“The returns for tourism and to Portugal [...] were naturally inferior towhat we would have had, if we had a hybrid or face-to-face event, which turned out not to be an option for the organisation”, said Rita Marques, who is being heard in the parliamentary committee on Economics, Innovation, Public Works and Housing, at the request of CDS-PP.
The minister also said that “the negotiating terms” between Portugal and the organisation of the Web Summit, which has a contract for another eight years of the technological event to be held in Portugal, “are always, continuously, being subject to review”.
“We are in very lively conversation with the organisation, trying to understand what the future is and what we need for the next eight years,” she said, noting that the organisers of the technology summit have already announced plans to hold the event in other countries, such as Japan, Brazil and Malaysia.
The Web Summit, considered one of the largest technologysummits in the world, was held this year completely ‘online’ with “an estimated audience of 100,000” people. For the co-founder of the event, Paddy Cosgrave, the next big challenge will be to bring “100,000 people to Lisbon”, which will only happen “in 2022 or 2023”.
Regarding the controversial payment of €11 million (€8 million by the Government and €3 million by the Lisbon Chamber) for an edition that is ‘online’, Paddy Cosgrave said it was a political issue in which he does not want to get involved.
After two editions held in Lisbon (2016 and 2017), Web Summit and the Portuguese Government announced, in October 2018, a ten-year partnership that allows the conference to be held in the Portuguese capital until 2028.