Palma de Majorca, 14 June 2016. 2016, in which the Barceló Hotel Group is celebrating its 85th anniversary, is set to be one of the most dynamic years in the chain’s history, for it has just signed a major master franchise agreement with the Asian giant Plateno, which will enable it to disembark in style in the world’s biggest outbound tourism market: China.
The agreement, which grants Plateno the right to operate under the Barceló brand name in China and some other countries in the region, was announced yesterday (Tuesday) at a gathering of 150 potential investors in Beijing that was also attended by 30 local and Spanish media, the Spanish and Mexican Ambassadors, and the Commercial and Economic Counsellor and other representatives from the Spanish Embassy. In the signing of this agreement Barceló has been advised by Drac Capital and the Uría Menéndez law firm.
The Barceló Hotel Group representatives attending the event were the CEO for EMEA, Raúl González; the Corporate General Manager and head of the project in Asia, Javier Abadía, and Cristina de Andrés, Director assistant to the CEO and in charge of the team developing the franchise project. Representing Plateno were the CEO and founder Alex Zheng; the CFO, Eric Wu; and the Barceló Brand Manager, Vivian Wang.
According to Raúl González, “with this agreement, our two groups are aiming to combine the know-how of European hoteliers with the knowledge of the Chinese market”. The objective, he explains, “is to reach a minimum of 100 hotels in 10 years, in both the holiday and urban segments; and from the negotiation processes begun so far, it looks like agreements with the first franchisees could be signed in the second half of 2016”.
In addition, he concludes, “another of the most significant aspects of this alliance is that it will give our hotels all around the world visibility among the more than 80 million members of the Plateno loyalty scheme, which is extremely important when we take into account that China is the world’s number one outbound tourism market”.
According to Alex Zheng, “for us it is an honour and a great responsibility to be able to establish a brand name with such a history as Barceló in China, a country in which European customs and traditions are becoming increasingly appreciated, so we are sure that this attractive venture is going to be a great success”.
Plateno is China’s second largest hotel company by number of hotels, and the seventh largest in the world, with over 3,000 establishments and more than 450,000 rooms at 300 destinations. Founded in 2005, the company leads the budget segment in China with the Seven Days brand name. Since 2013 it has also been operating in the midscale and upscale segments with brand names such as Hampton by Hilton, Maison Albar, Portofino and H12. The company has a loyalty club of over 80 million members.