to be added: Madrid-Lisbon dual carriage way and the A-66 motorway connecting the Peninsula from north to south (Gijón- Seville), and the dual carriageway from Miajadas to Don Benito and from Navalmoral to Plasencia continuing to Coria and Portugal. In addition, just in a few years, the planned private airport of Cáceres (there is already one in Badajoz, in the nearby village of Talavera la Real) and the AVE (high speed railway) MadridLisbon through Plasencia, Cáceres, Mérida and Badajoz.

Study and analysis for major quality During 2008 a study in all congress cities of the region is being carried out to evaluate the potentialities and inadequacies when organising meeting tourism. With this action they want to analyse the congress reality of Extremadura during 2008, from the point of view of the participants as well as from the point of view of an external observer. In doing so they will help to detect, in the course of these events that the autonomous region carries out, the strong and weak points, and in this way establish positive feedback for the former as well as optimum proposals in terms of quality for the latter and make them only potential. To reach this and through specific objectives the following processes will be undertaken: -To analyse the congress reality of Extremadura in 2008, concerning the number, typology, and subject matter of events. -To collect, through the participants themselves, basic data as source and estimate expenses to favour Extremadura as a Congress region destination in the statistics carried out by SCB. -To compile data through an external observer who will analyse the organisation and development of each event so as to determine strong and weak points and lacks. -To compile all the data obtained during the congress course of 2008 and, once electronically and statistically available, state the premises that derive from the study and establish conclusions which will allow determining the potentialities and inadequacies.


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-To make known the performer-participant companies in the congress events of the region of Extremadura the results of the study and establish quality politics both for the positive and negative results and to put a stop to the latter through improving and efficient proposals.

Extremadura Convention Bureau, Certification Label Extremadura ConventionBureau is a non profit association founded in 2004 and formed by businessmen and business associations from all over the region. The Convention Bureau is a collective and commercial certification label used by the different tourist destinations which have introduced it for their promotional actions for the congress and meetings. The promoting congress body in Extremadura is formed on this date by 55 tourist institutional and business members, distributed in the following sub sectors: Business Associations (Tourist Business Confederation of Extremadura, Hotel trade Federations of Cáceres and Badajoz, Zafra Convention Bureau, Zafra Council, Businessmen association of Zafra and Businessmen association Río Bodión); there are some OPC’s and travel agencies, El Casino de Extremadura and Lusiberia theme parks; graphic design and sound companies, tourist consultancies, active and complementary tourist activities, hotels, restaurants, caterings and sponsors. Also, obviously, they are part of it ECB congress centres of Mérida and Badajoz; the fairgrounds of Badajoz, the fair institution FEVAL and Tierra de Barros and the cultural complex San Francisco of Cáceres. Its current president is José Luis Iniesta Vázquez, president of the hotel chain Rio and of the casino of Extremadura, apart from being stock breeder of bullfight cattle; its technical team is composed by Román Sánchez, general manager who administers the promotion departments, communication and marketing, projects and training, statistics and finances. Extremadura Convention Bureau also has the support and collaboration of the Culture and Tourist Board of the Autonomous Government of Extremadura; the County Council of Cáceres and Badajoz; the city councils of Badajoz and Mérida, and emblematic companies such as

Extremadura’s Quality Those who live in Extremadura say that the quality of life they have is very good, The image of the region outside and behind surveys carried out amongst tourists is the same. The good quality of life. And this is because Extremadura has come from being unknown to the majority, only suggested for being a Conqueror’s landwhich is true- to being now a desired land because it has been discovered and promoted amongst the people who travel across it and those who want to visit it because you can be comfortably off and because it has very good gastronomic products, because of the magnificent monumental cities: Mérida, Trujillo, Guadalupe, Cáceres…, its beautiful landscape: National Park of Monfragüe, Valle del Jerte, Sierra de Gata, Las Hurdes. Its restorers are awarded national and international prizes and because good food is offered to those who sit at its table. And all of this can be enjoyed if one comes as an individual tourist or as a professional attending an event: congress, convention, incentive or any other meeting. There is time for everything. Those who love art can be entertained at the old city centre of Cáceres, World Heritage; or the hidden objects at Monasterio de Guadalupe, which together with the extraordinary roman city of Mérida and the town planning of Trujillo form the four jewels of the region of Extremadura. There are also those who instead of art are looking for nature: the parks of Monfragüe, de Cornalvo or Tajo Internacional, next to Portugal, suggest a new vision for the dryness of Extremadura. Biology offers diverse and authentic flora and fauna. This menu offered to the traveller is seasoned, as we said before, with the good products of its fertile lowland and its vegetable gardens, products which are then elaborated on the basis of centenary recipes from the convents of the Orden Militar de Alcántara, the monastry of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, where the first products brought from America were tasted or the ones suggested by the cuisine of the Emperor Carlos V, that man who enjoyed good food and who lived his last days retired in the Jeronimous monastry of Yuste, the true European capital in the XVIth century. The dishes are elaborated by expertise hands which have more than one Michelin star or by hands that enjoy popular recipes, because the sheppard cuisine can also be offered with the top products of Extremadura which are better known now: acorn-fed Iberian ham, with the name of “Dehesa de Extremadura” or the famous cheese of El Casar or La Serena, without forgetting about the excellent wines with the generic name of “Rivera del Guadiana”. Perhaps, just because of this, for capturing the beauty of the landscape, a relaxed walk around a monumental city or tasting any of its products, just because of that, Extremadura is worth a visit.


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Avis, Renfe, Iberia, Grupo Río Hotels, Husa Hotels and Vigua wines with appellation contrôlée. The general slogan of Extremadura Convention Bureau to capture congresses in the autonomous region is: “Extremadura te interesa.. Extremadura will get you”

Pioneer in the administration of telemarketing The administration team of Extremadura Convention Bureau works through the telemarketing system. It is one of the pioneer entities in the use of this method which efficiency is backed by the use of this system in great company groups. The functioning of telemarketing is based on the use of the new information and communication technology (ITC) making good use of all the guarantees and advantages they put before us and with the main objective of reducing economic costs and material efforts. Amongst the business advantages in using this telemarketing we point out the reduction of economic expenses for the companies, the ease of territorial expansion. Also telemarketing offers a direct and quick approach to the client providing the sector with a better competitive position. Extremadura Convention Bureau has found in this system a great tool to achieve the objectives to establish a territorial distribution throughout the region with the creation of local convention bureaus. One of the objectives for the present year is to achieve the catalogue of 1,500 companies which carry out congresses, conventions and incentives with the objective of raising interest, attracting the person making the decision and offering Extremadura as a destination for their meeting. Also attending fairs of the sector like FITUR


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congresses, INTUR business in Valladolid, or EIBTM in Barcelona as well as other regional fairs, as Turinterior, Foro Salud, Expofranquicias and SIMO. It will also carry out publicity campaigns in specialised and general publications and business or professional associations, and press journeys for journalists specialised in congresses, economy and general press and also journeys for professionals of event organisers. In May, coinciding with the Turinterior fair, the fairground FEVAL of Don Benito, a workshop has been planned where Extremadura companies will meet: congress centres, fairgrounds, hotels, restaurants and service companies, with purchasers of events who have been purposely invited.

• I Internacional Seminar about Competitive Good Working Practice in the Wine Industry. • Commercial Law Congress • National Congress of Spanish Federation of Friends of Museums • VIII FORO SUR- Iberoamerican Fair of Contemporary Art• IX Congress of the Spanish Federation of Community Centres • XVI International Contest of Medical Health and Telemedicine Cinema, VIDEOMED • I Transnational Conference of Psycho-oncology • XXVI Pharmaceutical Nacional Congress • Free Software Exhibition

More than 200 events in 2007 Planned Activities for 2008 This year ECB has contracted 82 events directly, hoping that April will be the month with the greatest number of congresses, with 18, while in August there are not any planned. The city which will be celebrating the greatest number of events will be Cáceres, followed by Badajoz and Don Benito. Some of which are: • International Congress about Iridiscente in Asian and Muslim Countries • Quality Products and Apellation Côntrolée Exhibition • I International Seminar of Training Managers and Professionals of Bullfighting Schools. • Programme for Transfrontier Cooperation Spain – Portugal 20072013.

During the past year, Extremadura held 202 events, with March and April as the months with the greatest number, 38 and 36 respectively, and August and December with the least number, only two and three each. Out of the total events held in the region of Extremadura, Convention Bureau held 15 in collaboration with other institutions and promoted eight of them jointly. The 23 events generated an economic impact in the areas where they were held of 4,7 million euros. The rest of the ceremonies were organised by different institutions of regional, national and international associations, for which there are no economic data. The city with the greatest number of activities was Badajoz, with 68, followed by Cáceres with 49 and Mérida with 29. At great distance: Zafra, 21; Don Benito, 18; Almendralejo, 7 and Plasencia and Trujillo with 5 each.

Interview to...

JOSÉ LUIS INIESTA, chairman of Extremadura Convention Bureau

Taking a look at his curriculum vitae means having a lot of patience as his professional career is a lengthy one; the majority is centred in the hotel and business trade. José Luis Iniestaalso has an ample and deep training in the tourist field. His years of experience have made him hold amongst other posts, that of president of the Convention Bureau of Extremadura since it was set up in 2005.

rical and cultural Heritage. Quiet because in Extremadura time runs slowlyer; those who live here still enjoy the pleasure of time and we make the visitor enjoy it in a quiet and calm atmosphere. Vital because its pleasant people are always ready to please, receive and able to show unique experiences to those who decide to stay a few days among us.

-MICE in SPAIN.- Extremadura, is it a good MICE destination? José Luis Iniesta.- Without any doubt Extremadura is currently an excellent destination for CC&I and it is positioned in the market and ready to compete with other destinations. Extremadura has come in vey little time from being unknown to being a near, different and surprising destination.

