Gerard Melgar L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona)

L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona)

Updated Monday, February 26, 2024-21:26

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If the 2023 edition of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) was the one that consolidated the recovery after the pandemic crisis, the feeling left by this year's opening day is that of being in a position to end with numbers similar to those of before 2020. Not so much because of the attendance, which the organizers' official forecasts still place one step below six figures (95,000, although they do not rule out it being higher), but because of the impact that the fair will have on Barcelona and its Metropolitan area.

Last September, the CEO of



John Hoffman

, estimated the economic impact of the last congress at 461 million euros, an amount that takes into account the annual activity, not just that of the days on which the show was held.

These numbers are close to those of 2019, when 473 million were reached.

Reservations for overnight stays, with


full and 95% in tourist apartments, billing forecasts for the restaurant and nightlife sector (105 million euros) and data for

El Prat airport

, with 2% more flights and travelers that five years ago, are a qualitative leap that indicates the increase in attendance at the fairgrounds, where Asian visitors have grown compared to the last editions.

Many of them, as well as those from the United States or northern Europe, did not hide their surprise at the messages that, from the screens at the fairgrounds, warned of the drought that Catalonia is suffering.

The goal is for water to be consumed "with more awareness," GSMA CEO

Mats Granryd

said a few days ago .

The Swedish manager of the


organizing association acknowledges that, for the congressman who comes from countries like his, this problem is completely "unknown."

With the entry into the drought emergency phase decreed by the


a month ago,

Fira de Barcelona

has implemented additional measures to those it had already applied since 2020, such as cutting the supply of ornamental fountains, removing the distributed drinking fountains through the pavilions or install aerator filters in all the taps.

And, as the gigantic screen installed across the main entrance indicates, "every drop counts."