Welcome to the Barceló Group
The Barceló Group, founded in 1931 by Simón Barceló in the island of Mallorca (Spain), is a vertically integrated tourism group that is made up of the Barceló Hotel Group, which has more than 250 hotels and more than 55,000 rooms in 22 countries; and by the travel division Ávoris, which has more than 700 travel agencies on 4 continents, several tour operators and receptive operators, and even an airline. At the close of 2018 the group, which employs 33.378 staff, registered a turnover of 4.383,4 million euros and an EBITDA of 348 million euros.
Since 1989 the company has been channelling its social work through the Barceló Foundation, which collaborates in health, education, economic development and culture projects in underdeveloped countries.
The Barceló Group, with more than 85 years of experience in the national and international tourism sector, focuses its business in two main areas: hotels and travel.
Destination services and experiences
The senior management of the Barceló Group, owned by the Barceló family for 3 generations, is currently represented by co-chairmen: Simón Barceló Tous and Simón Pedro Barceló Vadell.
BARCELÓ HOTEL GROUP
Económico - Financiero
Centro y Sudamérica
History of the group
Founded by Simón Barceló in 1931, from the creation of a small family business located in the town of Felantix Mallorca (Spain) and specialised in the transport of people and merchandise, Barceló Group has grown through 3 generations that have made it one of the most important tourism corporations in Spain and the world.
Throughout more than 85 years of history, the company has focused its activity on the world of tourism and, even though the two main areas of business are hospitality and travel (retail and incoming agencies), the Mallorcan group has always been a pioneer in making the most of all opportunities in the market and in diversifying its operations, with profitability as a constant objective.
The trajectory of the Barceló Group, which today has a workforce of over 28,000 people around the world, is marked by a series of milestones and key dates that have directed the life of the company.
Autocares Barceló (transport company) was founded by Simón Barceló in Felanitx (Mallorca, Spain).
1954: Entry into the tourism industry
In 1954, the company ventured into the travel agency sector, which culminated in the creation of Barceló Viajes.
1962: Beginning of the hotel chain
Some years, in 1962 the hotel sector was launched with the first hotel of the chain, located in Mallorca. This stage culminated in 1965 with the development of a new style of hotel: the Barceló Pueblo Palma was specifically designed for families with a large selection of services at an affordable price, as are all of the “Pueblo” hotels.
1968: International growth.
At the end of the 1960s, the company expanded the hotel sector to the rest of the Balearic Islands: the company built the Barceló Pueblo Ibiza hotel and acquired the Barceló Hamilton hotel in Menorca. In 1970: the leap to the Iberian Peninsula was made with the opening of the Barceló Pueblo Hotel Benidorm.
1981: International growth.
In 1981, Barceló Viajes bought the tour operator Turavia, which was the group’s first step towards internationalisation. The hotel division started to operate in other countries in 1985, with the opening of its first hotel in the Caribbean (Barceló Bávaro Beach Resort, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic). Barceló Hotel Group was the first Spanish hotel chain in the country. Five years later, the chain entered Costa Rica, acquiring the Barceló San José Palacio Spa & Casino hotel, and just two years later, the Tambor Beach complex.
1992: The company enters the North American market
In 1992, one of the chain’s milestones was reached: it entered the US market. The hotel purchased its first establishment in Washington, and then added another in Orlando. These acquisitions made Barceló Hotel Group the first Spanish hotel chain to operate in the USA.
1993: Establishment in Europe
The drive into Europe started in 1993, the year in which the Mallorcan group acquired the Barceló Praha, the first hotel in a European capital to be brought into the fold.
1995: First steps in the Spanish urban market
Although Barceló Hotel Group is currently a hotel chain with both urban and holiday hotels, it was 30 years after the company’s creation as a sunshine and beach hotel chain that it opened its first city hotel in Spain, the Barceló Sants (Barcelona), one of the flagship hotels of the company.
