How can sustainability and innovation best find their way into programs for international conference and event planners? From October 13-17, a “Sustainable Famtrip” carried out in Gran Canaria shows the right approaches.

The Convention Bureau of Gran Canaria has carried out a pilot project together with Johanna Fischer from tmf dialogue Europe to test existing sustainable offers on the island, and to discuss with the participants from agencies and associations from Germany, France and Spain about the future organization of sustainable events in the island.

As part of the new strategic orientation of the island government (Cabildo) for the holiday destination towards an “eco island”, all future decisions and measures of the government are aligned with the UN Agenda 2030 and its 17 SDGS (Sustainable Development Goals) since 2020.

The Convention Bureau positions itself accordingly and includes sustainability and innovation as key elements in its communication measures and in the presentation of the destination.

In cooperation with the local decision-makers, the effort to make the island fit for the future is being pursued holistically across all clusters. The new future concept of the Gran Canaria Convention Bureau has now for the first time been implemented in the form of a “Sustainable Famtrip” which also marked the post-pandemic reactivation of the international MICE markets for Gran Canaria.

The main content of the project was the presentation of relevant offers for event planners and the discussion with decision-makers from politics and organizations in order to identify thematic overlaps and connections between innovation projects, R&D and investments with future business events of all kinds.

Only electric cars were used for the group’s transfers. Visits to local producers of organic agricultural products such as coffee, wine or an aloe vera plantation showed the existing diversity and quality, and their direct implementation in restaurants that are committed to the “Kilometro Zero” principle – to use mainly products from local cultivation for an original and healthy cuisine.

Sustainably managed and climate responsible hotels – such as the Cordial Roca Negra in Agaete, THe LUMM Hotel (new) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Palm Beach Hotel in Maspalomas – were selected for overnight stays by the group. All three hotels use locally produced food and follow the “Kilometro Zero” principle.

The unique fauna of Gran Canaria and its importance for climate, water resources and research was introduced through visits e g to the botanical garden and to reforestation initiatives of the government. The focus on reducing CO2 emissions was explained through a specialist lecture along th development of the infrastructure for e-mobility.

The INFECAR tradeshow and conference center in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the capital, which is currently being converted into a BREEAM ( – certified exhibition and conference center, is further evidence of the serious efforts and investments made towards a sustainable island.

In an on-site, intensive 2-hour discussion between the participants of the group and representatives from Cabildo, forest authorities, investment agency, INFECAR, Convention Bureau and tmf dialogue, projects were briefly presented and jointly discussed, to mutually explore how innovation and sustainable approach to the “place branding” of Gran Canaria can be beneficial for all segments involved.

Besides visiting INFECAR, the group also inspected the Canary Islands Convention Center/Auditorium Alfredo Kraus – both in the capital – and EXPOMELONERAS Convention Center in Maspalomas in the South of the island – with 3 full-fledged Convention Centers Gran Canaria can host all sizes of international conventions and congresses.

The foundation stone for sustainable MICE programs in Gran Canaria has been laid and will be continued in ongoing discussions in tmf’s communitylab – another innovative approach to create ongoing and close relationships with event organizers, to discuss initiatives at community level and to expand knowledge about the new narratives.


Further information – contacts:

Sergio Maccanti, Tecnico Gran Canaria Convention Bureau, email

Johanna Fischer, MD tmf dialogue and communitylab Europe, email

Gran Canaria Convention Bureau communicates innovations and projects through their LinkedIn profile:


On-site agency: Abrandia, MD Jaime Lang-Lenton (english-speaking)

Community Discussion / Share of presentations and information: “Sustainable Famtrips” Group on communitylab


Participants in the discussion for a sustainable development of the island and the presentation to the international business community:

Raúl García Brink, Área de Desarrollo Económico, Soberanía Energética, Clima y Conocimiento del Cabildo de Gran Canaria (Technical Coordinator of Economic Development, Energy Sovereignty, Climate and Knowledge en CABILDO DE GRAN CANARIA)

Sergio Armas, Fundación Foresta

Guillermo Quintana, Sociedad de Promoción Económica de Gran Canaria (SPEGC)

Natalia Santana Hernández, Directora General Accidental en Institución Ferial de Canarias (INFECAR)


A selection of related stories about the new future concept and sustainable initiatives in Gran Canaria:

People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, Partnerships – the meaning of selected UN Agenda SDGs for the MICE industry in Gran Canaria

The Ocean we want to have! (PLocan)

Canary Islands Convention Center /Alfredo Kraus Auditorio

Dance on your balcony! Cool idea – the Teatrotel

Research into practical (tourism-related) case studies of post-pandemic adaption in Gran Canaria

More stories on LinkedIn profile of Gran Canaria Convention Bureau


Text: Johanna Fischer, tmf dialogue for: Gran Canaria Convention Bureau