A meetings tourism study by Turespaña places Malaga among the country’s main destinations for that product, based on an analysis of its offer in that market. Malaga’s new infrastructure, its accessibilty by highway, its AVE link and its domestic and international air connections, as well as the many projects that are underway, are positioning our destination as one of the most attractive locations for hosting meetings, congresses, incentives travel and grand events. The results of the “MalagaCon: Congresses With You” campaign, launched by the Malaga Town Hall and the Costa del Sol Provincial Tourist Board with the assistance of the Chamber of Commerce and Turismo Andaluz, are a good example of this. As a result of this hard work of enhancing awareness and attracting congresses, the number of confirmed candidacies to date with which MalagaCon was directly or indirectly involved is eighteen.
Thirty candidacies have been presented up to this time, which translates to a total of 47,000 participants and a predictable economic impact of 44,062,500 euro in the city if Malaga is selected as the site of all these congresses. Among these might be noted the candidacies of the Spanish Society of Chemical Biology and Molecular Pathology (2011), the Spanish Society of Medical Radiology (2013), the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (2011) and the Spanish Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (2015), among others. This project, which began a little more than a year and a half ago, was driven by the Costa del Sol Convention Bureau and the City of Malaga, with the help of Turismo Andaluz and the Chamber of Commerce, and its main goal was to burnish the city of Malaga’s brand as an ideal destination for holding all types of congresses.
Technical specifications of the meetings and congress facilities on Costa del Sol: Click HERE >>
Over the course of these seventeen months the Malaga institutions have worked shoulder to shoulder to encourage and raise the awareness of professionals capable of influencing the choice of destinations for congresses, whether local or from anywhere in Spain, of the importance and prestige of holding this type of event in our capital and of the resultant benefits to its economy. After a primary phase of raising local public awareness by inserting publicity in various mediums, a second phase was carried out that was based on selective mailings to professionals in the fields of health care and medicine throughout Spain. A very important part of the campaign has been the direct contact between the MalagaCon team and those professionals capable of bringing congresses to the city. For this purpose there were a total of eighty door-to-door visits to medical societies, laboratories and professional organisations in such important capitals as Seville, Madrid, Barcelona and Granada.
In the city of Malaga about sixty heads of public and private hospital services, as well as department heads from the University of Malaga, have also met with representatives from the Malaga institutions, who have informed them of the benefits to the city of holding large congresses. Once the campaign got underway, between June and October 2009, there was a series of presentations in various cities about our destination as a city for congresses, including Madrid, Barcelona and Malaga. These drew a total of ninety people from the medical sector, laboratories and organisers of professional congresses.
On the international level, in September Malaga made a presentation of the destination in the city of Basel at the most recent congress of WONCA (World Family Doctors Caring for People) to one hundred presidents of the most representative medical societies meeting there. With such actions as this MalagaCon, which began as a national endeavour, seeks to take a step further and attract international congresses. Other projects include the launch of the website MalagaCon, where one can find all the information necessary for holding a congress in the city of Malaga. There will also be a meeting to present the campaign to the deans and vice-rectors of the UMA [University of Malaga] for the purpose of heightening this collective’s awareness of the value of their assistance in attracting congresses. This seminar will be followed by a schedule of visits to the various departments of the University of Malaga. The Costa del Sol offers the business traveler a wide array of products that have made it one of the most attractive enclaves for holding this type of event, just as it is for other types of tourism. It is important to note that for another year the Costa del Sol has increased, improved and diversified its tourism offer, creating new infrastructure, public services and tourist attractions while not neglecting to insist that professionals be trained to continue offering the quality services that characterise this destination.
It should be pointed out that more than half of the hotel establishments in the province of Malaga with facilities for congresses or conventions are four-star hotels, and that 100% of five-star hotel establishments in the province of Malaga have facilities for holding congresses or conventions. In this connection, the growing demand in recent years by the congress and incentives travel sector is inspiring a strong commitment on the part of the city to offer this kind of tourism the best possible infrastructure.
Malaga thus boasts an offer for hosting fairs and congresses that includes the Malaga Fairs and Congress Palace, located in the capital and the Torremolinos Congress Palace, one of the most iconic on the Costa del Sol, in that neighbouring locality.
The Marbella Fairs and Congress Palace on the Western Costa del Sol is the standard of reference for congress tourism, and each year is increasing the number of events it hosts. The recently remodelled Congress and Expositions Palace of Estepona must also be noted, as well as that of Antequera which will open its doors next year. According to a recent study by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce business tourism is the second most important reason that tourists visit Spain, and this is the kind of tourist that spends the most and they also extend their stay by several days.
In the case of the city of Malaga the latest figures indicate that there has been an increase of 10% in the number of congresses and of 20% in attendance at congresses. The benefits offered by this kind of event are indisputable, since on the one hand they are a driving economic force for Malaga City and on the other a significant element in breaking the pattern of seasonal usage.
Fairs and Congress Palace of Malaga: The Fairs and Congress Palace of Malaga is onstructed on 60,000 square meters. Two pavilions located on the ground floor next to the central patio, with a surface of 16,800 square meters. The congress area has a capacity for 2,690 people in four separate areas, two auditoriums, and two conference halls. The auditoriums can seat 900 and 590 peoples (respectively). These halls are situated next to an exposition area of 690 square meters. Halls 3 and 4 are for conferences, and are prepared to receive up to 400 participants (both have a surface of 450 square meters). In addition, there are 6 meeting halls with room for 420 people. Additional areas include a parking lot for 1,100 vehicles, and 50,000 square meters of green areas.
Costa del Sol Congress and Expositions Palace: The Costa del Sol Congress and Expositions Palace has three auditoriums, thirteen meeting halls, and an exposition hall of 6,000 square meters, divided in two floors. In addition, this palace has 80 offices equipped for delegates, two restaurants, two cafeterias, 600 parking spots for cars and 24 spots for buses, 18,000 square meters of gardens, audiovisual equipment, and additional services.
Fairs and Congress Palace of Marbella: The Fairs and Congress Palace of Marbella has two floors: the ground floor has a plenary hall with capacity for 1,600 people and work tables. This area can be divided into three independent halls in order to carry out three different congresses simultaneously: the capacities of these independent rooms vary from 400 to 650 people. To both sides, there are six subcommittee rooms of approximately 100 square meters each. Another congress room for 208 people is located on the first floor. In addition, the first floor has 3,600 square meters covered by a glass roof for all additional ceremonies that may be required at large events.
Estepona Congress and Expositions Palace: The Estepona Congress and Expositions Palace has a versatile pavilion of 3,000 square meters and a conference hall with capacity for 250 people, both outfitted with the latest technology in audiovisual equipment. Alongside the palace itself, an additional building houses the cafeteria, restaurant, offices, reception, catering kitchen, and terrace.
Ronda Congress and Expositions Palace: The Ronda Congress and Expositions Palace is located in the Santo Domingo Convent in the historical and artistic complex and at one end of the city’s icon, the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) over the Tajo. This is a Dominican Convent building that is laden with history. Its was ordered built by the Catholic Monarchs, and has been adapted for use by small to medium-sized congresses, symposiums, conventions, seminars, shows and expositions.
Antequera Palace: The building Antequera Palace will have 9,582 square meters of floor space (6,000 for exhibits and 3,000 for services) and will be oval in shape. It will have two levels and will have an expositions hall, an audiovisual room, an auditorium and an area for outdoor events, as well as spaces for restaurants and offices. The entire complex will have room for 4,273 people.