In compliance with the Action Plan 2011, the Costa del Sol Convention Bureau has been present in an institutional event to promote Spain with meeting, conference, and incentive trip organisers in Brussels. The event was organised by the Spanish Tourist Office (OET) in Brussels, drawing representatives of the Convention Bureaus of Mallorca, Bilbao, Madrid, Seville, and Costa del Sol.
Our goal was to make new contacts in the Belgian market, advertising the latest developments in Málaga City and Málaga Province. The event drew Brussels-based meeting planners, companies, and international associations.
Held in the local branch of Instituto Cervantes, the event consisted in a general presentation of Spain as a MICE travel destination by the Director of the OET in Brussels, Laura Peña, and workshops at which individual destinations were presented to small groups of ten buyers. We made our presentation four times, contacting 40 clients on the whole. After the workshops there was a cocktail party where we were able to reach clients in a more relaxed atmosphere.
The outcome of the event in Brussels was good, especially if we take into account the type of clients we made contact with. On the one hand, we were able to meet again some old contacts from previous promotional activities. On the other, we reached new clients, who showed an interest in Málaga as a city for conferences, encouraged by our hospitality infrastructure and the new projects under way.
Hinterland attractions –Ronda, Antequera, nature parks–, wine tourism, and corporate social responsibility activities also caught the Belgians’ attention. Belgium is an interesting market, with multiple direct flights available (Brussels Airlines, TUIfly, easyJet) and an economy that shows signs of a slow but steady recovery.