1996: The growth of Barceló Viajes continues
In 1996, Barceló Viajes became the Spanish representative for the British tour operator, First Choice Holidays. In the year 2000, Barceló Viajes was incorporated into this British travel group, and became its majority shareholder. But two years later, the Mallorcan group exercised its pre-emptive rights and regained ownership of Barceló Viajes.
1997: Barceló Hotel Group
In 1997, the chain opened a hotel in Venezuela, and in 1999 inaugurated three hotels in Mexico: the Barceló Maya Beach Resort complex and two hotels on the Pacific coast, in Ixtapa and Huatulco. Expansion did not cease and the chain made a start in Turkey, with a number of hotels in the Bodrum region, and opened two establishments in the year 2000 in Ecuador and Uruguay.
2001: The first great challenge is met 100 hotels
In 2001, which was also the Group’s 70th anniversary, Barceló Hotel Group reached a total of 100 hotels, a figure that puts the chain among the largest hotel groups in Spain. During this year, it opened a number of hotels in Spain and continued its expansion in several countries in South America. In addition, the Barceló Bávaro Convention Center in Bávaro Beach (Dominican Republic) was opened, which is the most modern convention centre in the country and one of the largest in all Latin America and the Caribbean.
2002: Mediterranean objective
In 2002, Barceló Hotel Group decided to focus on the Mediterranean and tourism in North African countries. The company did this using franchise contracts in Malta, Tunisia and Morocco.
2002: Largest Spanish hotel chain in the USA
In 2002, Barceló acquired the American hotel operator Crestline Capital, which manages close to 7,000 rooms in 12 different states. A subsidiary was created, Barceló Crestline Hotels & Resorts, which noticeably reinforced Barceló’s presence in the USA, where it now operates 48 hotels and 6 Convention Centres.
2003: Barcelo.com goes online
Barceló Hotel Group launched their first website, www.barcelo.com, and created a new Booking Centre: BarceloRes. The day for its launch into the world of social networking arrived in 2012, with the creation of the chain’s official site in all the most important networks. It was awarded the TNS Fanpage Spain in 2014 for the Best Page in Facebook in the category “Tourism, travel and hotels”.
2005–2010: Success of the strategic plan
In 2005, the chain approved a 5-year strategic plan (2005–2010). One of its main objectives was the growth of the group, and an ambitious challenge to reach 200 hotels. During the years of the property bubble, many developers wanted to complement their urban developments with hotels managed by chains such as Barceló Hotel Group. This collaboration between hotel companies and property developers led to a rapid growth in our portfolio. In the case of Barceló, the agreement that it made with FADESA was the most prominent, and it was signed with the intention of reaching 5,000 rooms within the time frame of 5 to 7 years, with Spain and the Mediterranean basin as the preferred areas of operation. As a consequence of the agreement, a number of hotels were opened in Isla Cristina, Fuerteventura, La Coruña, Madrid, Marbella and Casablanca (Morocco), and in other cities, too.
From this time onwards, the chain opened an average of 20 hotels a year, and in 2007 it managed to incorporate as many as 40, thanks to the agreement that it made with Paramount Hotels, opening 20 hotels in the United Kingdom.
2006: Awards for the 75th anniversary
Coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the Barceló Group, the company acquired the Barceló Formentor hotel, one of the most outstanding hotels on the island of Mallorca and in the whole Mediterranean. The company also received one of the best awards granted during its history: the brothers Gabriel and Sebastián Barceló Oliver, Honorary Co-Chairpersons of the Barceló Group, were given the Balearic Island’s Community Gold Medal. In addition to this award, the company received the Tourism Merit Plaque, and the consultancy AT Kearney granted the Best Manager Award 2006 to its two co-presidents. A year later, it received the Prince Felipe Business Excellence Award in the Large Company Business Competitiveness category.
