Saturday, November 5, 2016

Lisbon ready for the invasion of the geeks and CEO – Express

more than two years Ago that Lisbon did not see an invasion as well. It was in may 2014 that more than 100 thousand spaniards have gone to the Portuguese capital to watch the victory of Real Madrid over rivals Atletico in the final of the Champions League.

This time the reason of the flood is not about football – although also there are Figo, Rui Costa and even Ronaldinho, among others – but with a conference of geeks and founders of startups that will be packed during the four days the Park of the Nations, and during three nights, Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré. Are less than in 2014 – about 50 thousand, but arrive from practically all over the globe are represented in 165 countries. The Web Summit is a true Society of Nations 2.0.

The city’s hotels are ready for the flood, ensures Cristina Siza Vieira, president of the Associação da Hotelaria de Portugal. "The average occupancy in Lisbon is already above 90%," revealed to the Express. "There are still some rooms available and it is natural that the prices are higher, similar to what happened in the final of the Champions League in 2014".

According to a study revealed this week by Trivago, the average price of the booking for the period of the conference (7-10 November) soared to €198, almost triple the value recorded in November of last year (€73).

The purpose of the conference is also making itself felt in the local accommodation. This week, Airbnb, the leading platform short term rentals, announced that the hosts of lisbon will receive about 15 thousand guests during the next week, a demand four times higher than that registered in the same period last year. In total, the reserves amount to 2.8 million euros.

lively Nights

The organization has prepared a lively evening program that will go through the Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré, the two main destinations of the night in the capital. José Manuel Esteves, director of the Association of Hotels, restaurants and Similar Portugal (AHRESP), admits that the demand for restaurants and bars "has been very intense," but guarantees that the city "is prepared" to welcome the "30 or 40 thousand geeks and business men".

The hours of operation of restaurants and bars, as well as their supervision, will not suffer changes, the second confirms to the Express source of the Municipal Chamber of Lisbon. "The presence of the Web Summit is not going to change the running patterns of the city." The director of AHRESP ensures that the economic impact resulting from the event – 200 million euros, according to the organization – will be "larger than an Expo and what a Euro 2004", taking into account that the event is guaranteed in Lisbon for three years.

The event was also shoot, of course, the volume of bookings by the airlines. The TAP, for example, will transport 15% more passengers in the european market and a further 56% in the u.s. market compared to the same period last year.

In the latter case, however, the Web Summit is not the only explanation: "There was growth of supply in the North Atlantic and in particular with the launch of daily flights to New York/JFK and Boston," says the company. Easyjet also notes a positive impact in the places sold in the period of the conference (+14%).

Strengthening transport

in A partnership between the Lisbon Metro, Carris and CP, was created a pass exclusive to attendees of the Web Summit, which will allow for "unlimited use" of these services between this Saturday and July 13. The pass (€ 25) will be sold at the Airport of Lisbon and at FIL (Park of Nations), one of the venues of the event. According to James Fahn, president of the Lisbon Metro, there was a "strengthening of the points of sale" and the machines in the metro stations "were all adapted to accept international cards and credit cards, to facilitate the purchase."

Farias ensures that "there will be no lack of tickets", a situation that has occurred since September. The Metro does not have the extended hours, but there will be increase in the number of carriages to circulate in the lines blue, red and yellow, from three to six compositions, off-peak hours.

Who also wanted to take the ride of the event was the Uber, the startup world’s most valuable, that is since yesterday the test, during ten days, the service of sharing travel Uberpool. The option allows customers to share the journey with other passengers going in the same direction and split the cost.

The Cooptáxis, one of the largest cooperatives of taxis in the country, will have branches in the main locations of the event, to forward more quickly to customers. Has been created also a taxi rank temporary, near the site of the event, according to the city of Lisbon.

THE PSP is to mount a large security operation for the event, which is expected to mobilize about a thousand agents, including all groups of the elite Special Police Unit, which is expected to reach the mounted device to the Final of the Champions League (about 800 police officers). Are the planned restrictions to traffic in the area of the Nations Park and close to the hotels where they are hosted heads of state, revealed the source of the PSP to Express.

The access to the Internet, which was one of the main criticisms left in the previous Web Summit, in Dublin, will be provided free of charge in the FIL and in the Atlantic Pavilion, in addition to the Square of the Municipality, will take place where one of the events complementary on the night of Wednesday.

The Government wants to take advantage of the packaging of the event to launch measures that accelerate innovation in tourism and to advance the image of Portugal as it is innovative.

To "maximize the impact" of the event, the State Department of Tourism will organize, among other activities, the "Sunset Summit", days 8 and 9, “a showcase of culture, cuisine and crafts of each of the seven tourist regions national”, in addition to concerts and shows multimedia, with the aim of "create the desire in these 50 thousand people to come back", the second explains the Secretary of State to the Express. "We believe that the Web Summit is a privileged arena for the promotion of the destination Portugal".


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