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The NH Group is concerned about the illegality and overcrowding that arose in the heat 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 that this entails, said 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 the urban massification that this entails, said the CEO of the company, Ramón Aragonés.

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

According to the executive, travelers today do not buy hotel rooms, but "experiences", so it is of little use to offer "hotels" fantastic located very well if, when the client goes out, there are the overcrowded cities and the historical centers of the cities that you can not walk. "

" 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 the Different major cities and tourist cities in Europe and Latin America are becoming 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 this purpose are used for tourist use, putting at risk the lives not only of the people who stay but of the people who live in those buildings (...). and a software platform dedicated to the offer of accommodation to individuals and tourists, and Aragones added: "Airbnb itself, no problem, what surrounds Airbnb, it is a problem. "

Regarding the vision that an urban hotel chain has of the pollution problems that plague Latin American cities in the last decade, he recalled the 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 stressed.

When two decades after his arrival in Latin America, the CEO of NH reaffirmed his commitment for "continuing to grow" in the region, where the group perceives "an enormous opportunity for the type of product" that it commercializes, 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 1,980 rooms.

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

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

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

"We believe that there is a huge opportunity for growth in Cuba through urban hotels, we are not a holiday resort, we are going to enter there, we know what we can do and what we can not do, and therefore we are going to concentrate on the urban part, "Aragones said.

The other 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 manage hotels in zones urban.

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

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

None of those Signatures are 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 ban on 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 also Barceló, the CEO of NH, reiterated that his chain responded with the publication of a relevant event "quite clarifying the position of the company", adding that any another pronouncement will take place "through the official channels".

In this relevant event, NH confirmed "the reception 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 hotel giant worth 6,200 million euros (about 7,275 million euros). dollars), in which that firm would control 60% of the capital and the majority of its administrative body.

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