Year after year, Barcelona’s profile as an economic and business hub grows stronger and stronger. The Barcelona brand is no longer just associated with tourism but also with foreign investment, competitiveness and the organization of congresses, an area in which it is among the top 10 cities in the world according to the Barcelona Observatory’s 2014 report presented this week by Barcelona City Council and the Chamber of Commerce.
According to the report, in 2013 some 179 international congresses without fixed venues were held in Barcelona, a figure that represents growth of over 16% compared to the previous year and which has boosted the city to fourth place on the global city ranking, currently topped by Paris. Furthermore, Barcelona is the world’s top congress city in terms of the number of delegates at these events, and third in the number of congresses without fixed venues organized between 2008 and 2012, with 519,159 delegates attending 822 conventions, according to the International Congress and Conventions Association (ICCA).
The city is also increasingly positioning itself as a global reference for hosting IT and technology congresses. In this respect, the Barcelona Convention Bureau estimates that around 37% of all the symposiums held in 2013 were medical, 14% were on technology and 12% were scientific.
Looking back, it is compelling to see how, over the last 20 years, the city has quadrupled the number of congresses it holds, thus increasing its wealth and competitiveness, but what is even more compelling today is looking towards the future; according to the Financial Times, Barcelona holds seventh place in the ranking of European cities of the future in terms of economic development and quality of life.