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The NH Group concerned about the illegality and overcrowding of Airbnb

The Spanish hotel chain NH does not see a direct competitor on Airbnb, but it does consider a problem "everything that surrounds" the success of that model, such as the proliferation of illegal accommodation and the urban massification, affirmed the CEO of the company, Ramón Aragonés.

Havana, Nov 24 (EFE) .- The Spanish hotel chain NH does not see a direct competitor on Airbnb, but it considers a problem "everything that surrounds" the success of that model, such as the proliferation of illegal accommodation and urban massification, said the CEO of the company, Ramón Aragonés.

"What is affecting us is the proliferation of accommodation Let's call them illegal, because they are saturating the cities, "he said in an interview with EFE in La Habana Aragonés, whose group is now celebrating two decades in Latin America, where NH has 67 urban hotels and five others signed.

According to the executive, travelers today do not buy hotel rooms, but "experiences", so it does not help to offer "fantastic hotels" very well located if when the client goes out to the street you will find the overcrowded cities and the historical centers of the cities that you can not transit. "

" This is a real problem and that is where it is impacting us, "said the head of the chain, who advocated regulating the situation and noted that" fortunately the authorities of different cities more important and more tourist in Europe and Latin America are beginning to be aware of this problem. "

The payment of taxes or safety and hygiene measures are some of the necessary regulations at your discretion.

"It can not be that buildings that were not designed for that purpose are used for tourist use, putting at risk the lives not only of people who they stay but of the people who live in those buildings (...). problem. Latin American in the last decade, recalled NH's commitment to sustainability, which "is part of the chain's DNA throughout life."

"We are involved in a multitude of programs in all the countries where we have a presence and, therefore, the utmost respect and commitment to sustainability, "he said.

Two decades after his arrival in Latin America, the CEO of NH reaffirmed its commitment to "continue growing" in the region, where the group perceives "an enormous opportunity for the type of product" that it sells, focused on urban hotels.

According to figures provided by the company, of the 30 projects planned for the coming months, 12 are in four American countries (Chile, Peru, Cuba and Mexico), with a total of 1980 rooms.

In Cuba, where the 220-room hotel Capri already manages in Havana, the group has signed a contract with the state-owned chain Gran Caribe administration for a second establishment.

It will be the Victoria Hotel, with 32 rooms, also located in the Havana neighborhood of Vedado and that will open in January under the NH premium brand. Collection.

The company, interested in "any city with cultural and tourist attractions" does not rule out extending its presence to other Cuban cities such as Santiago, or to minor enclaves. size as the picturesque Trinidad, but always with an urban profile away from the resorts.

"We believe that there is a huge opportunity for growth in Cuba through urban hotels. Aragonés.

The remaining Spanish hotel chains with management contracts in Cuba, such as Meliá, Iberostar or Barceló, have their main commitment in the sun and beach segment, although the first two also run hotels in urban areas.

For the head of NH in Latin America, Eduardo Bosch, present at the interview, in Cuba "historically, developed much more the holiday part, sun and beach ", so the group wants to develop the urban potential of this destination.

In addition, he highlighted the good relationship with the chains state Gran Caribe, Cubanacan or Islazul.

None of these firms is included in the list of banned entities recently released by the Office for the Control of Foreign Assets (OFAC) of the United States as part of the prohibition of the Administration of that country to conduct business with companies linked to the Cuban military sector.

On the merger offer received this week by the Spanish group Barceló, the CEO of NH reiterated that his chain responded with the publication of a relevant fact "quite clarifying the position of the company "and added that any other pronouncement will occur" through the official channels. "

In this relevant event, NH confirmed" the receipt of a sample of unsolicited, preliminary and non-binding interest of the Barceló group for a merger of both companies. "

Barceló's proposal would mean the creation of a valued hotel giant in 6,200 million euros (about 7,275 million dollars), in which that firm would control 60% of the capital and the majority of its administrative body.

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