1 February 2016 – Expansión
Routemap / Hoteles Temáticos, which works with giant players in the hotel sector through franchise contracts, expects to double in size and revenues over the next four years.
The Pérez Gil family is making closer ties with large international hotel groups. The family, which already has a partnership with the French company Accor, has now signed a similar agreement with Hilton. A new partner, but the same modus operandi: a franchise agreement that allows Hoteles Temáticos, the company owned by the Pérez Gil family, to manage hotels and, in exchange for a fee, use Accor and Hilton’s brands and distribution channels, which have 25 million and 74 million users, respectively, in their loyalty programs.
This summer, Hilton will open the doors of its first hotel in the centre of Madrid – until now the hotel giant had just one hotel in the city, next to the airport (pictured above) – under the Double Tree brand, which will debut in the capital. The 4-star property will have 61 rooms and will be located on Calle San Agustín, opposite Congress. The work to renovate the building, which housed offices until now, will cost around €4 million. In parallel, the Pérez Gil family has paid €8 million for 50% of the property.
In addition to this project with Hilton, which will allow the family to raise its profile in the US market, Hoteles Culturales is finalising several other new additions. It currently operates three hotels under franchise agreements with Accor in Madrid and Barcelona, as well as a complex containing 16 apartments in the capital and another (unbranded) 3-star property in Alfaro (La Rioja). “Our objective is to increase our portfolio from 400 rooms to between 800 and 1,000 rooms by 2020, and for our turnover, which currently stands at €10 million, to grow to €25 million”, says Guillermo Pérez Palacios, Director General of Hoteles Temáticos and the son of Antonio Pérez Gil, who used to be the Chief Operating Officer of NH, when the chain founded by Antonio Catalán had six hotels.
In the short term, Hoteles Temáticos will focus on Barcelona and Madrid…but Bilbao, San Sebastián, Porto and Lisbon also feature on its radar. The company is looking for management contracts, and, depending on the opportunity, investment contracts. And the door is also open to new partners, even though the involvement of international brands can increase investment costs by up to 20%, due to the high quality and safety standards such brands demand.
Agreements with overseas brands include the payment of royalties for the use of those brands and their distribution channels. Nevertheless, the formula has its benefits: “The consistency of the brand makes up for (the associated costs) and helps to make investments more effective”. At the Hotel Ibis Styles Madrid Prado, the Pérez Gil family’s first franchise contract, 55% of reservations are generated by Accor’s sales channel. According to the franchisee, brands allow hotels to increase revenues per room by between 10% and 15% compared with those charged by independent hotels and domestic chains. “Brands have allowed us to reduce our dependence on online travel agents”.
Original story: Expansión (by Yovanna Blanco)
Translation: Carmel Drake