The biggest event for showcasing the latest collection of creativity and innovation of mobile manufacturing companies is the MWC. And Mobile World Congress is Cancelled for 2020. The organizers behind the annual Mobile World Congress tech show in Barcelona(GSMA) literally shocked the industry when they announced the cancellation of the event. The reason is the fear over the risk of spreading the Wuhan coronavirus (now officially known as COVID-19).
MWC 2020 is without any argument tech’s most important trade show. But many of the tech giants started to pull out from the event after the widespread alarm of Wuhan coronavirus outbreak terrorized the whole world. Major tech giants including LG & GTE, Facebook, AT&T, Nokia, and Cisco began pulling out of the show. Yet there were thousands of other smaller mobile manufacturing companies that wished to show off their new wares, get press coverage, and hopefully sign some sales deals from this event.
Though the bigger companies already planned and declared their individual showcasing programs. But the smaller companies will suffer a big blow for missing the opportunity to attend such a big program. Host city Barcelona will suffer more. This cancellation of the Mobile World Congress is devastating for them.
Barcelona is the second-largest city in Spain. It has a population of around five million. Every year in February, the city depends on the Mobile World Congress to deliver a positive economic boost. And generally, that goes far beyond the facility the trade show is housed in. This show attracts more than 100,000 people to the city. They spend money on eating out, going on tours, hotel rooms, and many other things that stimulate the local economy at every level.
Impact of MWC Cancellation on Barcelona
According to Bloomberg, here’s what Barcelona will lose out on with the cancellation of this year’s MWC:
- More than 100,000 visitors who normally spend money on shelter, eating out, and other economic activities,
- In total, those visitors spent $513 million during MWC 2019 alone—that’s half a billion dollars Barcelona’s economy is going to lose out on this year.
- Hotels will be one of the worst sufferers, considering the cancellations that are likely going on at this moment. Historically during MWC, Barcelona’s all of 430+ hotels are fully booked.
- Moreover, that spend by visitors was creating almost 14,000 temporary jobs for Barcelona in 2019. The need for these jobs will no longer be there now.
- Impact on Transportations like ride-sharing and taxi jobs are also huge. Bloomberg says a local taxi firm has already suspended plans to add another 1,500 drivers during the event.
Obviously, there is always next. This means this city will get the chance to host again next year. But for the city who very much rely on such events for the livelihood of many, next year is too far. Mobile World Congress is Cancelled this year due to the Coronavirus outbreak of Wuhan, but Barcelona and thousands of smaller tech companies are paying a high price for that.