Spain puts C&I top of STEPS priorities

The Spanish Tourist Office is once again to boost its C&I presence at the Spanish Tourism Exchange for Professionals (STEPS) exhibition. Four congress centres, 15 convention bureaus, and 49 hotels will be exhibiting at STEPS 2003, to be held at London’s Royal Horticultural Halls between 2-3 April. The Barcelona International Convention Centre, scheduled to open in January 2006, will be promoting its auditorium for 3,200, and 6,000m2 of meeting space. The city’s convention bureau will also be launching its Congress Card, which offers discounts at 30 of the city’s attractions, for groups of 100 or more. Also exhibiting will be La Coruna Palace of Congress and Exhibitions in northern Spain, and the Navarre Conference Centre and Auditorium. La Coruna’s centre will be showcasing its 10,000m2 of congress space. The development will also include a shopping mall, cinema and underground parking when it is completed in 2004. The Navarre Conference Centre is set to open later this year. “Last year, STEPS attracted 122 C&I buyers and the increase in relevant exhibitors will drive business opportunities still further,” said tourist office director Manuel Butler. The importance of C&I business to Spain – last year 49.4% of all British visitors to Spain were part of C&I groups – is increasingly coming to be recognised. “We are planning a general marketing campaign over the next year, which will also target the C&I market. As part of that, we will be running four fam trips specifically for C&I buyers,” added Butler.

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