Portugal has reiterated its commitment to pay Web Summit €11 million a year to host the conference in Lisbon, as part of an agreement to keep the summit in the nation’s capital until 2028.
The deal came under criticism this year as the conference was forced online due to Covid-19, thus eliminating the supposed economic benefits the summit brings to Lisbon, the Irish Times writes. The Portuguese government estimates that the event generates €300 million in the week it takes place. This year’s switch also opened up the broader questions of what will happen if the event continues to be digital-first, according to the publication.
However, speaking to a group of journalists, prime minister António Costa made it clear that the deal will remain in place and that 2020 represented an anomaly in what would otherwise be scheduled as a Lisbon-based event, according to the Irish Times.
“It’s absolutely a great honor to have the Web Summit in Lisbon, and everything that is on the agenda of the Web Summit remains on the agenda. We have an agreement for still some years to come,” Costa said, according to the publication.
As part of the deal to keep Web Summit in Lisbon, the authorities also committed to expanding event spaces in the city to accommodate the growing conference, which they failed to do, as reported earlier this year. This led to some concern about Web Summit pulling out of Lisbon, which without a breach of contract would cost the company €3 billion as part of the agreed buyout clause.