Air China stated that the load factor on the Beijing - Barcelona service, launched on 05 May-2014, is averaging around 80%. The BARDC congratulates Air China for the successful launch of its service between Beijing and Barcelona. Such a load factor is significant given the short notice between announcement of the new Flight and the release of the tickets on the GDS System. It shows the strength of the demand and we are confident that it will improve in the future.
Catalalonia will receive 16.2 million foreign tourists this year, representing a 4.3% increase over 2013, thanks in part to improved demand from countries in northern Europe.
This is what the Tourism Activity Index prepared by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB).
According to the report, presented on Thursday at a press conference, predicts a growing number of tourists and overnight stays for all source markets, but especially from some traditional markets - countries in the European Union - while emerging markets – Eastern European, Asian and American countires - will continue to grow but at a less pronounced rate than last year.
Most notable is the growth of British tourists, which the report predicts will reach 9%; Germans, with an increase of 5.1%, and tourists from Scandinavian countries, which is expected to grow by 7%.
The UAB Index includes an annex on the role of this sector in the Catalan economy during the period 2009-2013, indicating that tourism subsectors have had a better overall performance than the Catalan economy as a whole, with net increases in the figures of people listed as paying Social Security, but at the cost of increased seasonal employment.
The index concludes that seasonality should be reduced, which would require an increase in the weight of the domestic market and a change in policies to reduce the seasonality of the foreign market, particularly in areas such as the Costa Daurada.
It recommends bringing forward the timing of the flows because if increased indicators - number of tourists, spending, overnight stays, etc. – continues to take place during the middle weeks or months of the year, "it will not be sustainable", which urges a comprehensive strategy for destinations, products, prices and markets.
The study concludes that it would be appropriate to attract visitors who do not usually come, who do not consume sun and beach tourism, especially in low season, wherefore public and private development policies should be aimed with this end at emerging markets, but without neglecting traditional ones.
The City Council has created a working group with London, Milan, Dublin, Hamburg and Vienna to design a single accounting system and define a management model that is sustainable.
Barcelona has become one of the most solvent cities in Spain – it achieved a surplus of 139 million euros in 2013 – and the City Council wants to extend its business model to the rest of Europe. Xavier Trias’ cabinet has promoted the creation of a working group with London, Milan, Vienna, Dublin and Hamburg to design what should be the best management model of any European city.
Following the meeting of NH shareholders, one of the main novelties that has come to light is that NH hopes to enter China in 2015 through a partnership with its largest shareholder, the Chinese group HNA to start managing hotels. Although it has not yet signed any agreement this seems to be a reality, but has as Federico González Tejera, CEO of NH, indicated, at first few hotels will be operate until they learn to operate successfully in the Chinese market.
On the other hand NH indicated issuing 42 million shares to buy 44.5% of NH Italia from Intesa and the new corporate name of NH Hotel Group whose main goal is to get results and return to paying dividends during the coming years, explains The Economist.
China and HNA increasingly important for NH
Their entry to manage hotels in the Chinese market is due to the importance of the Chinese group HNA in the corporation, as this is acquiring more and more participation in NH Hoteles. Recently HNA agreed with the Italian firm Intesa Sanpaolo the purchase of up to 29,160,000 shares of the Spanish corporation.
As indicated by the National Securities Market Commission, the holding of the Chinese group, which controls a 24.05% stake in the hotel chain, shall not exceed 29.5%. Thereby, it would raise its stake in the hotel chain led by Rodrigo Echenique without having to launch a takeover bid.
China's interest in Spain is increasing. This has been reflected in the latest China Investment report in Europe 2014 prepared by ESADE which was presented in Madrid yesterday.
The quality of its human resources, access to other markets, port infrastructure and openness to foreign investment are the main keys whereby Spain occupies the fourth place, according to Europa Press.
Regarding Chinese companies that have opted for Spain as an investment, the figure is still small. As highlighted in the document, with the collaboration of Global Asia, most of the Chinese companies that are in Spain are focused on the energy sector or ICT, gaining more and more importance in banking, industry, hotel industry and agribusiness.
As ESADE explain in the report, Spain has many pros such as a good business climate and openness towards China and its infrastructure. But there are also several negative factors that hinder these expansionist ambitions of Chinese companies such as the high costs related to land and red tape.
Other problems companies in the Asian giant have identified are good local market knowledge, knowledge of the law, human resources management and negotiating practices.