2007: Entry in the world’s top 30
In 2006, Barceló became one of the world’s top 30 hotel chains. In 2007, the American magazine Hotel & Motel Management raised Barceló Hotel Group to the 28th position in the world, based on the number of rooms. A year later, the Mallorcan group, which carried on growing, was to occupy 24th place.
2009: A mentor leaves
In May 2009, the Honorary Co-Chairperson of the Barceló Group, Sebastián Barceló Oliver, left the company.
2011: Refurbishment replaces expansion
From 2010, coinciding with the start of the economic crisis, the company stopped expanding and decided to dispense with some establishments that were not profitable when their contracts terminated. The chain, which had maintained a sound financial position thanks to its strict management policies, decided to take advantage of a drop in the occupancy of some of its hotels to carry out renovation work. The plan was that these hotels would be completely refurbished by the end of the crisis in order to be able to offer a product of the highest quality. Over a period of 7 years, the chain was to invest 1,000 million Euros in the refurbishment of some of its most iconic hotels, such as the Barceló Maya Beach Resort (Dominican Republic), the Barceló Maya Beach Resort (Mexico), the Barceló Sants (Barcelona), the Barceló Castillo Beach Resort (Fuerteventura), the Barceló Hamilton Menorca and the Barceló Montecastillo Golf (Cadiz), and many more.
2014: The USA: a country apart
In 2014, Barceló Hotel Group decided to sell part of Barceló Crestline, its subsidiary in the USA, keeping 40% of its shares. With this transaction, although the chain has continued to maintain an interest in North America, where it operates 74 hotels, it made the decision to divide the communication between them. From this time on, the company stated that it had 95 hotels in 16 countries, and, indirectly, another 74 in the USA.
2015: The end of the crisis? Growth is revived
For a few years growth slowed down, although some large hotels in Italy, Germany, Greece and the Czech Republic were incorporated into the chain. However, the company started 2015 by announcing their intention to invest in six new projects, something that they had not done since the beginning of the economic crisis. Two hotels in the centre of Madrid, one in the Eixample district of Barcelona, the first 5 star hotel in Tenerife and two hotels in Algeria reflect an apparent reactivation of the market, which has led the chain to continue its expansion.
2015: A change of model
Following the attainment of the ownership of the largest number of rooms in all its history in 2014, with 38% of the total, Barceló reached an agreement in February 2015 with Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios for the creation of BAY, the first hotel REIT in Spain, with its focus on the resort market, an industry in which our country leads the world.
The chain also made an agreement with the shareholders of the hotel company Occidental Hotels Management to purchase 100% of the company’s capital. The company has over 4,000 rooms in 13 hotels, located in Mexico (6 hotels and 2,054 rooms), the Dominican Republic (2 hotels and 1,130 rooms), Costa Rica (2 hotels and 459 rooms), Aruba (one hotel with 368 rooms) and Colombia (one hotel with 164 rooms).
2016: Grand opening in Madrid city centre and new brand’s strategy
The chain opens its firts 5 stars city hotel in the city centre of Madrid: the Barceló Emperatriz. Barceló Hotel Group opens as well its first 5 stars city hotel in Prague and two new destinations in Central America: Panamá and El Salvador; and incorporate new hotels in Spain, Turkey and Mexico.
After the acquisition of Occidental Hotels & Resorts and the inheritance of several prestigious brands, the company decided to launch a multibrand strategy made up of the followings brands: Royal Hideaway Luxury Hotels & Resorts (Luxury), Barceló Hotels & Resorts (Upper Upscale), Occidental Hotels & Resorts (Upscale) and Allegro Hotels (Upper Midscale).
2017: Recovery of the 100% of Crestline Hotels & Resorts
The Barceló Group reaches an agreement with AR Global to buy the latter’s 60% stake in the US hotel management company Crestline Hotels & Resorts. Combined with the 40% it already owned, this acquisition means that Barceló now owns all the capital stock of the US management company, one of the country’s biggest independent operators.
Group philosophy and values
Barceló Group is a family-run company that focuses its activity on the development of different tourism businesses, which are vertically integrated in one business structure.
