The President of the Junta de Extremadura, local government of the Spanish Autonomous Community of the same name, Juan Carlos Rodr’guez Ibarra, and the Vice President of the hotel company Sol Meliá, Sebastián Escarrer Jaume, have signed an agreement today, Tuesday, 28th. September, to co-operate in the development of luxury hotel projects in the provinces of Cáceres and Badajoz.
The main objective of the agreement is to strengthen relations between the public authorities and the private sector, with the aim of promoting quality tourism in Extremadura. The expansion of the luxury hotel supply in the region is expected to generate greater tourism growth, especially in the cultural and business tourism market segments.
Amongst other things, the agreement includes the development of two new luxury hotels in Trujillo and in Mérida, involving an approximate investment of 3,200 million pesetas (19.23 million euros), along with the possibility of a further hotel in Badajoz.
The majority shareholders in the venture are Fomento Industrial de Extremadura (SOFIEX) and Sol Meliá. The Spanish hotel company will also assume responsibility for the management of the hotels.
The Junta de Extremadura has agreed to provide the following financial subsidies: a subvention of 2.5% interest on loans taken out to finance fixed assets, and a subvention for the full cost of bridging loans and other assistance for between 22% and 25% of the financing of each of the projects.
The authorities will also grant the subsidies established in existing legislation for the creation of permanent employment, training and technological innovation.
International promotion of Extremadura as a quality tourism destination:
Since the successful incorporation of Sol Meliá`s first hotel in Extremadura in 1991, the Meliá Cáceres, the Spanish hotel company has included the Autonomous Community in may of its promotional activities, both in Spain and abroad.
After the enlargement of the company`s hotel portfolio in the region with the incorporation of the two mentioned luxury hotels, both of them with outstanding architectural appeal, Sol Meliá has agreed to intensify the promotion of Extremadura as a quality tourism destination in many of its marketing campaigns and throughout its international sales network.
Tourism and employment in Extremadura:
Tourism development in Extremadura is seen as one of the most promising means of generating additional employment opportunities in a region in which unemployment rates are currently amongst the highest in Spain. The opening of the two new hotels in Trujillo and Mérida will create at least 65 new jobs, a figure which may reach over 100 if the project goes ahead in Badajoz.
To ensure that the service provided in the hotels is in line with their respective category, new employees will also receive extensive training in luxury hotel service.
An agreement with social implications:
Both the Junta de Extremadura and Sol Meliá have placed significant emphasis on the social aspects of the agreement, including a clause which stipulates that certain employees must be recruited from the local physically handicapped population and that access to the hotel and all of its facilities should also be adapted to ensure their use by handicapped visitors.
Sol Meliá is the leading hotel company and Spain and provides 252 city and resort hotels in 27 countries on 4 continents.