M.I.S- Can you tell us about the specific infrastructures (convention centres, congress centres, hotels, etc) in this region? J.L.I.- In Extremadura we have an important and special supply of Congress Centres and Fair Institutions: to the modern and innovating Congress Centres of Mérida and Badajoz, the latter has been selected by the MOMA of New York as one of the most emblematic of modern architecture, we can add others like Complejo Cultural San Francisco where extraordinary beauty and sobriety combine in a XVIth century building with the functionality of an spectacular Congress Centre. Modern and innovating fair institutions equipped with top technology, like Feval in Don Benito, Ifeba in Badajoz or Infetiva in Almendralejo, make the region of Extremadura a place to celebrate all types of fair contests or events of great size. The hotel supply in Extremadura is modern, func-

M.I.S.- In general terms, what elements, factors and arguments has the autonomous region of Extremadura to convince international professionals of the MICE sector of its choice? J.L.I.- Extremadura has magnificent infrastructures able to satisfy the needs of any visitor, but if we had to define it in three words, we could say it is authentic, quiet and vital. Authentic because it is the best preserved Spanish region in terms of nature, traditions and rich histo-

tional and of the highest quality. The hotel trade businessmen of Extremadura are aware of the importance that business tourism has and have been able to adapt their facilities to make space for the sector, extending their services and adapting them to the necessities and also specialising in the organization of CC&I events. M.I.S.- The MICE tourist is a demanding one, do you think Extremadura can satisfy these demands? Why? J.L.I.- Without any doubt, Extremadura is straightforwardly betting on the tourist sector and we are aware that the best tool to promote it is the client’s satisfaction. For this reason, we have an adequate infrastructure with highly qualified professionals with a predisposition to satisfy, and this is why we do not have any doubt that any visitor will leave Extremadura totally fulfilled and wanting to come back but also wanting to tell his or her acquaintances about it. M.I.S.- Do you think that the tourist offer (monumentality, gastronomy, cultural factors and variety of products) which your autonomous region has is an added value for the meeting tourism? J.L.I.- Extremadura attracts on its own, to its na-


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Extremadura has increased its professional meetings and is attracting specialists in the Meeting Industry for its natural, historical and monumental appeals

tural spaces there is the diversity of cultures and one of the best preserved architectonic and monumental Heritages in the European continent; in fact, we have three groups that have been avowed “World Heritage” by UNESCO: Cáceres, Mérida and Guadalupe. With eight Tourist Paradors, more than any other Spanish region, located in historical buildings, with the splendid hostelry net located in exceptional buildings and spaces,… But if anything is outstanding in Extremadura, we should mention the magnificent gastronomy based on the natural land products: acorn-bred ham, the cheese, the wine, the honey, the olive oil, the beer and other natural and organic fruits. All of this being an added value and joined to the extraordinary weather and its people: funny, happy and pleasant, this is the whole of Extremadura. M.I.S.- Extremadura Convention Bureau, what is its real field of responsibility? In other words, up to what extent is responsible to present totally consolidated results within the tourist sector? J.L.I.- Extremadura Convention Bureau is a reference entity for the tourist and CC&I sector, our main task is to join and connect the sector to offer such competitive market a unified whole and also offer a guarantee to the clients that everything that we offer here will be done, which means that his expectations are fulfilled. M.I.S.- Do you have an action programme?. If you do, tell us a bit what it consists of and which points in the strategy are given more importance?

J.L.I.-.We have started an ambitious promotion plan based on four essential points: service, customer’s service, creation of destination differential values, direct promotion and a straightforward bet on I+D+I. Out of all, as I said before, the most important one and the one in which we make the greatest efforts is customer’s service, collaborating without any cost with all the organising committees in candidature presentation, in prospective journeys, in the administration and realisation of the executive secretary’s office of the event, as well as the quality control of all the services given during the development of the event to elaborate a continuous improving plan. M.I.S.- Could you briefly enumerate some of the reasons for choosing this Spanish autonomous region to organise the next meeting or incentive? J.L.I.-.It is little more that can be said about Extremadura, but there is much more to discover. We consider it is essential for an event organiser to choose Extremadura instead of another destination. Extremadura will surprise for sure and the event organised here will remain in the participants’ memory for years and it is sure, and I will repeat this, they will want to come back. M.I.S.- As you see we have not talked about figures and numbers, but to say good bye, could you give us some of the data and figures which can tell us that this land is not new in this tourist speciality and that others have already relied on it?

J.L.I.- Extremadura is possibly the oldest and most natural tourist meeting destination in the world, already in the Ist century BC the emperor Augustus decided to reunite all of his war veterans in Mérida, or as a matter of fact, the cranes travel thousands of kilometres every year from the north of Europe to meet in Extremadura. But if we centre in current affairs and the issue we are talking about, Extremadura has been organising events of significant level nationally and internationally in the last years: Cáceres was the headquarters for the Prime Ministers and Governors of the European Union Summit, Badajoz was headquarters for the Hispano Portuguese Summit and in other cities of Extremadura there have been meetings and conferences of different international bodies OCDE, UNESCO, Ministeries… During the year 2007 in Extremadura 300 congresses, conventions, conferences and fairs have taken place which have generated an economic impact in the region of over 12 million euros, some of them as important as the III Free Software Conference with more than 1,500 congress people, or the XXVIII Latin-American Travel Agent’s Meeting, to which more than 600 travel agents attended from all of Latin America, or the International Congress for Engeneering Applied to Medicine where the world most important Doctors and Engineers attended. The forecast is of sustainable growth, during 2008 there will be more than 350 events of all sectors and all fields in Extremadura and this sustainable growth is essentially based on the potential of Extremadura where there is still a lot to discover.


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Activities in other Spanish-Portuguese cities In the Nacional Park of Monfragüe, located in Villarreal de San Carlos, Cáceres, the International Fair of Bird watching (FIO, Bird watching) was held and in Jarandilla de la Vera (Cáceres) The Congress for Forestry Sampling. In the localities of Olivenza in Badajoz, The V Bull Iberian Fair, Conference of Fragile X Syndrome and the I International Congress of Renewable energies; in Fuente de Cantos, the XXVI Chanfaina Feast and the eighth Associations and Commerce Fair; in Azuaga, the congress activity Eurocaza 2007 and the XXVI edition of FECSUR, Campiña Sur Trade Fair; in Jerez de los Caballeros, the IV Templar Festival; in Santos Maimona, the I International Meeting in Extremadura about The Creative Woman; in Guadajira, the II Seminar in Extensive Crop New Technologies; in Albuquerque, Contempopránea; and in Villanueva de la Serena, the Youth and High School Cross Country Championship. Also MICE activities were shared with Portugal. In Elvas there was the II Managing Congress “Extremanagers” and in Portalegre the Transfrontier Congress of Businessmen.

Some of the most outstanding events held in cities of the region of Extremadura in 2007 were: Badajoz: • XXXIII Carrier Pigeon Nacional Exhibition • XXI Badajoz Bullfighting Week • III International Conference of Free Software: 3.0 • IV Real State Conference • XXVIII Latin-American Travel Agent’s Great Meeting • XIV Conference of the Spanish Society of Epidemiology and Oral Public Health • Hispanic-Portuguese Meeting of Primary Care • I National Congress about Dependant People’s Care • X Spanish Convention of Iyengar Yoga • Businessmen Transfrontier Congress • X Hispanic-Japanese Meeting • XXVI International Canine Exhibition • XIII Cinema Iberian Festival of Badajoz • XXIV Music Iberian Festival • II International Congress of Energy and Environmental Engineering • VI Hispanic-Portuguese Meeting of R/C Sailplanes • XXIII Congress of the Church Filers • AGORA. The Peninsular Debate • Fehispor. Hispanic-Portuguese Fair • Conference presentation of the study “Accessible and inclusive congress tourism in Extremadura. Test city Badajoz”

Cáceres • I Congress of Catholics and Public Life • International Congress about Learning Through life • Regional Congress of the Nephrology Society of Extremadura • V International Conference of Rural Development. Innovation in Rural Areas • International Congress of Municipalism “Intermunicipia 2007” • National Congress of the Spanish Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology Nursing • FORO SUR. Iberoamerican Fair of Contemporary Art • Conference about Specialists in International Cooperation and Project Administration • Scientific Conferences of the Spanish Pharmaceutical Analysts Association 2007 • Conferences about Global Warming and Renewable Energies • Meeting Web 2.0 Semantic Web: Imagination applied to the New Business • VIII Old Spanish Music Festival • International Congress of Applied Medical Engineering of Minimally Invasive Surgery Mérida • Skoda Group Convention • Intercultural and Gender Conferences • Second Edition of Technology, Creation and Society • Entrepreneur Day • European Convergence Conference

Equal: Cooperation for Equality Mode Transference • Heritage and Training Meeting • Telecom 2007 • V International Symposium of Archaeology of Mérida •

Zafra Conference on Ethics, Education and Human Rights • Zafra Humanistic Seminar,”Emilio González Ferrín” • Zafra Humanistic Seminar, “Félix Grande” • XIV Segedana Bullfighting Conference • Extremadura Painting • Spring Fair • Gastronomic and Apellations Spring Conference • IV Meeting of Bullfighting Entities of Extremadura • From the Moon to the Fire Festival (Atmosphere and feast Recreation of the Golden Spanish Age) • 554 International Cattle Fair • XXIII National Congress of the Association of Graphic Press and Television newsmen •

Don Benito • AGROEXPO. Internacional Fair of the Iberian Southeast • FICON. Construction Iberian Fair • VIII Town Planning and Environment Exhibition • III Public Works Machinery Exhibition • New Technologies Exhibition • TURINTERIOR. 10th Professional Contest of Interior and Nature Tourism • XXX General Edition of Alternative

Spaces- Nature Spaces XXIII Technical Apiberia Conference • XIX FIAL. Food Iberian Fair •

Almendralejo • XIII Old Buildings Restoration Conference • VIII Extremadura Wine and Olive Exhibition • I Gastronomic Fair • IV Book Fair of Extremadura • XXIX Viticulture and Enology Tierra de Barros Conference • Workplace Accident Prevention Conference • Conference about “Women and Sustainable Town Planning” Plasencia IX Yearly Meeting of the Neurology Association of Extremadura • European Convergence Conference • XVII World Symposium of Fortified Cities • III University Diffusion in Peripheral Districts Conference • II Tourism and Gastronomy Exhibition •

Trujillo XXII Chesse Nacional Fair • XV Spring Conference of the Society of Family and Community Medicine of Murcia • XI Conference about the Disabled of Extremadura and Central Portugal • XXXVI Historical Talks of Extremadura • Symposium on Applied Fractional Calculus •


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Destinations

Sitges THE IDEAL SETTING FOR MEETINGS, CONGRESSES AND CONVENTIONS By EDITORIAL STAFF photos AGENCY FOR THE PROMOTION OF TORISM OF SITGES and JAG

Sitges, a town located in the south of Barcelona at 20 minutes from the international airport of El Prat, has gained in the last years a place of preference amongst congresses, conventions and incentive travel destinations. In 2007 Sitges held more than 700 meetings with more than 47,000 delegates. This is because Sitges not only has the infrastructures and the services of a great city; but also preserves the charm of a cosy village with a unique climate.