Although its main interests are hotel management and retailer and inbound tour operator networks, Barceló Group is open to participation in other areas in order to foster its diversification in tourism-related business.
The company’s own Code of Ethics and the commitments undertaken on signing the Code of Conduct for the protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism and the World Treaty for the Defence of Human Rights and the Environment (Kyoto Protocol), guide the conduct of all the people who form part of the Barceló Group.
Commitment to society: as part of its corporate social responsibility and commitment to society and the environment, the Barceló Group subscribes to the Global Pact that is coordinated by the Culture Association of the United Nations and the Code of Conduct against the Sexual Exploitation of Children. It also collaborates with social non-profit entities such as Fundación Integra and Fundosa for the employment integration of excluded groups within the Company.
The main objectives of the company are to become a brand and business of reference within the national and international tourism sector; to ensure each and every one of its projects are cost-effective; to use its vast experience in the sector of city and holiday hotel management; to meet its clients’ expectations (guests, shareholders, employees, members and collaborators, suppliers and public administrations); to take advantage of business opportunities, open new markets and pioneer in the launch of new and innovative products and services; and to contribute to the welfare and to the social, political and economic development of the countries where it is present.
As base for reaching these targets, Barceló Group and all its members develop the following corporate values every day:
Spirit of service
Barceló Group has achieved the continuity it aimed for when it was created. Presently, in its third generation, these main values continue to prevail, making a firm commitment to the development of solid business.
Awards and recognitions
The success of a company can be also measured by the awards and recognitions it has obtained throughout its business history. For more than 85 years of history Barceló Group has deserved many national and international distinctions, among which are the following ones:
1979: Medal for Merit in Tourism (to Sebastián Barceló Oliver)
1989: Medal for Merit in Tourism (to Gabriel Barceló Oliver)
1995: Prince Felipe Business Excellence Award (to Barceló Group)
1999: Codespa Award for Solidarity (to Barceló Foundation)
2000: Entrepreneur of the Year Award (to Simón Pedro Barceló Vadell)
2003: Junípero Serra Award (to Gabriel Barceló Oliver)
2003: Ramon Llull Award (to Barceló Foundation)
2005: Gold shield of “Felipe Moreno” University School of Tourism of Palma de Majorca (to Simón Barceló Tous and Simón Pedro Barceló Vadell)
2006: Plaque for Merit in Tourism (to Barceló Group)
2006: Gold medal of the Balearic Government (to Gabriel and Sebastián Barceló Oliver)
2006: Best Manager Award (to Simón Barceló Tous and Simón Pedro Barceló Vadell)
2007: Prince Felipe Business Excellence Award – category of Business Competitiveness / Big Business (to Barceló Group)
2007: Imex Fortis Award to the International Investing Company (to Barceló Group)
2007: Crystal Award to the world’s safest hotel chain (to Barceló Group
2011: Bronze Award to the Efficency 2011 (to Barceló Group)
Barceló Hotel Group is the hotel division of the Barceló Group. At present the group has more than 250 four and five star urban and holiday hotels, and over 55.000 rooms distributed throughout 22 countries. The brand architecture is constituted by 4 insignias: Royal Hideaway Luxury Hotels & Resorts, Barceló Hotels & Resorts, Occidental Hotels & Resorts and Allegro Hotels. It is the second largest chain in Spain and the 31st largest at international level.
Ávoris is the Barceló Group’s travel, leisure and holiday division.
Ávoris is not just a group comprised of tourism companies, but a tourist company vertically integrated, with specialist brands that offer travellers a unique experience adapted to suit their tastes.
Our main objective of this institution is to carry out projects which contribute to the improvement of society as a whole, insisting on programs related to health, education, economic development and housing. An overview of this humanitarian and social work is given in this video. Furthermore, the Barceló Foundation does some artistics and cultural activities in Majorca, where is the headquarters of the institution.