“There will be no full recovery, without the recovery of tourism”
Víctor Martí Gilabert, Founder of GMA Atom Hoteles Socimi and Victoria Hotels and Resorts, participates in the 11th Tourism Leadership Forum on the XX Anniversary of Exceltur.
The last January 18, 2022, Exceltur held the eleventh edition of its Tourism Leadership Forum in Madrid, as a perfect prelude to Fitur 2022. The Forum was composed of various debates and colloquia with world and Spanish business leaders. From GMA, we thank Exceltur for the opportunity they gave Víctor Martí Gilabert (founder and CEO of GMA) to participate in one of the discussion tables to present their opinion and discuss investment, NGEU funds, present some initiatives or trends, such as the first Hotel “zero emissions” together with Melía Hoteles Internacional (MHI).
While it is true that the holiday segment has gained attractiveness for hotel investors in recent years, especially in the most recent months, since it is one of the activities that has best responded to the crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Víctor Martí Gilabert, “despite the fact that urban and business tourism seems to have suffered the most, there are cities and destinations that will surprise us this year 2022”. This was advanced during his speech in the framework of the eleventh edition of the Exceltur Forum, in 2022 “there will be a considerable volume of transactions in urban operations”. “Now all investors are playing the rapid recovery of the holiday market and a compression of yields in vacation, to bring it closer to the profitability required of urban hotels.”
From the point of view of the offer, our country has an excellent value for money and in most cases also service, although we must work on training, because as “this is about people”. On the other hand, it is worth noting the importance that “the holiday market and, in general, the investment market has managed to institutionalize Spain.
Until recently, investors only wanted to invest in Madrid and Barcelona and now they are investing in Costa Adeje, Magaluf or any other major destination, and even in smaller destinations.” These are other statements were made during the debate.
In the opinion of Víctor Martí, “maybe there are too many people looking at the holiday”, when “in urban we have tremendously interesting opportunities”. He explained that the capital market “is playing a transformation and a much faster reactivation in tourism, which is obviously going to happen.”
Spain presents great attractions for investors, but we demand a clear direction in the sector with the aim of not losing the competitive advantages that our country has.
Alejandro Hérnández-Puértolas pointed out that it is necessary to develop a strategy, compared to other countries that have established a route to follow and are proving much more agile in the procedures and processes promoted by investors. He indicated that “it is not logical that it takes a year and a half” to solve a file here. In other markets they are taking the transformation very seriously, he explained, and are managing to attract institutional capital to improve their hotel offer with the aim of making the visitor spend more.” No one talks about increasing the number of tourists in a country, but about the quality of the tourist and especially the expenditure left in a country,” he added.
He defended that in Spain we have notable advantages, but “if we do not work on making them sustainable, we can lose that position.” In his opinion, there are still pending duties, because “it still has a hotel plant, from my point of view, somewhat obsolete. Mature destinies have to be transformed and for this there has to be a clear direction.”
For his part, Víctor Martí asked that professionals be heard, since he does not understand that “there are people who make decisions about the sector without knowing it.” In his opinion, a great opportunity is being missed, when in addition “we are willing to co-invest”.
Likewise, he reflected on the European funds Next Generation offer an opportunity to make a real transformation, but some governments are working on short-term solutions when “you need to rethink the destinations in the medium and long term”. He called for a framework that allows them to develop their activity, avoiding “the overregulation that we now have in certain destinations”
“Sometimes we talk about the tourism sector, when it is composed of several sectors, and it is the most transversal of all,” said Víctor Martí. “There will be no full recovery without the recovery of tourism,” he said.
About GMA Corporate
GMA is an independent investor and manager of Real Estate vehicles, specialized in real estate assets and projects with hotel underlying. In his more than 20 years of experience in the national and international market, he has managed his own and third-party investments, assuming different roles depending on the type of vehicle, from pure management to the figure of investor-manager. In recent years, the team has participated in more than 400 hotel transactions and projects and has advised hotel operations worth more than 5,000 million. Today, GMA Corporate manages more than €1 billion in assets. Its parent company is GMA Capital, promoter partner together with Bankinter of Atom Hoteles SOCIMI, S.A. and Victoria Hotels & Resorts together with Bankinter.