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Destinations Sitges

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n terms of infrastructures we need to point out the 2,500 occupancies in four and five star hotels and the Conference and Resort Centre with five stars, Dolce Sitges with 263 occupancies and 2,175 m2 of spaces for meetings: an amphitheatre, 11 meeting halls and 25 subcommittee halls. The four star Congress and Hotel Center Meliá Sitges is another ideal space for meetings and congresses. It has an Auditorium with capacity for 1,380 people and a stage of 225m2. Moreover, Sitges enjoys exceptional spaces like the Disseny de Sitges Centre. What was for fourteen years Europe Design Centre of Seat-Audi-Volkswagen, where various models of this prestigious group were created and designed, is now presented as a new space to hold ceremonies and events.

Buildings and spaces with history And who does not know Palau Maricel? A building located in the middle of the old city centre and which was built in 1910 by the north American millionaire Charles Deering to keep his art collections. It is currently one of the most emblematic in Sitges. In addition to its halls, the terraces have an incredible view to the sea and become the perfect space for aperitifs and dinner parties. Other exceptional buildings are Almirall de la Font, an old Catalonian country mansion located in the Natural Park of Garraf; and the country house Mas Solers, nineteeth century style ideal for gala suppers. Also, for business or celebration suppers and lunches, a lot of restaurants and private spaces equipped for providing company groups with a special evening with a traditional high quality gastronomy stand out.

day of the year and restaurants with halls for groups which offer traditional mediterranean and international cuisine dishes with fresh first quality products and a microclimate which guarantees more than 300 sunny days a year. All these conditions allow congress attendees and participants in incentive travelling the possibility of carrying outdoor activities all year round, either at the beach or in the mountains. There are more and more companies searching to develop activities for their employees which are related to the environment and which not only serve as leisure but also as an incentive integrating and bonding groups. In this frame, the company Weber of the construction sector, came to Sitges in September and organised the reforestation of 800 trees in the Natural Park of Garraf an area which was devastated by fire in 2006. Today Sitges Convention Bureau suggests a reforestation activity in the park, and outdoor activity combining team work and group cohesion, with recreational aspects and respect to the environment. Another option that Sitges is offering for incentive travelling and which allows also to get to know the city and nearby are the visits to Palau Maricel y al Museu Romàntic o Òpera a la fresca ,this is, opera sessions in the garden. Another alternative is the relaxing workshops at the Buddhist monastery of Garraf and even the possibility of organising a rally with period and classical cars, including mythic cars that belonged to famous people like Xavier Cugat’s Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II.

Sitges enjoys exceptional spaces like the Disseny de Sitges Centre

Nature is always present Nature has also been generous with this village, the Agència de Promoció Turisme de Sitges, a privileged location at the foot of Parc Natural del Garraf on the Mediterranean coast with 18 beaches distributed in 4,5 km of coast. Sitges can also boast about a rich cultural heritage and three museums, the historic centre is prefectly preserved and well cared for, full of shops with leading brands, open every

Sitges Convention Bureau Services Sitges is the first Catalonian city after Barcelona holding congresses and conventions and offers business tourism quality infrastructures in a unique environment. The Agència de Promoció Turisme de Sitges, Sitges Convention Bureau, works to unite efforts from the private and public sector with the objective of maintaining and improving its po-


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Destinations Sitges

Amongst the priority markets of Sitges CB for 2008 there is the British, American, French and Northern European sition as a destination in the market of business tourism. A total of 74 companies are part of Sitges CB, amongst these, hotels, exceptional spaces, restaurants, organisers, outdoor events, auxiliary service companies and others connected to leisure and culture. Sitges CB is member of the main tourist business associations like Spain Convention Bureau, Barcelona Meeting Total of the Diputació de Barcelona and ICCA (Internacional Congress and Convention Association). To continue with its rising course, Sitges CB has begun 2008 with a new image and a new logo as a departing point to redesign its promotional elements like the Congress Guide, with a printed version, a cd, and the website www.sitgescb.cat. For all the companies wanting to organise a congress, meeting or incentive travelling in Sitges, Sitges CB offers advice about hotels, meeting halls, exceptional spaces, social programmes and post meeting activities and also facilitates contact amongst professionals of related fields, tourist information material about Sitges for participants in meetings, inspection visits and logistic support. They also suggest journeys to familiarise for the organisers to know first hand about the facilities that Sitges offers and the wide range of possibilities there are. Amongst the priority markets of Sitges CB for 2008 there is the British,

American, French and Northern European market. And amongst its most important future projects is holding the yearly convention of Advantage, the most important travel agency consortium in the UK and Ireland. The meeting will have 600 participants who specialise in holiday and business tourism. Together with Global Travel and Worldchoice they form the Triton Group, the biggest tourist consortium in the world. Advantage considered that Sitges could provide the necessary services for their convention to be a success in terms of organization and summoning capacity. The tourist sector of Sitges has shown from the first day great interest to hold this event and thanks to the intermediary activity of Agència de Promoció Turisme de Sitges, it has been possible to fulfil the requirements that the organisers demanded. The appeal of this Mediterranean village, together with its proximity to Barcelona, and the fact that it combines holiday tourism with business tourism, has been the decisive factor for its election. Summarising we could say that Sitges is the ideal destination for the celebration of any congress or meeting because professionalism and leisure are perfectly combined. More information: www.sitgescb.cat E-mail: info@sitgescb.cat Telf: +34 93 8944251 Fax: +34 93894305


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Incentives Transcantรกbrico

THE TRANSCANTรBRICO, A ROLLING LUXURY THROUGH GREEN SPAIN Few offers combine originality and the guarantee of quality so well as the Transcantรกbrico, a different form of incentivizing through which the northern coast of Spain can be travelled across, one of the most terrific natural spots of the country. Unequalled gastronomy and spectacular landscape will fill an eight day journey on this luxurious train which satisfies the most demanding client, thanks to the 25 years of experience offering high quality tourism. By MICE Editorial Staff photos courtesy of FEVE


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Incentives Transcantรกbrico

D

eparting from Leรณn to Santiago de Compostela or vice versa, the Transcantรกbrico travels across the greenest part of Spain through the provinces of Castilla and Leรณn, the Basque country, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia. This original journey is made in a high standing train which lodges its clients in luxurious double suites, all with a private bathroom. There is no way you can travel more comfortably: the hotel takes the travellers along on a fascinating journey. The hilly Cantabrica coast hides amongst the nooks of unequalled places and surprising villages, often of difficult access for the structure of a train, but those places the Trascantรกbrico can access thanks to its narrow-gauge which is of the same width as the underground tracks. This characteristic makes it the first metre gauge railway in the world. From the carriage window the fascinating encounter of the mountains and the sea typical of the northern coast of Spanish can be seen, sea waves can provoke the often violent clash between greens and blues. The Transcantรกbrico regularly operates between the months of May and September, on routs which journey takes 8 days and 7 nights.

The journey includes lunch and supper taken at carefully selected restaurants, breakfasts are served on board, and tickets, visits and coach lifts are also included.

The Transcantรกbrico regularly operates between the months of May and September, on routes which journey takes 8 days and 7 nights

Apt for all types of events Either way, the Transcantรกbrico offers the possibility during the rest of the months (from October to May), of renting its services for groups of up to 52 people. Business journeys, congresses, incentive travelling or product presentation can in this way have the original and classy touch which will help to total success. The characteristics of the journey are customized for the client: you can design the route, the duration and the activities etc. All of which is wrapped up with the best service at the clientโ€™s disposal: experimented crew and multilingual guides who are expert in the areas of the route. This luxurious tourist train is equipped not only with suites, but also with tour carriages where the client can have meetings and conferences of use them for their leisure, as the cafeteria carriage or the disco carriage, which

at nights livens with live music those who still have the energy after the daily journey. The innovation and the quality label of the Transcantรกbrico, as 25 of experience show and the current investment to improve the train equipment. Renovated suites, a more expert and qualified crew, an increase in gastronomic exquisiteness and a varied programme of visits and trips are some of the recent hallmarks of the company to make the journey even more attractive. The Transcantรกbrico occupies a predominant place in the list of the best tourist trains in the world; it is directed to people who are willing to discover in a relaxed and enjoyable way the northern part of Spain, an area which enjoys natural cultural and gastronomic richness.


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The innovation and the quality label of the Transcantábrico, as 25 of experience show and the current investment to improve the train equipment.

ITINERARY LEÓN is the departing point of the Transcantábrico journey. Before getting on the luxurious train travellers will visit one of the most beautiful cities in the province of Castilla León. Especially outstanding are the gothic cathedral of Santa María, with beautiful stained-glass windows, Casa de Botines, created by the art nouveau architect Antoni Gaudí. The train must however depart and another attractive city awaits the passengers in the Basque country. BILBAO, the capital of the province of Vizcaya, which has been able to combine with style the most innovating contemporary architecture as the Guggenheim Museum by Frank Gehry, with the traditional Industrial docks and a lively old city centre where you can taste the delicious Spanish tapas. The Transcantábrico leaves the active city of Bilbao to arrive in the majestic city of SANTANDER. The capital of Cantabria preserves its charm of the past years with a marine and manorial atmosphere. The beach called El Sardinero and the smart promenade seafront invite to a quiet walk while admiring the marvellous view. In this same province, the luxurious tourist train stops at one of the most charming villages of the Cantábrica coast: SANTILLANA DEL MAR. The village preserves an intact medieval centre and welcomes visitors with its colourful balconies full of red geraniums. Not far from Santillana, the prehistoric Cave of ALTAMIRA is worth visiting. Inside the most important pictorial cycles of prehistory are preserved, they belong to the Palaeolithic (14,000 years old). Travelling into the province of Asturias, the tour continues in the National Park of Picos de Europa with the steady rise to Covadonga Lakes. This natural protected space, with mountain masses of more than 2,500 m high, also shelters the Sanctuary of COVADONGA, a majestic temple in the middle of beautiful indescribable nature. After so much nature, the city of Gijón becomes an inviting stop where you can enjoy the most exquisite delicacies and walk along the promenade. Leisure and life are also characteristic of this well known city in Asturias. OVIEDO is the capital city of Asturias, and it could not be missing from this route of the Transcantábrico. Always at hard competition with Gijón, the Asturian capital offers great gastronomic quality in the old pre-Romanesque city centre which is very well preserved. Approaching the end of the journey, the tourist train goes into the province of Galicia and here the train gets the closest to the sea possible. In RIBADEO, the estuary of the river Eo, the train is substituted by a boat to do a short trip in the Cantábrico sea, The scenery of the Rías Altas leaves the visitors flabbergasted. Finally, the train arrives to its final destination: SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA. As pilgrims do, the passengers of the Transcantábrico will top up their journey visiting the beautiful Plaza del Obradoiro, the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos and the Cathedral of Santiago.


