A total of 33 Spanish hotels are currently mounting First Hotels signs on their buildings and hoisting the signature flag with the flying elephant.
As the first Nordic hotel chain, First Hotels is now entering the Spanish market with full dedication.
“This is a big international breakthrough for us and clearly shows that our concept is exportable far beyond the Nordic countries. This is the first step in our international aspirations and I am very happy that Petit Palace has joined the team,” says Asmund Haare, owner and founder of First Hotels.
The Petit Palace hotel chain is centrally located in seven of the major Spanish cities and will now become a franchisee of the Norwegian-owned hotel chain.
“Petit Palace has a portfolio that suits our other hotels. The quality is consistently high and the design is very good. The unique buildings also create unique guest experiences,” says Haare.
Natural first step
Spain has long been the favourite destination for Scandinavians in general and Norwegians in particular. Each year, nearly 4.4 million Scandinavians visit Spain and 1.5 million of them are Norwegians.
“When targeting beyond the Nordic countries, Spain is a natural choice. In fact Scandinavian travellers constitute the fourth-largest market for inbound tourists to Spain,” Haare says.
Alfonso Castellano, CEO of Petit Palace, has long been aware of this.
“This partnership opens the important Scandinavian market in a whole new way. We know that Norwegians have high quality demands when choosing hotels, and I look forward to showcasing our products,” says Castellano.
A sense of security
All Petit Palace hotels will become bookable from the First Hotels website, but also through Scandinavian travel agencies.
“When our guests book a room at First Hotel Petit Palace they know that standards are high and they judge us in relation to our service staff in the Scandinavian countries. This provides a sense of security that I believe there is a great demand for in an increasingly complex market, says Haare.”
First Hotel Petit Palace currently has hotels in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Bilbao, Malaga and Salamanca, which on average offer 65 rooms per hotel.
“Just as First Hotels, we have also focused on hotels with a unique style, atmosphere and décor. This partnership will be beneficial for both hotel chains, and not least for existing and future guests,” says Castellano.