Gordon Research Conferences

What are 2,300 researchers doing in the Costa Brava?

The Gordon Research Conferences –a group of prestigious international scientific conferences that cover scientific advances in the biological, chemical, and physical sciences–selected Girona as the venue for a number of its 2016 conferences and seminars for the third consecutive year

The PGA Catalunya Resort already hosted two editions of these scientific conferences, yet this year participants found themselves at the new Hotel Camiral after a 30 million euro investment in the end-to-end makeover of the resort.

In fact, this is the first group that Hotel Camiral hosted after opening its doors: a challenge considering that MICE tourism implies an intense use of the facilities and intense organisational effort by the hotel as well as fully functioning basic operations like accommodation and restaurants.

Twenty-three conferences and two- to five-day seminars were held from May to August, bringing together over 2,300 researches from around the world.

Intense days dedicated to the conference still left time to offer participants the chance to enjoy the region on guided tours and group activities offered as a supplement to the programme.

“A beautiful setting for celebrating a leading scientific event”

Nancy Ryan Gray – Director of Gordon Research Conferences


Ten seminars were held on back-to-back weekends from 28 May to 26 August along with 13 four-day conferences from Sunday to Thursday, with groups leaving on Friday morning.

The programme for both formats was extremely intense. For example, the two-hour starting plenary sessions at the conferences took place after a welcome dinner at 6 p.m. on the same day the participants arrived.

The other seminars, conferences, symposia and poster sessions were held from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a three-hour midday break, which many participants used to explore the region through activities organised by businesses and organisations that belong to the Costa Brava Convention Bureau.

The challenge

After two years of being ranked the best European venue for the Gordon Research Conferences by attendees, PGA Golf Catalunya added an extra incentive for the third consecutive year of conferences: the resort opened its fully renovated hotel under a new concept as Hotel Camiral to coincide with the group’s arrival.

The number of guests (doubled compared to the previous year), the event duration, the programme complexity and the intense use of the hotel’s conference and meeting services put the new hotel’s systems and services to the test.

Amb una demanda molt exigent pel nombre de persones -que s’havia duplicat respecte l’any anterior-, la durada de l’esdeveniment, la complexitat del programa i l’ús intensiu dels serveis de conferències i reunions de l’hotel, el grup ha posat a prova els serveis i els sistemes del nou hotel.

Getting to know the region

In their free time participants had the opportunity to get a taste of what our region has to offer through five different proposals to choose from over the four days spent at the hotel.

The range of proposals, designed to showcase the region’s contrasts, was very well received for yet another year.

Trips to the medieval village of Besalú and the seaside town of Tossa de Mar and a visit to the capital with Guies de Girona were offered alongside cultural activities at the Dalí Theatre and Museum in Figueres and a sail on Tela Marinera‘s traditional boats to discover some of the Costa Brava’s most extraordinary spots. The Autocares Izaro transport company made it possible for the group to get around within the time constraints posed by the busy conference schedule

Facts and figures

Lectures were offered in two different halls in the hotel: speeches and debates with a roundtable and lecture-style seating on the one hand and poster sessions in an open room where attendees could see the posters about the research presented on the other.

Organisers – collaborators

Gordon Research Conferences – Hotel Camiral – Costa Brava Girona Convention Bureau – Tela Marinera – Guies de Girona – Autocares Izaro


The Gordon Research Conference event organisers seek out alliances with destinations based on scores by conference participants. Participants rate their satisfaction with a range of aspects at every conference and seminar as well as state their preferences about where future meetings should be held.

The majority of comments scored the hotel’s environment, services and facilities as well as the leisure activities outside the programme very highly.

The number of Gordon Research Conferences held in the Costa Brava has increased significantly since the first edition three years ago, with the destination ranked as the top European venue for these conferences, which are held in 20 locations across Europe, China and the United States.

The three editions of the Gordon Research Conferences celebrated in Girona have provided the chance to introduce the region as a business tourism destination to markets which are traditionally difficult to access, like the American market.

More success stories: