18 January 2018 – Eje Prime
(…) Ifema has been awarded the concession to operate the ‘Palacio de Congresos‘ in Madrid for the next 50 years, according to confirmation provided on Thursday by the Mayor of the Spanish capital, Manuela Carmena, and the President of the Community of Madrid, Cristina Cifuentes. The public entity will invest more than €50 million to revive the property, which has a surface area of 40,000 m2, and which has been in disuse since 2011.
Coincidentally, the presentation of this agreement was made in one of Ifema’s existing conference spaces in Madrid, where the International Tourism Fair (‘Feria Internacional de Turismo’ or Fitur) was being held. The work that needs to be undertaken on the asset, which is located on Paseo de la Castellana, could take until 2019 when the management firm hopes to be able to restart activity at the venue.
Moreover, Ifema has already confirmed that the space will be occupied by the World Tourism Organisation (‘Organización Mundial del Turismo’ or OMT), as reported by Eje Prime. Ifema’s interest in the space goes way back, given that last summer it was holding negotiations to obtain the concession for its management with Turespaña, the public body responsible for the ‘Palacio de Congresos’.
In recent months, Ifema came up against a competitor in the bid that it had previously been set to win. Not in vain, although the French group GL Events, which manages the Barcelona Convention Centre, amongst others, offered €40 million for the conference space in Madrid, but Ifema, as a public consortium, was not required to participate in an open adjudication process to secure the concession.
Now, with the ‘Palacio de Congresos’ in its portfolio, Ifema now has a monopoly over the conference spaces in Madrid, since it already controls the ‘Palacio Municipal’ and the exhibition venue in the Spanish capital.
Original story: Eje Prime
Translation: Carmel Drake