After two years affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Palma Convention Centre managed by Meliá Hotels International managed to exceed all expectations in 2022, making it the best year in all its history. Despite the beginning of the year being affected by the Omicron variant, the Convention Centre began a rapid recovery from the second quarter onwards after the elimination of travel restrictions, making it possible for congresses, events, incentives and meetings to return to a certain normality.
Revenue for the full year reached €16.2 million, doubling the revenue in 2021 and the highest figure ever achieved since its opening in 2017. The Convention Centre and adjoining Meliá Palma Bay Hotel hosted a total of 226 events (+78% vs. 2021) with 61,476 participants (+151.7% vs. 2021). The number of attendees was slightly lower than in 2019, although that was largely due to the first two months of the year being affected by the pandemic and the consequent travel and capacity restrictions. The events generated more than 35,000 stays in city hotels, and the total economic impact on the city is estimated at more than €22.5 million taking into account spending in the destination by event participants.
Trade fairs and exhibitions attracted 28% of all attendees over the year, congresses 23%, social events 15%, conventions 11%, meetings 8% and other miscellaneous events the remaining percentage. Local events were the source of more than 50% of attendees, clearly demonstrating how the Convention Centre has become a space for social and business events in the city.
The Meliá Palma Bay Hotel welcomed 107,966 guests in 2022, with a total of 65,438 hotel stays. The average hotel occupancy was around 67% for the full year (77.5% excluding the first quarter affected by Omicron), and the revenue per available room (RevPar) stood at €102.4 (+29.3% ).
During the presentation of the Annual Report for the Palma Convention Centre, both the new Director of the facilities, Natalia Seoane, and the President of the Convention Centre and City Councillor for Tourism, Elena Navarro, emphasised the fundamental role the Convention Centre has had on the sustainable and efficient recovery of travel activity in Palma, with the MICE industry helping to reduce seasonality and boost the local economy. They also both praised the hard work done to consolidate strategy in the destination, with two major milestones achieved in 2022: the participation of the public sector in the Mallorca Convention Bureau and the acceptance of Palma as a suitable destination for international medical and pharmaceutical congresses outside the summer season by MedTech and Healthcare Venue. These two very important organisations in the regulation of such events have given their approval after 4 years of work to demonstrate the suitability of Palma as a destination.
The Annual Report also includes a positive review of the social and environmental commitments of the Convention Centre. From an employment perspective, the recovery in activity allowed it to increase its average workforce to 112 employees, with more than 62% of managerial positions currently held by women. More than a dozen face-to-face training sessions were carried out throughout the year, accompanied by more than 500 hours of online training, a sign of the commitment of the Convention Centre and its management company to continue reinforcing the training and excellence of its employees.
From an environmental perspective, the Convention Centre and Meliá Palma Bay Hotel once again took part in 2022 in Tirme's “Finhava” circular hotel project, which continues to improve waste management and also allowed more than 7 tons of food to be acquired from local farmers. Thanks to energy savings and efficiency measures, the facilities also managed to reduce the carbon footprint per customer by 45.7% compared to 2021.
Good outlook for 2023
2023 could not have started better for the MICE segment in Palma thanks to the ongoing hosting of an international training event for the automobile industry attended by almost 12,000 people from all over the world and occupying the Convention Centre for three months, generating a total of more than 35,000 hotel stays in the city. Expectations are high for the rest of the year, with at least a dozen major congresses and events already confirmed and a first half of the year that has practically all of the event spaces already fully booked.
The XXXIV GEDET Meeting, the Spanish Cosmetic and Therapeutic Dermatology Group of the AEDV (Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology), will take place in Palma on 5, 6 and 7 October 2023.
As the year progresses into its final quarter, the Palma Congress Center is poised for an exciting period ahead, anticipating a surge in activity thanks to more than 20 events scheduled during this period, including five major congresses.
Autumn attracts a large number of cyclists to Mallorca, where there is an incredible variety of opportunities to explore the island by bike, as well as an infrastructure developed to meet the needs of cyclists at all levels.