Barceló launches growth in Asia and announces two hotels in Sri Lanka

September, 6, 2021

The agreement with the local group LOLC includes the management of two other resorts in the Maldives

Hotel companies are beginning to dust off their expansion plans, waiting for the coronavirus crisis to be definitively controlled in the coming quarters. Barceló announced the opening of its first hotel in Sri Lanka on September 1 , as the first milestone of the agreement signed with Brown Investments, a subsidiary of the LOLC group in 2019. It is a Occidental brand hotel (Paradise Dambulla ) with 67 rooms and four stars, which will be followed by another from the Occidental brand (Eden Beruwala), whose doors will open on November 1. The pact also includes the management of two newly built hotels in the Maldives, which will be operational by the end of 2022, and the future development of a complex of three five-star hotels on an atoll in the Maldives.

The second largest hotel in Spain by size had an uneven entry into the Asian market, since it opted to do so in 2016 with Plateno , the second chain of the Asian giant, in order to grow in China and from there spread to other Southeast Asian countries. A few months later, Jin Jiang, which is currently the second largest chain in the world, with more than a million rooms, bought Plateno and disrupted the agreement with Barceló. In 2019, the Balearic hotel company found another local partner (Betterwood) with whom, once all the fears derived from the pandemic are dispelled, it wants to continue growing in the franchise model in China.

While waiting for the agreement with Betterwood in China to be reactivated, Barceló has accelerated the pact signed with the subsidiary of Brown Investments, which, in addition to the entry into Sri Lanka, also includes a large deployment in the Maldives. Specifically, it envisages the management of two newly built hotels in the archipelago and the future development of a complex of three five-star hotels on an atoll in the Maldives . Outside of that agreement is the project to address another new market such as Indonesia, with the management of a five-room spring in Bali.

With these movements, Barceló wants to partially offset the advantage of Meliá , which has been betting for several years to grow rapidly in the Asian market. It currently has 26 hotels operating in Southeast Asia (six of them in China) and the goal is to incorporate another 13 properties in the coming years to reach 39 properties and 9,100 rooms by 2025 , as confirmed in the presentation of second quarter results. Among the priority destinations are also Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam due to their proximity to the Asian giant (between three and five hours by plane).

The other company with a presence in Asia is Riu, which invested 120 million in the construction of two hotels in an atoll of the Maldives, operating since 2019 . It also operates a five-star hotel in Sri Lanka.