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Raquel Sánchez: "Paradores is a model of success that I embrace and hope to promote strongly"

The hotel company trusts in the strengthening of the Mice segment and the improvement of international markets to increase its income.

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Raquel Sánchez: "Paradores is a model of success that I embrace and hope to promote strongly"

The hotel company trusts in the strengthening of the Mice segment and the improvement of international markets to increase its income

MADRID, 28 Ene. (EUROPA PRESS) -

Paradores is preparing for a new historic year driven by Spanish tourism growth and by customers who demand greater sustainability and better travel experiences. The company will now be led by Raquel Sánchez, former Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, who for just over a month has been boarding the ship of the historic Spanish company, almost a century old, with the aim of helping it surpass its historic profit. of 25 million euros registered in 2023 and set course for an even more promising future.

In her first interview after taking office, Raquel Sánchez assures Europa Press that it is "a pride" to be part of a project that she describes as "exciting" and that it is a transformative reference for the entire tourism sector in its transition towards a more sustainable in its triple aspect: social, economic and environmental. "Paradores is a model of success that I embrace and hope to promote strongly," she said.

The CEO explained that the Paradores network is made up of almost a hundred establishments that are dedicated to offering the best customer experience. "We work to incorporate the value of sustainability in our establishments in a very determined way, promoting the conservation of our historical and cultural heritage, while offering the best experience to our customers," she confirmed.

A work that has borne fruit in historic figures for the public company that last year, with the socialist Pedro Saura at the helm, reported gross income of 328 million euros, 6% more than the previous year, which represents the highest figure in the entire history of Paradores after the pandemic.

Profits after taxes also represent the highest figure in the history of the hotel chain with 25 million euros, which represents an increase of 124% compared to 2022.

Record figures that are given by the high occupancy, which during the year 2023 reached 71%, six points above the pre-pandemic figures (65% occupancy in 2019) and four points above the year 2022 (67% ).

"We are not satisfied with that, we want to go further. We are ambitious and therefore this year we will work to make these figures even better," said the president of Paradores in an interview with Europa Press in which she assured that this future growth will be orchestrated around the 2023-2026 Strategic Plan, which has sustainability and digital transformation among its fundamental levers.

"We have a promising future ahead of us and I am sure that this growth agenda will be consolidated during that year and next," said Sánchez, who within the framework of the Fitur tourism fair that was held this week in Madrid announced that before the end of the This year the doors of the Parador de Molina de Aragón (Guadalajara) will open, becoming the 99th establishment of the hotel chain. The year 2025 will see the arrival of the company's historic 100th establishment whose honor will be debated between Veruela (Zaragoza) or Ibiza.

"In addition to economic profitability, as a public company we also have other values. We want to support the territory, the economic sustainability of the environment, as well as promote social and territorial cohesion," said the president, recalling that the company's investment effort in the coming years will be very important.

Raquel Sánchez highlighted the important investment of almost 90 million euros in the field of heritage protection, which Turespaña is going to make in 39 Paradores in areas declared as Assets of Cultural Interest (BIC) with European funds from the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience (PRTR).

The Paradores Strategic Plan aims to achieve record numbers for the company in its centenary in 2028: an operating profit (Ebitda) of 56 million euros, as well as a turnover of 412 million euros. Figures that will be driven both by the improvement of its positioning in international markets and by the strengthening of the Mice corporate segment (meetings, conferences and incentives).

The public network of tourist accommodation trusts that in just five years the international market will account for half of its clients, compared to the 35% it currently represents. For the company, the key source markets are Europe (France, the United Kingdom and Germany), as well as the United States and now the Asia region.

The improvement in numbers would also come from holding more conferences and incentives in their establishments, as explained by Raquel Sánchez. A business segment that today contributes around 12 million euros to the network and whose development would contribute to "increasing its income, adding value to its establishments and deseasonalizing its occupancy."

Almost thirty of the chain's establishments located in cities are perfectly equipped and adapted for holding corporate events. The chain has establishments in the cities with the most demand for meeting tourism such as Madrid, Málaga, Valencia, Cádiz, Toledo, Barcelona and Santiago de Compostela.

Energy, telecommunications, training, banking and insurance companies are some of those that have already entrusted their events to Paradores, which has a centralized area for the management of this business attended by specialists in the field.

Paradores currently has unique spaces for up to 1,000 people in four convention centers with high capacities spread throughout Spain: Alcalá de Henares, La Granja, Segovia and Córdoba and more than 300 spaces to organize corporate events distributed throughout the national territory.

The company directed by Raquel Sánchez also has several competitive advantages in this area: the existence of "unique spaces" that can differentiate any event; a leading gastronomy in hospitality and ambassador of regional Spanish cuisine with more than 2 million cutlery sold, as well as a century of hospitality experience "in detail".

"We have characterized ourselves as a company with a product that differentiates us and that has its own identity and a singular character. We have in our hands authentic jewels of our historical and cultural heritage and we must value them," concluded the president.