25 Mar, 2024 @ 15:00
1 min read

Outrage after McDonald’s reveals it will have its annual work convention in Spain: Some 15,000 employees will descend on a major tourist city

FAST food giant McDonald’s is holding its biannual convention this April in Barcelona attracting 15,000 company executives from 135 countries- leading the city’s hospitality sector to question whether they can cope with the influx.

The Catalan capital is no stranger to big gatherings like the World Mobile Congress or the Integrated Systems Europe conference, but the arrival of McDonald’s delegates between April 8 and 11, has sparked concerns over numbers.


Barcelona leads the world rankings for conference participants, ahead of Vienna, Paris, Lisbon and Milan, according to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).

It has kept its place in the last 20 years in the top five cities list for the highest number of conferences.

It’s the first time that McDonald’s is holding its convention outside the United States which will bring together franchise holders, suppliers and executives.

McDonald’s events will happen mainly at the Fira de Barcelona, although different events will be held throughout the city over the four-day convention period.

The company says it is finding it difficult to find hotels for attendees and make bookings in Barcelona’s most upmarket restaurants.

An issue is that the convention is happening towards the end of the Easter holiday period in a city saturated by tourism and with a hotel moratorium that does not allow extra accommodation to open.

This situation has led to a bookings boom on the outskirts of Barcelona with luxury hotels in Sitges, Castelldefels, Maresme and even Girona practically at capacity.

A similar situation is happening with restaurant reservations.

During the convention dates, the most renowned establishments in Barcelona are already full, which is expanding McDonald’s sights towards the metropolitan area.

“Barcelona is not able to absorb all the tourist demand and has to ask for help from neighbouring municipalities,” warned some sources in the hospitality sector.

They say that some group dinners have had to be split in two since the high numbers mean that some restaurants don’t have enough space to host convention delegates.

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