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Cities C贸rdoba

Capital city of the roman Hispania ulterior, of the Al-Andalus emirate and caliphate. It has a countless relation of monuments and buildings. This millenaty city was desired and possessed by prehistoric settlers, phoenitian, greek, roman, visigoths, arabs and christians who left their imprint. It has been avowed world heritage by UNESCO.

Fairgrounds, assembly halls, auditoriums and spaces for events make an ample supply for the meeting tourism.

C贸rdoba A CITY OF SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL CONGRESSES AND OTHER TYPES OF EVENTS By PAU MORATA photos of P.M. and JAG


a

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Cities Córdoba

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he Ave Madrid- Seville placed the city at a very short time from both cities and it also has a small airport for charter and corporative flights which is going to be extended soon. Córdoba is in the world of meeting tourism one of the favourite places for scientific congresses especially for medical specialities- being as it is the city of the famous medieval doctor Maimónides- as well as for cultural meetings, not in vain philosophers like Séneca and Averroes were Cordovan- and conventions. In the last four years it has gained weight in the market and it has not ceased to increase the figure for meetings held here. It is not strange though because there are only few cities in the world that have such a welcoming environment for meetings and also so many tourist appeals for leisure. Its old city centre, so big and well preserved as it is in this Andalusian city, makes its inhabitants feel proud of their millenary intercultural past, when Christians, Muslims and Jewish lived together except for very specific moments in History.

A desired city object of seizure With the first human settlements, which date back to the IXth and VIIIth centuries B.C., Cordoba’s history has very Mediterranean traits. Phoenician and Greeks were in this land before the Romans, in the IIIrd century B.C., put their eyes in it and conquered it some time after- around the middle years of the IInd century B.C. the General Claudio Marcelo proceeded to found the city as such, and to which the honour of being the capital city of Hispania Ulteror until the later relocation in Hispalis. After this the city became Visigothic, until the VIIIth century A.C. when the Visigoths fell to the Muslim forces commanded by the lieutenant Tariq called Mugit, who conquered it respecting the Christians with whom he initiated a long period of coexsistence. A new period started with abundant moments of great splendour and some of political swings. The golden period of the Omeya dynasty

stands out, initiated with Abd-al- Rahman I who made it the capital of the independent emirate of Al Andalus and in compliance he began great works like the mosque and the reconstruction of the Alcázar and the city walls, which were in part finished by his son Hisham I. It held capital status of the independent caliphate of Damascus between 929 and 1013, being then a reference for the Islamic world situated in the western Mediterranean. After its relevant loss, it became a taifa kingdom which Fernando III and his troops conquered in 1236. This king, so-called the Saint, ordered the building of 14 churches, known as the Fernandina’s churches- half of them placed in the old medina and others in the Ajerquía. Later, Isabel la Católica, settled a military base in Córdoba previous to the occupation of Granada and it was in the city where Chistopher Columbus was received by the queen due to his plans for a journey to the Indies. This same queen played the main role in one of the most regrettable episodes as she decided a short time after to expel the Jewish from her

A CONSTANT MICE PROGRESSION Córdoba-including the suburbs – has registered a constant increase in the number of events held year after year. From 204 in 2003 increased to 220 in 2004, to 248 in 2005, and to 321 in 2006. The increase was greater in the congress field: 92 (2003), 102 (2004), 123 (2005) and 144 (2006)while for conventions the progression was as follows: 112 (2003), 118 (2004) and 125 (2005) and 177 (2006).The figures take into account the events that stick to the usual criterion, this is, a minimum number of 50 participants, with a minimum stay of 2 days including at least one night occupancy. If we add other ceremonies, as seminars, meetings, conferences and fairs, the total of events come to 77,000 people approximately, where 36,000 came from outside the city.


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Cities Cรณrdoba

According to Cรณrdoba Convention Bureau figures, the hotels receive 60 per cent of the meetings and events, the halls and university auditoriums 10 per cent

kingdom and Cรณrdoba suffered beyond repair what had up to then been the pacific coexistence of people with different religions and of different ethnias.

Congress Centre and Other Fairgrounds Just opposite the building of the mosque-cathedral we find the building that shelters the congress centre. It is located, not strangely, in a historical building - the old San Sebastian Hospital- built between 1512 and 1516. Before becoming what it is now it had been the first Cordovan health centre. Its plenary hall has a capacity for 560 people. With seven halls- which evoke the distinguished Cordovan people like Averroes, Gรณngora and Romero de Torres amongst others-

Out of the whole total of 20,000 participants in 2005, 11,500 people took part in the congresses and 7.850 in conventions

of different dimensions and which can hold meetings for groups ranging from 16 to 200 participants. Annually this congress centre holds a great number- almost one third of the totalof meetings whose organisers choose Cรณrdoba as the headquarters for their ceremonies. Scientific congresses, international meetings, cultural conferences, and between 300 to 600 participants is what most stands out. According to Cรณrdoba Convention Bureau figures, the hotels receive 60 per cent of the meetings and events, the halls and university auditoriums 10 per cent. The Municipal district of the provincial capital received 175 events to which we have to add about 70 more that took place in the rest of the province. Health-medical issues were the most numerous and together with public sector events they reach half of the total. With 18 per cent of university meetings, commercial-economical issues were one in every six. Out of the whole total of 20,000 participants in 2005, 11,500 people took part in the congresses and 7.850 in conventions. Cรณrdoba also has other institutional meeting halls, without counting the ones available in the hotels. The assembly hall in the university auditorium stands out with a capacity to receive almost a thousand people in the audience; the

assembly halls in the hall of residence of the universities of Asunciรณn (650 places) and Sรฉneca (402); the auditorium of the Medicine Faculty (410); the assembly halls of the Teaching Hospital Reina Sofia (315) and the Faculty of Arts (370 seats); the auditorium of Ingema, the Botanical Garden (232) and the main hall of the Andalusian Film Library (206 seats). In addition the Cordovan infrastructure for meetings has the fairground Miguel Castillejo, which pavilion has a surface of 12,000 square metres and a capacity of up to 6,000 people and in the fairground of Cรณrdoba Fair Institution, IFECO. Largest attendance ceremonies have been held in both of them.

The old part of town Out of the influence of the three great monotheistic religions the city has kept the legacy of many churches, the lost mosque and synagogue , narrow streets, city walls and gates, monuments, palace-like houses and palaces built on top of the roman remains. All these places constitute a must for visitors from many other countries who are here either for a holiday or a meeting, who are avid to enjoy the cultural pleasures. The streets of Cรณrdoba are in some moments a graphical and sound mosaic of different


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Cities Córdoba

Other manorial buildings which are worth mentioning are Casa de la Concha, Indiano and Encomienda de Santiago.

ethnics and languages, perceptible behind the tourist guides who accompany the groups in the narrow streets or around the very ample space in the huge mosque. The congress people and the participants in conventions can take excellent tourist visits after their official engagements. One of the compulsory ones is a walk in around the old city centre. Discovering that beyond the worldly known mosque and synagogue, the palaces and the Fernandina churches, Córdoba has singularities like its patios and crosses.

Patios, Crosses and the Jewish quarter The crosses are flower arrangements in the shape of a cross with which the neighbours decorate the city. The patios, on their part, are a Roman and Muslim heritage, whose houses were peaceful backwater with an interior microclimate which softened the extreme climate with the fountains, wells and abundant ornamental vegetation. There are plenty of these patios in the neighbourhoods of Alcázar Viejo, Santa Marina and the Jewish quarter. There are two types of patios: single-family houses and neighbourhoods. A peculiar place is that of the palace of Viana, which has a dozen patios, the relevance these patios and crosses have is attested by the fact

that the council awards prizes since 1918, almost ninety years, after the celebration of a contest during the first week in May, the prices make the owners and tenants decorate them. Since 2006, in the Christmas period a small number of them are also open to visitors and visits and ceremonies are organised there.

Palaces, stately homes, monuments, city walls and gates Notwithstanding, an endless number of other Cordovan buildings are distinct. Amongst the palaces the Bailío and the Benamejí palace owned by the marquees of the same name, Páez de Castillejo, La Merced, Fernández de Mesa, Muñices and Villalones or Orive stand out with their singular stories. Other manorial buildings which are worth mentioning are Casa de la Concha, Indiano and Encomienda de Santiago. Amongst the monuments, apart from the Mosque-cathedral and the synagogue, the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, Medina Azahara, the towers of Calahorra and Malmuerta as well as the remains of the roman period: mausoleum, roman temple, roman bridge and the emperor Maximiano´s palace. We cannot forget the city walls- Marrubial and Cairuán street- the gates of Almodóvar, Sevilla and Puente.

The blocked future project of the congreso centrePalacio del Sur For several years the project to build the Congreso center Córdoba –Palacio del Sur, a multipurpose space of 20,000 square meters designed by first world wide architect, awarded with the Pritzer prize: Rem Koolhaas. But projects are not always economically viable and the years have gone by and the works have not even started and they are not expected to start in the short term due to lack of financing. So far it is only a project, an ambitious project which has been blocked for a long time.

