Tourist apartments expect full house for Mobile World Congress
Event organizers forecast more than 108,000 attendees
Thousands of people from all over the world are expected to come to Barcelona for the annual Mobile World Congress, which will be held from February 26 to March 1, and the tourist apartments are expecting 100% occupancy.
The president of the Barcelona Association of Tourist Apartments (APARTUR), Enrique Alcántara, explained to the Catalan News Agency (ACN) that they foresee all holiday flats in the city being booked up.
"We believe that the tourist apartments of the city of Barcelona will be 100% occupied during the week of the Mobile World Congress," Alcántara said. Organizers of the event believe the number of attendees will surpass last year's 108,000.
The APARTUR president also stated that the prices of tourist flats will be similar to previous years, and added that reservations are often made months in advance.
"It's a business client profile, especially Americans and Asians. They are quality tourists who spend a lot of money in the city," Alcántara said.
Not only is demand for accomodation high in the Catalan capital, but also in surrounding parts of the metropolitan area. Towns such as Sitges, on the coast near Barcelona, and Hospitalet de Llobregat, will also host attendees of the Mobile World Congress.
APARTUR is an association that has represented the tourist apartment sector in the Barcelona area since 2004.
The Mobile World Congress is at the forefront of mobile technology, bringing in the big names of the industry on a yearly basis. But this year it is focussing on a different strategy. Some of the main points of interest will be artificial intelligence as well as the future of mobile phones, how new technologies can help complete United Nations objectives of development and sustainability, and even solar-powered drones.
Even the security will be state-of-the-art. John Hoffman, the president of GSMA, the organization behind the congress, explained that they will be running a pilot face recognition program to scan the faces of attendees.
Speaking recently in the Catalan capital, Hoffman also called Barcelona and GSMA partners.
More than 108,000 people, from more than 200 countries, are expected to attend this year’s edition, with more than 2,300 exhibitors. 170 government delegations will also attend the event.
The economic impact of the Mobile World Congress is also high, estimated at €471 million, with 13,000 temporary jobs also created thanks to the annual conference. Since the first Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2006, the congress has generated €4.4 billion euros for the economy as well as 115,000 job posts.