The footwear firm Castañer has signed partnerships with three international groups to accelerate store openings on other continents. In parallel, it is finalizing the signing of a manager who comes from the world of fashion for the post of CEO, where s/he will direct international expansion.
Norwegian established an aircraft leasing subsidiary in Ireland which will initially concentrate on leasing narrowbody aircraft, according to CEO Bjørn Kjos Mr Kjos said: “We have just established a new leasing company in Ireland. We will use that to rent out 100-150 planes and that will make us one of the world’s biggest plane leasing companies. This is going to change the company a lot. Already this year we’re beginning to lease out some planes, and the leasing is going to be a large part of our business. It’s also where the money in the airline industry lies.” Mr Kjos added: “It has been wonderful times for leasing companies and all indications are that airlines will continue to lease in the future. In the future there may be separate listing of our leasing company, but Norwegian will probably always retain control of the company.” According to the CAPA Fleet Database, Norwegian currently has 256 on order, scheduled for delivery between 2014 and 2023.
The Spanish sustainable and fair footwear opens its third store in Mexico City with its brand new interior design.
Pikolinos launched a 'concept store' in Alicante this winter. Having also implanted one
in Madrid, the new interior design is becoming internationalized and coming to Mexico.
Pikolinos, present in the prestigious department stores Palacio de Hierro and Liverpool, has reached three stores in Mexico DF with a newly opened store along with spaces it already had in the malls Perisur and Plaza Satellite. The new flagship store of Pikolinos in the Mexican market is located in the Santa Fe mall. The concept is inspired by the Mediterranean lifestyle and reflects the values of craftsmanship and confort governing the brand.
Founded in Elche in 1984, Pikolinos, which has more than 8,000 outlets in over 60 markets for male and female 'Naturally Good' footwear, makes over 80% of its sales internationally. Also committed to sustainable development, it has consolidated its worldwide Maasai Project together with 'it girl' Olivia Palermo and the warrior William Kikanae. Today there are more than 1,000 women in Kenya and Tanzania who work on decorating by hand these collections of ethnic footwear with designs and motifs characteristic of Maasai craft.
Aena Airports installed an interactive measurement system at Adolfo Suárez in Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona-El Prat that will reveal the passengers’ quality perception regarding the services offered at the airport facilities.
The system, installed on a trial basis after the security checks of both airports, will measure both the degree of passenger satisfaction for a particular service as well as detecting those faults that can be derived from it.
For this purpose, the device has four simple coloured buttons ranging from green to red, illustrated with the corresponding emoticons, which the passenger can press to record and express their satisfaction with the service.
This new form of opinion, which allows users to express their evaluation of a particular service, is much more attractive and less intrusive for passengers than traditional surveys as they are presented as a game and to be done on a voluntary basis, which also favours obtaining high levels of participation.
The results of these interactive surveys, conducted in collaboration with the Finnish company 'HappyOrNot' which developed the system, will in turn enable the quality of services offered to passengers and users to be improved, and any deviations from quality that are detected and are derived thereof to be corrected.
Moreover, once an optimal level of use of devices by users of airport facilities is established, they may be installed in other airports in the network and used to measure other services provided by Aena to passengers.
This type of interactive surveys measuring service quality is being incorporated at present in other international airports such as London Heathrow and Geneva, to see first-hand the perception passengers and users of certain services in order to improve the quality thereof.
Vueling was born just ten years ago in Barcelona. The airline belonging to the IAG group at that time had only four routes and two planes. The picture is very different today. The company is celebrating its anniversary with 285 routes and 90 aircraft all over Europe. "These data show that we have been able to grow steadily", said commercial director, Julio Rodriguez. This summer, the airline plans to increase its passenger volume by 30%.
Rodriguez was visiting El Prat airport on Wednesday, where the company organized an event to celebrate its maiden flight, Barcelona-Ibiza. Since that first route, Vueling has become a basic tool for the growth of the Catalan airport. Without ceasing to be committed to El Prat – this year seven new aircraft have been based there – the firm is looking towards new horizons.
The next challenge is Rome. The airline has replicated its model and has burst onto the Italian market. It has increased the routes flown from the main airport in the capital from 8 to 34. "The situation we have in Rome this summer is similar to the one we had in El Prat in 2009," said Rodíguez.
The expansion plans of Vueling come with steps to retain passengers. On the tenth anniversary, it has created a premium card that offers advantages such as guaranteeing a seat on any of the company’s flights or for purchases to earn double points. The only requirement to enter this select group is to fly 40 times a year with the airline chaired by Alex Cruz.