USEFUL ADDRESSES CONGRESS CENTRE 10 Torrijos, 14003 - Córdoba Telephone: (34) 957 483 112 Fax: (34) 957 485 925 palacio@Córdobacongress.com www.Córdobacongress.com

CÓRDOBA CONVENTION BUREAU 1 Caballerizas Reales, 14004 - Córdoba Telephone: (34) 957 760 071 Fax: (34) 957 760 160 ccb@Córdobaconvention.com http://www.Córdobaconvention.com

CÓRDOBA TOURISM ASSOCIATION

MIGUEL CASTILLEJO FAIRGROUND

1 Caballerizas Reales, 14004 - Córdoba Telephone: (34) 34 957 201 774 Fax: (34) 957 200 159 consorcio@turismodeCórdoba.org http://www.turismodeCórdoba.org

Parque Joyero de Córdoba. Ctra. Palma del Río, Km. 3 14005 - Córdoba Telephone: (34) 957 210 905 Fax: (34) 957 210 904 manuel.laguna@int.cajasur.es www.cajasur.es

CÓRDOBA PROVINCIAL TOURIST BOARD

CÓRDOBA FAIR INSTITUTION- IFECO

5 Plaza de las Tendillas, 14002 - Córdoba Telephone: (34) 957 491 677 Fax: (34) 957 492 061 http://www.turisCórdoba.es

Carretera Madrid, Km. 398,5 14014 - Córdoba Telephone: (34) 957 216 700 Fax: (34) 957 216 703 ifeco@ifeco.org www.ifeco.org


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Wellness & Spa

MONDARIZBALNEARIO A MAGIC PLACE AND MEETING POINT OF SOCIETY DURING THE BELLE ร‰POQUE By Edurne Baines photos courtesy of TURGALICIA

The ruins of an unfinished building from 1917 and those of the Gran Hotel, devoured by a fire in 1973 were, for decades, the symbol of the grandness and splendour of the spa culture at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century in Mondariz-Balneario. These times are coming back to life in this thermal village in Galicia (located in Northwest Spain) owing to its urban development.

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eep in a valley of native forests, Mondariz-Balneario preserves the tranquillity of small, secluded villages with a river that flows by unusually beautiful spots among oak and birch trees. Magic places like the path along the river where one comes across the Troncoso Spring, solitary and oblivious to the passage of time inside its appealing iron arbour. The spa centre was inaugurated in 1873 around another beautiful spring called Gรกndara which has a distinct classicistic line. Nowadays, it is a modern complex that has turned this Galician village into one of the leading tourist spots for symposiums and business negotiations in Spain. Some of the reasons are because it has a Congress and Convention Centre that boasts the Infanta Isabel Auditorium as a reference point and four other brightly lit venues with plenty of natural light including garden areas for outdoor cocktails and its own 18-hole golf course nearby. Three buildings, linked together by subterranean passageways, reunite all available services including the recreational Palacio del Agua Complex that has a large central swimming pool with jet streams, bubbles and waterfalls underneath a crystal dome. One of the buildings was constructed on the noble ruins of a former architectural project by the architect An-


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Three buildings, linked together by subterranean passageways, reunite all available services

tonio Palacios – abandoned in 1917 when he died – according to the original design. It is remarkable because of its dome with a superb view and its crystal central pillar, and accommodates the Congress and Convention Centre as well as other rooms such as the suite in the tower under the striking dome.

The Spirit of the Belle Epoque To summarize, it is an infrastructure that is equal to meeting the current need to work, to play and to relax that pays careful attention to fine details to preserve its memory: From the antique furniture that form a part of the hotel’s decoration and appear in old photographs on the walls to the point of having a 1925 Steinway & Sons piano, a historical piece that pays homage in spirit to the Belle Epoque. In the time that Mondariz-Balneario saw the spa culture flourish by the hands of its patrons, the Peinador brothers; it had its own money that was legal tender and a magazine as well. The era of noted writers such as Emilia Pardo Bazán and other great figures in science, society and politics – from Echegaray to King Alfonso XIII and the Infanta Isabel or Galician patriots such as Castelao or Vicente Risco,

frequent and noble visitors to the spa and the mythic Gran Hotel – would turn Mondariz-Balneario into a renowned social, intellectual and cultural centre throughout Europe. Nowadays, strolling in the impressive gardens of the Gran Hotel that recall the ideals of years gone by with its wide stone steps and verdant trees, it is a converted building with private apartments since 2005.

Excursions to Surrounding Areas The natural surroundings of Mondariz-Balneario is ideal for taking walks, riding a bicycle or horse-back riding, which in turn could be an opportunity to visit sites such as the Vilasobroso Castle and the Troña Fort. However, because it is close to Vigo – its airport is named after the Peinadors to be more precise – work at Mondariz-Balneario can easily be complemented by leisure time at any place along the Vigo River, where you can hire out a sailing boat or participate in a sailing regatta. For example, Baiona possesses charming marine architecture in its old quarter and a beautiful panorama from the old stone walls surrounding its Hostels. The excursion to Baiona will always be more gratifying if it includes a visit to special places,

with the most beautiful gardens in the Rías Baixas owing to the extraordinary camellias that exist there – Galicia’s flower par excellence: The Soutomaior Castle, the symbol of a magnificent Galician medieval era, with fabulous camellias and the Quiñones de León ancestral home (Vigo), where the Methuselah of camellias lives, one of the oldest in Galicia. Moreover, on this route, one finds the Cadaval-Urzáiz ancestral home (Nigrán) among the most outstanding in the province and in whose halls one can celebrate events with all the savour of stately Galician tradition. The village of Mondariz-Balneario, situated in the interior of Galicia, is equally ideal as a departing point for excursions to Pontevedra whose old quarter will surprise one by its magnificent restoration and for the succession of small medieval squares where city life is teeming. Another option is to visit Ribeira Sacra and follow the route to the monasteries into the interior of the province of Ourense. There are picturesque vineyards in rows climbing up the hillside - planted by the Romans and pampered by the monks - and spectacular rocky precipices in the Sil canyons. It is fascinating route for an enclave, which is indebted to man as well as Mother Nature, which amasses wisdom, art and history and provides peace and tranquillity.


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Selección de establecimientos que suponen garantía de éxito para cualquier reunión

VALENTÍN SANCTI PETRI QUALITY EVENTS UNDER CÁDIZ SKY Being productive to the maximum also means resting. Valentín Sancti Petri Hotel, located at the beachfront in the Beautiful Andalusian Costa de la Luz, combines the best facilities for all types of events and meetings with a Spa centre to relax. You always have the delightful La Barrosa Beach on the background. By M. MARTÍNEZ photos courtesy of V. SANCTI P.

Facilities and equipment • HVAC • Swimming pools: 2 outdoors, one indoors. • Sports: gym, archery, recreational competitions, bicycle rental, water polo.

• Adult entertainment: social games, professional shows. • Professional sound equipment for events: wireless microphones and table microphones, audio mixer WZ20S, booth monitors a stage, etc.

• Light control equipment: Martin software for light control DMX, follow spot beam, Flasher Spliter, etc. • Clear halls with sunlight and without columns


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It is said that the weather affects people’s mood, so working under the sunny sky of Bahía de Cádiz can improve people’s performance

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he andalusian coast extends its image as a tourist destination, becoming not only a nice place to spend a holiday but also an ideal location for leisure at Novo Sancti Petri in Chiclana de la Frontera, one of the best examples. Located at only 125 km from Seville’s airport and 45 km from Jerez’s airport, the hotel puts the biggest meeting hall in Cádiz region at the disposal of their clients. With 2,800m2, the congress and convention centre Valentín Sancti Petri can hold almost 2,000 people. Nevertheless, the hotel not only offers large meetings. Its four halls of different sizes can adapt to all types of capacities. Valentín Sanc-

ti Petri will adapt to the client’s necessities with the best technical equipment to assure the success of the event: professional sound facilities, light control including a follow spot beam, individualised controls for each hall and, of course, access to the internet.

The importante of sunlight The importante of sunlight outstands amongst the rest and makes Valentín Sancti Petri Hotel an attractive space for the organization of events: sunlight. Through big windows and the absence of columns, the hotel halls become great spaces for the incomparable sun

on Cádiz coast to come in and brighten the spirit of the attendees. It is said that the weather affects people’s mood, so working under the sunny sky of Bahía de Cádiz can improve people’s performance. Chiclana de la Frontera is also a privileged setting for outdoor activities. Valentín Hotel has an ample garden area with trees of about 30,000 m2 apart from the four swimming pools opposite the sea, one of them is indoors. The great tourist and leisure complex Novo Sancti Petri also has a leisure harbour where nautical sports are offered and the best andalusian cuisine can be tasted with fresh fish delicacies.


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PARADISE UNDER THE ANDALUSIAN SUN THE LUXURIOUS FAIRPLAY GOLF HOTEL & SPA IN SOUTHERN SPAIN LEAVES NO GOLFERS WISHES TO BE DESIRED Soft little feather clouds move across the steel blue sky, snow white walls reflect the brilliant sunlight of the Andalusian plains. The exclusive five star complex of the Fairplay golf hotel is tucked into the gentle bulges of plush green grass. Based on the famous ¨white villages¨of the surrounding environment in architectural terms the resort exudes a sense of exclusivity and a completely relaxed ambience as soon as you set eyes upon it. Then you will discover that an oasis of wellness of the highest quality is concealed behind the houses´walls.


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ut the special feature of the ¨fairplay Golf Hotel¨ is the unique service as the hotel director Martin Schneck and h is professional team has set themselves the goal of spoiling the guests with all the tricks of the trade. The hotel complex which belongs to the ¨The Leading Small Hotels of the World¨ group has 80 exclusive suites, a President’s Suite and a Royal Suite. The stylishly and comfortably arranged premises are divided up between thematically structured inner courtyards: the guests can choose between the Andalusian style, ¨Cadiz¨style, colonial style, Asiatic style and the style of the Belgian surrealist ¨Paul Delvaux¨. Whilst the exclusive complex externally seems to form a uniform and integrated whole, its internal architecture is surprisingly colourful and diverse. All the rooms have been fitted and furnished as if they were private rooms: in a very exclusive manner and with a lot of loving attention to detail. The interior decoration is composed of stylish individual items from all the countries of the world. Thus the bed linen, for instance, was specially produced in Morocco and has been embroidered in a manner, which corresponds to the stylistic designs of the individual suites. In culinary terms too the personnel in the Fairplay Golf Hotel & Spa is completely focused on spoiling and thrilling the guests with five in-house restaurants at the same time: The head chef philippe Jégo, who has won a n umber of prizes offers, modern gourmet gastronomy in the French Dining Room. Asiatic culinary delights are served in the Asian-Restaurant. The hotel brasserie is best suited for a relaxed evening meal, you can have breakfast, lunch and light snacks in the Brunch-Club.

