Barceló Buys Spain’s 5th Largest Tour Operator

11 January 2016 – Expansión

The travel division of the Barceló Group has acquired all of the shares in Spain’s fifth largest tour operator, Special Tours, which specialises in tours of Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Africa and Oceania, as it continues progressing with its plans to internationalise and strengthen its position in Latin America.

The Mallorcan group, which did not disclose any of the financial details of the operation, will incorporate Special Tours’ entire workforce, comprising 300 employees. It will also maintain the company’s current operations, which are headquartered in the Ciudad de la Imagen in Madrid, as well as its management team, led by Carlos Jiménez (pictured above), who will continue to be the CEO of the company after the integration.

The Barceló Group has said that this operation, which is pending approval by the corresponding regulatory bodies, forms part of the company’s commitment to product specialisation and internationalisation and goes some way towards fulfilling its objective of becoming a major player in the Latin market.

In this sense, the Barceló Group said that Special Tours has been operating in every country in the Latin American market, where it plays a very important role, for more than 30 years.

Focus on Latin America

The Corporate Director General of the Barceló Group’s travel division, Alejandro Subías, said that the operation represents a “significant” boost to the firm’s strategic plan and allows it to continue its commitment to consolidating its position in Latin America.

“With the integration of the team led by Carlos Jiménez, we are continuing to grow, complementing and strengthening our current product portfolio, and to offer even more travel options and experiences to our clients, which is the real raison d’être of our group”, added the director.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Santander: The Real Estate Recovery Will Strengthen In 2015

16 March 2015 –

Tomás Riestra, analyst in the Research Department at Banco Santander shares his views about the outlook for 2015 in a short interview.

The recovery in the real estate sector is now well underway after beginning timidly in 2014. So says Tomás Riestra, analyst in the Research Department at Banco Santander, who expects 2015 to be the year of stabilisation. “This improvement is based on the flow of credit and the fact that prices have begun to grow timidly, in an environment of greater economic growth and the generation of higher quality employment”, said the expert.

For Riestra, house prices will not return to pre-crisis levels because obstacles from the crisis still remain, like the stock of homes for sale, and because lessons have been learnt from those years. “The real estate boom resulted in a set of circumstances that is not going to be repeated”, specified Riestra, for example, the (construction) sector is not going to have the same importance in terms of Spanish GDP (going forwards).

Original story:

Translation: Carmel Drake