TEKNOKU.me – The world’s largest technology exhibition Mobile World Congress (MWC 2020) was officially canceled by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA). This cancellation was motivated by concerns about the Coronavirus.
In fact, this annual grand event contributes to a sizable income for the city of Barcelona. The city has been a permanent location for MWC since 2006.
With this cancellation, Barcelona will lose an estimated revenue of 492 million euros.
Fira de Barcelona, which became the exhibition venue, also lost revenue. Every year, they get 30 percent of the total MWC budget which reaches 215 million euros.
Fira de Barcelona’s revenue came from ticket sales and venue rentals by the vendors present. The rental price is not cheap. Participants’ tents with an area of one square meter are valued at 1,200 euros.
This year, reportedly there will be 110,000 participants from 200 countries who are planned to attend the MWC 2020. It can be imagined, how much loss did Fira de Barcelona get.
Not to mention, they pay casual workers to build tents and so on. Reportedly there are 14,000 casual workers recruited for this agenda.
That also hasn’t been added to the potential compensation paid to companies that were previously still available to attend MWC. The cancellation of MWC also impacts the Barcelona tourism sector.
The hotels around the MWC arena must also suffer losses because many consumers make cancellations. One of them was experienced by Grami hotels who lost money due to the cancellation of 400 rooms.
Then there are the catering, transportation, and tourism sectors which are expected to decline after the cancellation of the MWC.
Last year, the federation of Catalan restaurant and music association associations recorded revenue of 118 million euros during the MWC event due to increased visitors.
The president of the Barcelona Tourist Apartments Association (Arpartur), Enrique Alcantara, said the sector contributed 4 percent of annual turnover.
“There are many people who depend on MWC,” he said.
GSMA as the organizer of MWC still canceled this event even though there was no appeal from the Spanish health authorities.
Spain’s Minister of Health, Salvador Illa even said the safety system at MWC was perfectly coordinated with the Catalan health system.
He also met with representatives of 50 countries in Barcelona to explain the protocol for the prevention and treatment of the Coronavirus.
However, the GSMA still canceled this agenda after several large companies one by one resigned from their participation in MWC.
“Global concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, travel restrictions, and other circumstances prevent GSMA from being able to organize it,” the global mobile operators association said in a statement.