According to the receptionist at Hotel Havana, where we stayed, although the hotel was not empty, in fact it had an occupancy rate of 89% for the week of MWC, the cancellation had a lot of impact. For all businesses, taxi drivers, hotels, the week of the event, or rather, the 4 days of the event, represent two months of business. For many people it was very important, the official said. MWC affects the entire center of Barcelona, ??but especially the Fira Barcelona area on Gran Via, where the event is taking place. Restaurants usually hire more people temporarily these days, but this year is no longer, he adds. Although there are no cases of Coronavirus, the employee recognizes that there have been efforts in precautions, giving the example of Italy, that overnight there were cases of infected people.
We then went to the ground zero of the MWC, at the Fira Barcelona convention center, and on a day that was supposed to be catholic, from a sea of ??people in lines to enter, the place looked like a ghost town. There was no longer any reference to the Mobile World Congress, practically everything had already been withdrawn. the pavilion door was still underway to remove the last details of the event. Many people who came to work lost a lot of money and a penalty, a fair of this level will be canceled, said the pavilion security to SAPO TEK. This would be crazy today on a normal fair day. Everything was ready until it was canceled, but if God wants for the year to come, he vented the man, while shaking his head.
At the gas station cafe, in front of Fira Barcelona, ??everything was also calm, there were two or three customers. The cashier also regretted the cancellation and lost business potential. Perhaps the biggest mirror of the cancellation effect was the Fira Congress Hotel, which is across the pavilion road. A year earlier it was already completely sold out for the new edition of MWC, but as the receptionist confirmed, we currently only had three rooms occupied, confirming our observation that there was no soul in the building. Despite the cancellations, reservations were paid, so all was not lost at the hotel.
Despite the event being four days, MWC usually represents additional work for about a month, as a taxi driver said. that about 15 days before, the races to the airport intensify with the arrival of technicians and workers who arrive earlier to start setting up the stands of the participating brands. Then there is the event, and the following week there is a new bust to dismantle the structures, which means that hotels and restaurants also work well all month.
Although the cancellation harmed many workers and companies, practically all the interviewees agreed that health was first and that to avoid contagion and eventual deaths of people, it was better this way. The taxi driver says that he worked very well in this period, but for the next year, because every year there is technology, the life of a person, once lost, forever