Coronavirus has changed the plans of another major event in Catalonia: this time, the double-barrelled trade fair Alimentaria and Hostelco, which was to be held from 20th to 23rd April at the Barcelona Trade Fair, has been delayed for five months. In view of "the sector's concerns about the current international context" the organizers of both Alimentaria and Hostelco have decided to postpone their joint event until 14th-17th September.
The event, which attracts the crème de la crème of the gastronomy and hospitality industries, is the second most important trade show event in Catalonia, after the already-cancelled Mobile World Congress (MWC).
The postponement was agreed on Thursday for commercial reasons and to guarantee the success of the fair, since, given the mobility problems and the current global situation resulting from COVID-19, the organizers feared that the show could not be celebrated at its full potential. According to the director general of Barcelona Trade Fair, Constantí Serrallonga, the aim is "to guarantee the best development of the event, of international reference, and after being able to count on other suitable dates in our trade fair calendar".
The coronavirus epidemic has already led to the cancellation of the MWC, which was to be held from 24th to 27th February in Barcelona. Although the decision of organizer GSMA was not fully understood at the time, and some even called the decision "exaggerated," it set the precedent for a steady steam of announcements of trade fair cancellations throughout the world, including the ITB travel show in Berlin, the Tomorrowland Winter festival in France and pharmaceutical industry event Infarma, in Madrid.
Alimentaria, held by the Barcelona Trade Fair every two years, was scheduled in parallel with Hostelco, and both events have been postponed together. The joint show received 150,000 guests and had 4,500 exhibitor companies at its last edition, in 2018.