According to the SCB study carried out among the 56 destinations ascribed to it, the average spending on daily registration and travel grew the most in meeting tourism, while spending on accommodation remained practically unchanged. As for the distribution of the daily personal allowances, most was spent on food, followed by internal transport, shopping and leisure.
More than 4 million people attended these meetings and the average number of participants per meeting increased by 4.1 compared to 2017. A breakdown of the total number of meetings by typology shows that more than half were Conferences & Workshops, almost a fifth were Congresses and almost a third Conventions. The number of Conventions and Conferences & Workshops increased by 4.5% and 5.2% respectively compared to the data from 2017. In turn, Congress and Conference attendees increased notably in 2018, by 12% and 17.8% respectively.
In terms of geographical scope, more than half of the meetings held took place in Spain. Regional meetings increased by 17.1% and international meetings by 3.4%. As a result, the number of participants increased overall, most notably at the international level, by nearly 20%. The main sectors of activity that brought together the greatest number of meetings were the medical - health care sector and the economic - retail sector, although technology was the one that grew the most in 2018.
Prospects for the future
According to the SCB report, the main trends in meeting tourism will be digitization and making technologies an inseparable companion of tourism. Moreover, creativity and the "Wow" effect become more complex, as organisers and agencies seek to surprise their attendees with new spaces and more creative set-ups. Sustainability will gain weight in event organisation along with involvement in the destination through CSR. The tourism cycle has shifted towards a more demanding and professional profile of demand. Moreover, safety and innovation are major factors in the professionalization of the destination.
Aware that meeting, incentive and business travel tourism is an expanding and key business segment for the tourism industry, on January 22 and 23 the specialised programme FITUR MICE will bring together 100 representatives of Mice tourism providers with 120 qualified buyers from all over the world. An opportunity to establish efficient contacts, in line with this growth trend that has one of its leading examples in Spain. FITUR MICE has become a tool of proven effectiveness, concentrating a high level of business activity during FITUR's professional conferences.
Not in vain, Spain, with its 595 international events, holds third place in the ranking of the International Congresses and Conventions Association -ICCA 2019, only behind the United States (947) and Germany (642).