For passionate golfers You have a wonderful view of the ¨los Alcornocales¨national park from the Fairplay Golf Hotel and you can find one of the most beautiful natural beaches in the area just a 20 minutes car drive away from here. Passionate golfers value the resort because of its links to numerous exclusive golfing areas in the immediate vicinity. The Benalup Golf & Country Club is located directly adjacent to the site. It has been built on a natural site and offers the players a wonderful view of the nature park and also of the valley of the drained ¨Laguna de la janda¨. During its construction a lot of attention was paid to ensure the ecosystem was not damaged and to include the local flora and fauna in the plans. You can see that the beautiful complex was designed by professionals: The famous Belgian golf course architect Baron Paul Rolin drafted the course’s design, and the Englishman Gordon English who is also well known in golf circles produced the greens. The golf course of the Fairplay Golf Hotel provides all the players with a real challenge: it

has seven ponds, the greens are designed in a very broad and convenient manner, and this provides the benefit that you do not necessarily need a buggy. The teeing off times are staggered at 20 minute intervals so every individual golfer has enough time for his match. The hotel’s guests are given preferential treatment for the booking of teeing off times. There are plans to construct a second course in the near future as the golf course has enjoyed every increasing levels of popularity since it was opened in May 2001. You can find relaxation for your body, spirit and soul in the hotel’s spa that is bright and spaciously designed. The wellness landscape was designed by the Aqua-Medic company, which has already structured bathing health resorts and thalasso centres in the world’s most famous hotel chains. The colours that dominate this spaciously designed area are sky blue and sparkling white. The hotel guests find a bathing and a sauna landscape here divided up between two floors as well as numerous stylishly designed treatment rooms. The treatments on offer include various special massages, algae therapy, compressed watertreatment or a balneo chromo therapy. You can have cosmetic treatments applied to your face and body in two aesthetics rooms. And not only that: you will be able to enjoy numerous treatments in the indoor pool such as underwater irradiation, Jacuzzi baths, steam baths, relaxing underwater beds, cascades and tropical rainfalls. On the wonderful terrace and in the idyllic Zen garden guests subsequently find the necessary peace and quiet to take in the regenerative treatments. Simply arrive and savour the experience: The motto of the hotel’s director Mr Schneck, of spoiling his guests in an inimitable manner with comfort and style, is perfectly implemented in the exclusive complex. And a lot of the guests visit the Fairplay Golf Hotel on a regular basis in order to experience ¨a little bit of paradise¨for a short period of time.


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VELADA HOTELS UNIQUE PLACES FOR THE BEST EVENTS An event can become an unforgettable experience when the affair has added values; Velada Hotels share this peculiarity which makes an event really special: the fascination of the place. Located in four of the most emblematic cities Spanish History- Ávila, Burgos, Madrid and Mérida-. The stay at one of its hotels is a journey through time which invites us to know in first person the roots of a fascinating country. By MICE Editorial Staff photos courtesy of VELADA H.


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Hotels

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uided through the vocation of being unique, Velada Hotels always look for unique buildings and settings which contribute a special and differentiating touch for their guests. For this reason, their hotels are situated in the city centre of places which have made a hallmark in the evolution of Spain, combined with the delicacy of the historical buildings, the greatest of comfort and the most advanced techniques which assure the success of any type of event. This is what Velada Hotels calls “an exclusive concept of well-being”.

A Palace in the Heart of Avila Ávila has a place of honour not only in the medieval history of Spain, but also in the list of international tourist destinations, avowed world Heritage in 1985, Ávila has the most important medieval city walls in Europe. Amongst the most admirable buildings in the city, which have been declared of cultural and artistic interest, the Velada Palace predominates. Built in the XVIth century, the palace is now a four star hotel, it is very centric and has found the way of combining, with great taste, the centuries of history of the building and the comfort clients are looking for nowadays. With its capacity it is able to hold all types of events, the hotel has more than eleven halls of different sizes and with a maximum capacity for 400 people, and they are all equipped with the most advanced technical means. The renaissance cloister stands out with a nice cafeteria.

From Castilla to Emerita Augusta Another setting chosen by Velada Hotels is Burgos. In this city, one of the most beautiful in the province of Castilla and León, history can be felt in every spot. In the same way, there is also this historical building of the Velada Burgos hotel, of the XVIIth century, which used to be the house of the Counts of Berberana and a flour factory. The hotel is situated very near the Cathedral, in the lively city centre. Design dominates the three main halls in the hotel, which smartly combine the historical structures and walls with the modern technologies necessary for all types of meetings. Madrid could not be missing in the list of fascinating places of Velada hotels. The capital

Velada Hotels always look for unique buildings and settings

city of Spain has always been the centre of activity and business. The meetings and events are one of the most important factors for Velada Madrid Hotel. With more the 17 halls, the hotel can hold up to 2,000 people, from reduced family gatherings to multitudinous conventions. In addition, the hotel is located at only five minutes from the fairground Recinto Ferial Juan Carlos I, at only ten minutes from the airport and fifteen minutes from the city centre. Velada Hotels cannot forget either the authentic origins of Hispania. Mérida was one of the key cities in roman Spain. The circus the amphitheatre or the roman bridge avowed Merida World Heritage and so became an attractive tourist destination. Velada Merida hotel combines a renowned tourist setting with facilities ready to hold all types of events in seven halls with historical names from the roman universe (Diane, Trajan, Proserpine). History and comfort unite at Velada Hotels and make a convention something else. The unique mark of the group unites in the same space a guarantee of professional success and approaching the history of one of the countries with more cultural richness in Europe.


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The meetings and events are one of the most important factors for Velada Madrid Hotel


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Selección de establecimientos que suponen garantía de éxito para cualquier reunión

A NATURAL EGIPTIAN TEMPLE IN THE HEART OF ANDALUSIA COTO DE LAS CANTERAS, AN OLD STONE EXCAVATION, IS NOW A UNIQUE NATURAL AUDITORIUM AT THE SERVICE FOR ALL TYPES OF EVENTS The imposing sculpture of a lion guards the entrance door of this millenary cave. Relieves of human profiles carved in sandstone decorate the majestic opening. All tinged in the ochre colour of the chalky stone and sand, which shine under the intense sun. The traveller, disoriented, will think he or she is before some Egyptian temple, but Coto de las Canteras is far from being at the riverside of the Nile, but in fact it is at 45 minutes from Seville, in the middle of the Andalusian countryside. By MARTA MARTÍNEZ photos by C.C.


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s a pharaon cave, this excavated space of almost 30 metres high was used as a quarry for centuries and today it has become an incomparable and original space to hold all types of events. A surface of 1,400 m2 of the cavity enjoy some of the natural privileged characteristics for meetings or concerts, as its acoustics and temperature which keeps 22º C all year round without the need of any air conditioning Up to 600 dinner guests or 800 seats this surprising natural stone auditorium can hold. Of chalky sandstone with which ashlars a lot of buildings and monuments of the city of Osuna were built. Osuna is a ducal city where the University and its collegiate church stand out. The golden sandy colour dominates the entire region, but opposite the hillrock that treasures Coto de las Canteras there is no sand as in the Sahara desert but an endless sea of olive trees.

The pleasures of the Andalusian culture The historical refuge at the foot of the Penibética mountain range enjoys all the pleasures typical of the Andalusian culture. Its rich gastronomy is present at the catering service of Coto de las Canteras, nourished by the excellent quality offered by the raw materials of the land. The atmosphere of an outdoor afternoon meeting is another pleasure which can be enjoyed in this small egipcian-andalusian temple, as in front of the cave there are 4,000 m2 of gardens. Coto de las Canteras maintains the origins of a millenary civilization alive: the Tartessus, who founded the city of Osuna (then Urso) more than 3,000 years ago. Relives like the flute player that flank the entrance to the cave of Coto are an inspiration of the original carved by this civilization, the first in the west, which received strong cultural influence from the Egyptian and the Phoenician.

The historical refuge at the foot of the Penibética mountain range enjoys all the pleasures typical of the Andalusian culture More information THE BANQUET HALL Inside the room, there is a natural climate that allows to enjoy a constant temperature of 22 degrees, capacity for 600 seated dinner guests, 800 seats for recitals and conventions or 1400 people for standing events. Area: 1400 m2. Height: It ranges from 16m to 27m which is the maximum height of the hall. THE MUSEUM The Museum of El Coto Las Canteras has been witness of tradition and customs of the city from historic time. This unique place is the result of the history GARDENS The ground is comprised of more than 4000 m2 of garden, in which you will find indegenous species of the area. This space, full of spectacular corners, is ideal for outdoor receptions, support productions, mobile units of television, marquees, dressing rooms, etc… EVENTS • Organisation of shows: Music, dance, theatre, fashion,. • Productions and locations for television, radio, cinema and publicity. • Conventions, meetings and dinners for private businesses, public organisations and groups. • Gourmet dinners. • Literary presentations, musical recitals, cinema and expositions. • Possibility of creating a unique ambience for special events and private parties. GASTRONOMY We offer catering services, which have created gastronomy with a high quality. Tradition reigns our kitchen. We have our own home-made plates elaborated with local products from our land. Tels: +34 95 481 28 45 657 800 566 info@elcotolascanteras.com www.elcotolascanteras.com


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Incoming

ÁLAVA INCOMING, QUALITY IMPRINT The Business Association for the Promotion of Congresses and Tourism of Alava, Alava Incoming, is one of the most respected and most prestigious entities of the Meeting Industry in Spain. Its good how since it was created in 1999 it has given one of the best and most outstanding brand images in Spain because they have been aware from the very beginning of how to offer great quality to all types of companies who are designing the organization of an event in the province of Álava

By Victor Puig photos courtesy of Alava Incoming and Quintas Fotografos (Congresos y Turismo de Vitoria-Gasteiz)


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lava Incoming is a non-profit business organization where three essential entities in the province collaborate, the Provincial council of Álava, the Council of Vitoria-Gasteiz and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Álava and which aim is to favour and propel in a straightforward way Vitoria-Gasteiz and Álava as a tourist destination in general and especially as the headquarters for the celebration of any type of event or meeting. The fact that the three main entities in ÁLAVA go together in the task to give an incentive to the celebration of congresses and events is one of the most valued points by companies who are thinking of being present in the province, because they facilitate and speed up any procedure that needs to be done. Another outstanding fact about Álava Incoming is that behind this name the most important companies involved in the mice area of Álava are included, from congress organisers, travel agencies, or the hotel sector, to tourist guides, the most exceptional hotels in the area and incoming companies.

