Largest convention centre in Europe launches in Paris

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The new Paris Convention Centre has been launched on a glittering evening in the French capital.

Formerly Pavilion 7 of the Parc des Expositions at the Porte de Versailles, the new venue is now the largest convention centre in Europe, with 72,000 sqm of event space and a capacity of 35,000 people.

Hundreds of event professionals attended the inauguration of the new two-year, 180 million euro (£160m) project, which marks the end of the first phase - out of three - of the refurbishment of the Parc des Expositions.

Jean-Francois Martins, deputy mayor of Paris for tourism, said: "The business tourism figures are of almost dizzying importance," adding that the new centre will bring in 1.2 billion euro (£1.1bn) in revenue, making it a fundamental sector for Paris.

The refurbishment of Parc des Expositions is a 500 million euro (£445m) project led by Viparis, an equally-owned subsidiary of Unibail-Rodamco and the Paris Ile-de-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The second phase will see the creation of two new hotels on the site.

Christophe Cuvillier, CEO of Unibail-Rodamco, said: "The ambition is to make Paris expo a new city district and make it the leading congress site in Europe. We now have the opportunity to welcome very large congresses, which ensures significant economic benefits for Paris."

The Paris Convention Centre aims to host 75 events in two years, including 55 conferences. The first, organised by the European Society of Rheumatology, will be held on 7 December.

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