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Interview with Sonia Serracarbassa Director of the Catalunya Convention Bureau

This new section called MAXintervews wants to inform talking with an expert. With just 3 questions and answers we will try to find out what is happening in the Tourism sector with focus in the MICE industry and the destination Spain.

Do you want to know more about Catalunya as Incentive Destination? Then you should have a look at our Interview with Sonia Serracarbassa who is the Director of the Catalunya Convention Bureau, which is a program created by the Catalan Tourist Board to situate Catalonia as a leading destination in the tourism sector for meetings, conferences, conventions and incentive trips. We hope you will enjoy it!

Q1: What is the main objective of Catalunya Convention Bureau and when did it start?

The CCB was 5 years ago with the end of promote Catalunya as a first class international meeting destination and also to support this strategic industry, the Meeting Industry. How do we do it? To promote Catalunya as a global meeting destination we work together with local Convention Bureaux and private meetings planners, and we support planners to organize their meetings, visits and events in Catalunya.

Q2: Since the Catalunya Convention Bureau started at the end of 2010, what has been the most difficult challenge?

I would say that Catalunya Convention Bureau has been a big challenge in general, but if I have to say, we had 3 difficult challenges. The first one, the idea to coordinate all the locals Convention Bureaux and the private sector under the unique umbrella of Catalunya Convention Bureau, all the locals Convention Bureaux we promote them better in order to provide and offer more business opportunity to the meetings industry, something that is not easy, when we think that we have cities like Barcelona, and also all the middles cities and regions need to promote themselves.

Another challenge was how to organize meetings and incentives offers that we have in Catalunya with the idea to make it more attractive and to be able to sell it to the international market, we have Barcelona but also others cities and regions that have a very well prepared offer to organize meetings in, and also it is oriented to the MICE market, but maybe they don’t have the resources or the channels to be sold in the international markets. That´s our challenge, how can we sell Catalunya to the global Industry.

And the third and last challenge, which it was our challenge in 2014, is to implant an international strategic plan, that we did it through the Catalan Tourism Board network of international offices; we have 12 international offices that support the Catalunya Convention Bureau´s activities in 12 different countries. To finish I´m proud to say that in 5 years of work our Catalunya Convention Bureau it´s a reality and I can say it is already a reference in the Spanish and Catalan meeting industry. Our future challenge is to become in a reference in the global market.

Q3: In your opinion, what are the most important values of Catalunya to attract people from the MICE industry?

Catalunya is a leading meeting destination, it is one of the top international meeting destination in the world, but the main reasons why you need to come to Catalunya and organize your next meetings are the accessibility, the strategic location, the Mediterranean lifestyle and weather, we have an excellent gastronomy with really well known Chefs such as Joan Roca, Ferran Adrià, Carme Ruscalleda and others, we have also available different environments to visit; we have urban places, the authentic inland places with gothic, roman housings, castles, wineries, caves, mountains and also all the line coast when you can organize your meetings oceanfront and the talent, creativity and skills of all the meetings planners in Catalunya.