Under this ample umbrella, Álava Incoming activity concentrates on an extended promotional task consisting of, amongst other aspects, the attendance to national and international fairs, journeys to familiarise, or commercial visits all of which is aimed at improving competitivity in the sector and the quality of the services that Álava has to offer.

Congresses and fairs have their natural space in Álava Being the headquarters for congresses and fairs there is a need to be provided with an important supply of fairgrounds for this type of events and Vitoria Gasteiz has two fairgrounds for this purpose with two very different styles as Europe Congress and Exhibition Centre and the Villa Suso Palace. Europe Congress and Exhibition Centre opened in 1989 and is strategically situated at only five minutes from the airport of Foronda and the main access networks to the city. The Centre is a modern building with big spaces with sunlight and an avant-

Vitoria Gasteiz has two fairgrounds for this purpose with two very different styles as Europe Congress and Exhibition Centre and Villa Suso Palace


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SPEAKING TO…

Inés Cibrián Alava Incoming manager

Since the year 2002, Inés Cibrián, has been the Álava Incoming manager and the person responsible for the daily routine of the association. Nobody knows better than she does the functioning and the reality of Álava Incoming .She has been in charge of its growth and improvements for the last six years. When she started working at Álava Incoming the association included 45 companies and now there are 88, since then, Ciprián has stressed the improvement of the quality of the companies as the motto for the association’s excellence-. MICE in SPAIN.-How many institutions and companies form Álava Incoming? Inés Cibrian.The Business Association for the Promotion of Congresses and Tourism of Álava, is a non-profit association formed by 88 companies from different sectors: hotel, restaurants, bus companies, tourist guides, wineries from the area of Rioja Alavesa… We also have the support of the local, provincial and autonomous institutions. M.S.-Since Álava Incoming started, how many events have you organised? I. C.- The spirit of the association is to encourage other entities (companies, associations, travel agencies…) to organise events in Álava providing a personalised service. Alava incoming advices them, contributing with details (budgets, capacities, providers, images…) and giving them the possibility that the event turns out in the best way possible. M.S.-Which are the most demanded events? I.C.- Mainly small company meetings (10-70 people) which are supplemented with leisure content (guided visits, wineries, wine tasting…). Our clients want to surprise offering: -new headquarters for their meetings, seeking small hotels, wineries with meeting halls, palaces or country houses out in the countryside… -some new, original and participative leisure activities: magic performances, wine or coffee tasting, looking for truffles… - new restaurants for company dinners. M.S.- what promoting formula do you use to promote the label Álava Incoming abroad? And which is your favourite? I.C.- Taking into account that our clients are professional people, we get in touch with them at fairs, commercial visits and in working days, previously having arranged the meeting. We also take a lot of care about being present on the internet through our webpage www.alavaincoming.com, and through other congress, meeting and tourist portals and in the specialized press. Our philisophy is to give a very personalised attention, having already been 9

years in the market, Álava Incoming is distinguished at national level and is starting to be present at international level. We already have many loyal clients, so to speak, and this is the best publicity. We have managed that travel agencies schedule Álava, Vitoria, Rioja Alavesa, Añana, Ayala have an increasing number of tourists who are interested in knowing the cultural heritage of each area in Álava The number of wholesalers, on-line sales agencies, companies and associations…who program activities in ÁLAVA are also increasing and this is raising the interest in our destination. M.S.- I would like to now what the outcome for the year 2007 is and, the forecast you have for 2008? And also if there is any event this year that clearly outstands. I.C.- The outcome for the year 2007 has been positive, Álava is a real tourist destination option, and although we know everything can be improved, and that the general economic situation affects tourism we hope the year 2008 is a good year, Álava is an attractive destination for experience travellers who are not looking for half or full board at an overcrowded destination, and to begin with this circumstance is in our favour as holidays are statistically becoming more fragmented, and tourists are becoming more demanding. Tourists, who come to Álava, mainly value the great gastronomic offer, the comfortableness of Vitoria- Gasteiz, the cultural heritage in the villages scattered in the area and the appeal of the wine of the Rioja Alavesa region. M.S.- One of Álava Incoming key factors is having achieved a synonym for quality and owning one of the best label images as a body at a state level. What is this due to? I.C.- All this has notably been influenced by our insistence in promoting our destination without leaving aside the improvement of our companies’ competitiveness in the sector. Álava Incoming accompanies the extensive promoting task (attending fairs, work-shops, commercial visits, customer’s service, budget quotation, web page content…) with conferences for the awareness of accessible tourism, work groups in quality methodologies, visits to our own destinations, knowledge of computerised management programmes…Our businessmen are also aware of the market demands and actively participate in all the activities which mean an improvement in the services they are offering. Languages, technology, quality service… are matters that at business level and as an association we try to take care for. M.S.-What is the forecast for the coming years in respect to strengthening the offer of Álava Incoming? I.C.- Alava Incoming hopes to increase the capturing of groups and meetings in Álava and promote the individual offer through internet. To achieve this, our job will be to promote the creation of a product with high leisure content in all of Álava.


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garde and functional architecture which have allowed it to become a reference to hold congresses and meetings for a maximum of 700 people. The space includes 8 halls which are perfectly equipped for celebrating any kind of congress or event. If the image of the Congress Centre is that of modernity, the image of Villa Suso Palace is the image of tradition. Located in the incomparable frame of Machete Square, inside the old city centre, this XVIth century palace has been restored with the purpose of being the headquarters for congresses. It has three halls equipped with the latest technology and can hold meetings for up to 250 attendees.

Hotels ready for the Meeting Industry One of the reference hotels in the province of Álava is Marqués de Riscal Hotel, a five star hotel located in the Ciudad del Vino, the wine Marqués de Riscal, in the medieval village of Elciego. The hotel, designed by the architect Frank O. Gehry resembling the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, and built with titan and steel powerfully outstands for its avant-garde architecture next to the wineries of Herederos de Marqués de Riscal, built in 1858. The hotel grounds have 43 luxurious rooms, eleven of which are suites, two restaurants,

a library a wine tasting room and a spa, Álava. It is precisely the spa which is another strong point in the hotel as it has to offer a great selection of relaxing and invigorating treatments made with the purest essences of the vineyards. The hotel offers a modern auditorium with capacity for a hundred people and an advanced audiovisual system as well as ten halls to celebrate all types of events and meetings. In addition, the old winery of 1000 m2 has become a great hall for dinner parties for 400 table companions with sunlight and the possibility of being divided into different parts. Another reference hotel in the area is Lakua Grand Hotel easily connected with the air-


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Behind this name the most important companies involved in the mice area of Álava are included, from congress organisers or the most outstanding hotels port of Vitoria-Gasteiz and an important hall selection all of which have sunlight and are totally equipped with the latest technology. The hotel offers a total capacity for more than 300 people and the possibility of organising any type of event or meeting.

All types of events in Álava One of the functions that The Business Association for the Promotion of Congresses and Tourism of Alava, Álava Incoming, is to suggest and to offer companies and organisations which are interested in all types of proposals to be able to organise different quality events, Álava Incoming presents such diverse proposals as a route to discover Vitoria-Gasteiz, a visit around the area called La Rioja Alavesa with wine tasting in-

cluded, and the possibility of having lunch or supper consisting of pintxos, or a trip around the province by aircraft. Álava Incoming also offers an ample catalogue of visits and trips around the province where the historical heritage can be admired with its medieval lines, gothic or baroque churches or its spectacular and diverse landscapes in the area of the natural parks and places with little human transformation. Apart from the multiple alternatives to activities related to nature and outdoor sport.

Meetings with a taste of wine Álava is a land of wine with many wineries which offer some of the best wines in Spain and a natural environment full of incentives. Gradually the wineries are beginning to offer an ample supply for the mice sector as they are opening their facilities to be the headquarters for business meetings. One of the key factors to this new supply is that, in the last decade, a lot of new wineries have appeared with the possibility of organising events, which is an interesting option to promote their facilities and their wines. At the same time, the oldest wineries in Álava have also subscribed this new possibility offering their space for multiple events. One of the wineries that has opened to organise activities in the mice sector is the winery Barón de Oña located in the municipal district of LaGuardia, Álava. This winery includes a magnificent manorial house situated in the middle of the vineyards in a

natural environment of spectacular beauty. Only a few metres away we find the XVIIth century hermitage of Santiago restored and adapted to hold councils, conventions or seminars in a totally discreet atmosphere surrounded by vineyards. In such a special space it is possible to organise meetings of up to 60 people with facilities that cover all the needs for this type of events. Another winery that has opened to mice meetings is Ysios designed by Santiago Calatrava and which shelters the wines which are produced with the best vines in the vineyard owned by Domecq Bodegas in the area of the Rioja Alavesa. The wineries have incorporated millenary traditions in the wine industry sector of the area with the innovation of the new techniques in wine production uniting tradition and modernity. The wineries also offer the possibility of holding business meetings and events in a hall for fifty people located in an incomparable frame next to the wineries and the mature wine bottles.


