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Barcelona has a pleasant Mediterranean climate, inviting one to enjoy the city. Situated between the sea and the hills, it is blessed with a microclimate as it has an average temperature of 9ºC in winter and 23ºC in summer, few rainy days and almost 2,500 hours of sunshine a year. Moreover, it has 5 km of beach right in the heart of the city. As it is equipped with an important logistic infrastructure, it has become one of the main congress centres in Europe.
Barcelona comes second place in the ranking of the ICCA and in seventh position in that of the UIA for 2003. Multinational leaders choose Barcelona for their conventions and product launches. Furthermore, in recent years, it has proven to be one of Europe’s most attractive and dynamic cities.
The city has an extensive infrastructure. There is the Congress Palace of Barcelona, with hotels, auditoriums, and the Congress Palace of Cataluña, with capacity to hold up to 2,300 people. It is located in the business area of the World Trade Centre. Besides these congress centres, a new Congress Palace was added to the exhibition site of the Universal Forum of Cultures in 2004.
On the other hand, the International Fair of Barcelona is a leader in the organisation of trade fairs and industrial and commercial exhibitions on a large scale. It has two large exhibition sites, located at the foot of the Montjuic mountain and close to the airport, and it has the most up to date installations with excellent conditions for holding any type of trade fair. The Fair of Barcelona has diversified its services, which means a growing increase in the number of events held in its new thematic areas. These areas are dedicated to the environment, recycling, the real estate sector, swimming pools, telecommunications and new technologies.
The Barcelona Convention Bureau promotes the city as a venue for congresses, conventions and incentive trips. It has a specialised programme from Turisme de Barcelona in which institutions such as the Barcelona Town Hall, the Official Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation and the Barcelona Promotion Foundation participate. The aim of the latter is the promotion of the city as a venue for congresses, conventions and incentive trips.
Zaragoza is a city with 600,000 inhabitants, capital of the old Kingdom, current Autonomous Community of Aragón and the metropolitan centre of the Ebro Valley. Friendly and modern, it is only 300 km from Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao and Toulouse (France). Besides, it is an obligatory crossroads for lorry transport and the economic centre between the north of Spain and the south of France.
Zaragoza has a wide offer of hotel accommodation with over 6,000 beds distributed in accommodation ranging from one to five stars. It can cover the most demanding organisational and tourist needs and is headquarters of the Trade Fair exhibition site with numerous international and national events.
There is also an organisation similar to the one in Barcelona, the Zaragoza Convention Bureau (ZCB), which encourages and promotes the development of infrastructures to receive tourism coming to the city to hold meetings. The aim is that Zaragoza acquires fame and reputation as a city in which to hold international and national congresses.
In short, it is an ideal city for congresses and exhibitions, commercial and cultural events and any meeting requiring infrastructures and preparation. Proof of this is that, in Paris, it has been chosen to be the city to organise the International Exhibition of 2008. The Delegate Assembly of the International Exhibition Bureau (BIE) decided on this Spanish city, which competed with candidatures from Trieste (Italy) and Salonica (Greece).