Set against the background of a sorely troubled economy – two recessions in three years, a banking sector corrupted by bad loans and incompetent practice, property and construction industries declining by the day, unemployment in the 16-25yo cohort at 50% – the timing of Mariott's decision to enter the Spanish business market appears less than propitious.
But I'm no economist, and in any case I'm certainly not brave (or mad) enough to start second-guessing Marriott Intl' s (MI) business strategists and M&A team! What seems very likely is that MI's “joint venture – under which, in case you haven't noticed, 80+ hotels previously owned and managed by AC Hoteles are now part of a joint venture and operate as “AC Hotels by Marriott” – will lead to an increase in the number of visitors from outside of Europe.
A few months ago our Community Manager noted - in a delightfully droll moment - noted that some of my posts tended to be "quite thorough", and that perhaps I might think about creating a blog. Though that seems a little like "over-egging the pudding" (even if I could work out how to do it), it does seem that there are a variety of issues about modern Spain that are intrinsically interesting and of great relevance to the would-be visitor.
Over the next few weeks I'll try to come up with a series of posts (each short!!) which address two questions:
1. What sort of place is 21st century Spain;
2. How has it come to be as it is?
After a preliminary ramble across Spanish history since 1492, I'll focus on the four largest cities - Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Seville - looking in each case to identify some of the key aspects of their past and present that will enrich a visitor's experience of them.
Please join in how ever and whenever.