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Many wineries have seen the possibility of organising events as a very interesting alternative to promote their facilities and their wines

USEFUL ADDRESSES ALAVA INCOMING - THE BUSINESS ASSOCIATION FOR THE PROMOTION OF CONGRESSES AND TOURISM OF ALAVA Official Building of the Comercial and Industry Chamber of Álava, 38 Eduardo Dato, 01005 Vitória Gasteiz (Álava) Tel. 945 141 800 info@alavaincoming.com www.alavaincoming.com

VILLA SUSO PALACE

BARÓN DE OÑA WINERIES

Plaza del Machete s/n, 01009 Vitoria-Gasteiz Tel. 945 161 261 congrestur@vitoria-gasteiz.org www.vitoria-gasteiz.org/congresos

Finca San Martín s/n, 01309 Paganos-Laguardia Tel. 945 621 154 baron@riojaaltÁlava com www.riojaltÁlava com/baron.html

MARQUÉS DE RISCAL HOTEL 1 Torrea, 01340 Elciego Tel. 945 180 880 marquesderiscal@luxurycollecion.com www.luxurycollection.com/marquesderiscal

EUROPE CONGRESO AND EXHIBITION CENTRE

LAKUA GRAND HOTEL

Avd Álava Gasteiz s/n, 01009 Vitoria-Gasteiz Tel. 945 161 261 congrestur@vitoria-gasteiz.org www.vitoria-gasteiz.org/congresos

8 Tarragona, 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Tel. 945 181 000 reservas@granhotelakuÁlava com www.granhotelakuÁlava com

YSIOS WINERIES Camino de la Hoya s/n, 01300 LaGuarda Tel. 945 600 640 ysios@domecqbodegas.com www.domecqbodegas.com


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ALICANTE, IN THE SPOTLIGHT IN THE WORLD OF GLOBALIZATION WITH

VOLVO OCEAN RACE

Nautical-sport events are taken as an advantage to carry out business incentives and to make known settings which have a tourist interest, especially for the Meeting Industry. Next October and more concretely in the city of Alicante, there is a good opportunity as this Spanish city will be the departing point for the Volvo Ocean Race.

By ÁNGEL JOAQUINET photos by the ORGANIZATION, ALBERT FARRÉ and P. MORATA


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It is not strange that many companies look for notoriety in these events and that they use it to let the world know about them

T

he development of a boat race, in a precise geographic spot or the starting ceremony of a boat race, as the ones that cover world tours and which due to their global importance have an international impact are followed by event and incentive agencies from all over the world to locate their MICE programmes given the projection and the good image at international level that these sport events have. It is not strange that many companies look for notoriety in these events and that they use it to let the world know about them. Something which is largely guaranteed. For this reason many cities are predisposed


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The repercussion on the media is important. It is predicted that 2,000 million people will know about Alicante through the television screen any moment during the months the race is taking place.

to be the protagonists in this type of events. Three years ago was the city of Vigo with the Volvo Ocean Race, Bilbao with the Velux 5 Ocean or Barcelona with the Barcelona World Race. It is now Alicante’s turn in October to be the departing city for the Volvo Race as Saint Petersburg will do in June 2009 as the finishing line for this boat race. All of them have been places developing transglobal boat races, and for months, they are in the spotlight of information of the main broadcasting televisions in the world.

Volvo Boat Race Rush Volvo race, Volvo Ocean Race, is an example of this phenomenon. This entire device is a focus to project the places that the race crosses, and these places become, once the race has finished, attraction centres for the development of congresses, meetings and incentives. Currently, the sponsors of the boat races always attract those who support these millionaire projects, so the event is taken to offer their clients, tourist visits, incentive visits or organise business meetings and conventions following the event. Volvo Ocean Race has placed the city of Alicante in the limelight. This city of Levante is the departing point of the most famous boat race in the world which is celebrated every three ye-


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Apart from the infrastructures and the cities hospitality as the key for the departing setting, 70 million euros is the figure of the economic impact of the race in the capital of the Costa Blanca

ars. Where Volvo Ocean Race crosses, current international affairs happen and, this allows the city to be mapped in the route of the world tour which is reserved for the most avant garde and radical sailing ships, designed with the highest sail navigation technology and is a distinction label for the cities in the tour. Alicante has been proportioned in this field and by mimesis projected to all the Costa Blanca of Alicante. The boat race is attracting companies, congresses, commercial meetings of multinationals in the field of telephony, car industry and

WHAT IS VOLVO OCEAN RACE? «Volvo Ocean Race» 2008-2009 –team world tour with ports of call is the most famous boat race surrounding the sailing world. It is the oldest and its origins go back to what was the Whitbread, which made history in navigation from the first edition in 1973. Volvo Ocean Race is the continuation of this famous boat race which on the 11th of October is departing from the port of Alicante. On this edition eleven ports of call will be reached and the departing one will precisely be that of Alicante making ten other stages, with other ten different ports, along its transoceanic route, the longest in its history, covering 37,000 nautical miles (68,560 kilometres). Eight boats and ten Stages The number of ships registered so far is eight: two Spanish («Alicante 1» y «Alicante 2»), part of the team directed by the Galician sailor Pedro Camois. Also there are two Swedish ships («Ericcson 1» y «Ericsson 2»); one is American («Puma»); a Russian one («Russian Challenge») and an Irish one («Green Team»). A new team has also registered «Carbon Challenge» and before the deadline other teams will surely enrol. All of them will fight in ten stages, seven transoceanic and 7 bonus sprints. The first one will be fought in Alicante on the 4th of October 2008 a week before the departure and six more will follow: Singapure, Qingdao, Rio de Janeiro, Boston, Galway, Stockholm and the arrival at the Russian port of Saint Petersburg. The coast challenges will be two hours long, and the following day seven Pro- Am races will take place at the same ports as the coast ones. The departure will take place in Alicante on the 11th of October 2009.


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finances, which come to see the departing point of the famous tour. Where Volvo passes, glamour passes and the cities or ports of call make good use of the occasion to update the best facilities for the development of MICE. Alicante has programmed a tourist supply centred in what has been defined as ‘future project’ for Alicante, where the departure of the race and a congress centre are being planned.

“ZERO MILE” Volvo Ocean Race is starting next 4th of October in the city of Alicante. The promenade has already been redesigned and extended 500 metres in length from the Spa Porta Maris Spa Hotel over Levante Dock. Also a promotional space of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009 has been designed, the ‘0 MILE’, a space which will serve as the commercial and promotional platform of Alicante, the autonomous region of Valencia and Spain in general will be present with a tent in each of the departing ports of the Volvo Ocean Race. This boat race will reach eleven ports all over the world in total and the city of Alicante will be present in all of them, as well as the Spanish ships competing, all with the common denominator of Alicante.

A forum for business meetings and of the Meeting Industry This magnificent race will serve as meeting forum for all the events related to the Volvo Ocean Race. For this purpose a ‘village’ has been built at Levante dock, reserved for sports people and visitors who come to the event, with buildings and restaurants, a ‘hospitality’ area and a great stage for activities, areas reserved to the sponsors, a promenade next to the docks and the participant’s ships in the boarding area. This great sport event is mainly directed to businessmen and the infrastructure designed and created for the event has been conceived for the sponsors who will use it as a commercial platform to promote their label image; for tourists who will be able to come and see Alicante, The tent is divided in two main areas, one is public and one is private. The private one has the Volvo Ocean Race panels showing the ‘tourist potential’ of Alicante and the autonomous region of Valencia, while the private area is used for meetings by businessmen and authorities. This ‘transformation’ and ‘change of look’ of the city has taken place thanks to the sport


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The boat race is attracting companies, congresses, commercial meetings of multinationals in the field of telephony, car industry and finances, which come to see the departing point of the famous tour


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event which thousands of high standing tourists will visit. VIP people from the sponsor companies like Ericsson, Telefónica Spain, Movistar, of Volvo will attend. With Volvo Ocean Race, Alicante will be a window to the world with active presence in the eleven ports that the race will call at as the president of the Generalitat Valenciana Francisco Camps said. On its part, the vice-president of the Valencia board, Vicente Rambla, has considered the Volvo Ocean Race will be an sport event ‘the most important that Alicante ever had and with the greatest world projection’. He declared that the day of departure 6,000 ships will congregate and a million people will visit the port facilities on the previous days. The repercussion on the media is important.

It is predicted that 2,000 million people will know about Alicante through the television screen any moment during the months the race is taking place. Alicante is in the eye of company organisers of incentives and business meetings. Making good use of the dynamics that this Volvo Ocean Race event carries is an attractive motivation to be in Alicante in Octobrer. And this has been proved in front of the numerous companies and agencies which have taken Alicante as a meeting point for their meetings, congresses and incentive travelling in the coming months.

The economic impact The economic impact for the city of Alicante is important. Apart from the infrastructures

Volvo Ocean Race has placed the city of Alicante in the limelight. This city of Levante is the departing point of the most famous boat race in the world which is celebrated every three years

BOAT RACES WITH BUSINESS VIPS That renown boat races are used for sponsor companies making good use of the yearly conventions or incentive programmes is a growing reality. A lot of labels and firms sponsor boat races, which apart from the sport world are used to reunite international managers and delegates, carry out coordinating and marketing sessions. Audi does it at Audi Challenge, which is yearly organised as the boat races in the Nautical Club of Sand Xenxo, and the German label of furniture and bath supplies, Hansgrohe, sponsors one Olympic boat race in Barcelona with the support of the label Pharo. These will make good use to reunite their managers and world delegates with the aim of carrying out an international convention in Barcelona.


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and the cities hospitality as the key for the departing setting, 70 million euros is the figure of the economic impact of the race in the capital of the Costa Blanca. If we take the figures of the last Volvo edition, which left the city of Vigo and reached 1,800 million viewers as accumulated audience, and an economic impact of 55 milion euros for Vigo as a departing port, and for the income of publicity was more than hundred per cent of what was invested by the sponsors. It is predicted that the benefits will be multiplied in this new edition which will surpass 700,000 people at the departing point.

A lot of labels and firms sponsor boat races, which apart from the sport world are used to reunite international managers and delegates, carry out coordinating and marketing sessions


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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

Gerona

34 922 23 78 89 info@tenerifecb.com

Gerona 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 CENTERS 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 Auditoriu 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 Melia 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 Melia 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 Melia 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 Melia Valencia Palace 34 96 337 50 37 melia.valencia.palace@solmelia.es

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


Proyecto3:Maquetaci贸n 1

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13:28

P谩gina 1


Proyecto3:Maquetaci贸n 1

13/3/08

13:29

P谩gina 1


Mice in Spain - Second quarter ‘08