Web Summit to stay in Lisbon for 10 years: CEO


LISBON (Reuters) – Europe’s largest tech event, the Web Summit, will remain in Lisbon for another 10 years, its founder Paddy Cosgrave said on Wednesday in a boost to Portugal’s aspirations of becoming a technology hub.

Web Summit’s co-founder Paddy Cosgrave speaks during the inauguration of Web Summit, Europe’s biggest tech conference, in Lisbon, Portugal, November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

“Staying here for another 10 years brings us so much certainty,” Cosgrave told journalists at a press conference where he was joined by Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa.

“My heart and the team’s heart is in Lisbon.”

Lisbon scored a big coup when Web Summit moved from Dublin to Portugal in 2016, helping a recovery in the country’s capital after the 2011-2014 debt crisis.

Web Summit has helped put Lisbon on the map and drive a tourist boom, as well as attract technology firms to the city.

“It’s a pleasure to host Web Summit in Portugal for the next 10 years,” Costa said. “It puts Portugal at the heart of the global conversation about tech and innovation.”

The government estimates that the event itself generates 300 million euros ($347 million) for Lisbon in hotel and other revenue during the week it takes place in November.

Around 70,000 people attended the Web Summit last year and the organizers hope to boost that to 100,000.

The original Web Summit contract envisioned three years in Lisbon and the Web Summit organizers had considered moving to other venues in Europe before deciding to stay.

The event is held in the pavilions built for Lisbon’s 1998 World Fair and one of the reasons the organizers decided to stay is because it can expand further in that area.

Reporting By Catarina Demony, writing by Axel Bugge, editing by Andrei Khalip and David Evans

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