Corporative Information Group Julia 2015
Origins and growth
The Julià Group was founded in 1932 thanks to the enterprising spirit of four young people who created a coach transport service to cover the travel needs of sports teams, schools and cultural institutions in Catalonia and the rest of Spain.
Shortly afterwards, they bought their first new coach, a 30-seater Chevrolet coach chassis equipped with all kinds of luxury amenities for charter services.
Spain's Civil War, however, brought their activity to a halt. All of the vehicles were seized. At the end of the war, Autocares Julià resumed its activity from a new office on Barcelona's Gran Vía. The shortage of fuel and the deplorable state of the coaches that survived the conflict made for a painful rebirth.
Little by little, the company managed to regain its footing. In the 1940s the company had over 20 employees. In 1946 it opened the Barcelona-Montserrat line, still open today. By the late 1950s Autocares Julià had become the leader in Catalonia in charter passenger transport.
In the 1970s, the Spanish tourism boom led to the creation of new companies. Thus were born Julià Tours (1968), Julià Central de Viajes (1973) and Julià Travel (1978), providing specialist services in holiday travel, business travel and inbound tourism, respectively. Shortly afterwards the company started to grow in Latin America by opening offices in Argentina, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
The Julià Group today
After more than 80 years of activity, the Julià Group is today one of Spain's top corporations specialising in global transport and tourism services. Present in almost 40 cities in 9 countries - Spain, Andorra, Great Britain, Mexico, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Morocco, the US and the United Arab Emirates - the group has over 5 million clients internationally.
The company's headquarters are located in Barcelona. In Spain it has operations centres in Madrid, Valencia and Málaga/Torremolinos/Costa del Sol, and it is active in Granada, Benidorm, Fuengirola, Peñíscola, Toledo, Girona, San Sebastián and Murcia.
The group also has an ambitious plan to expand abroad and has opened operations centres in the United States, Argentina, Mexico and Puerto Rico. It also has business interests in Great Britain, Morocco, Andorra and the United Arab Emirates.
In all, the Julià Group owns a fleet of over 450 vehicles and 75,000 m2 of operations space distributed among its facilities in Barcelona, Madrid, Málaga/Torremolinos/Costa del Sol, Miami, San Francisco, Argentina, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Since 2012 the company has held the exclusive Spanish concession for the American company Gray Line, the world's most important tourist excursion and activities operator.
The Julià Group currently employs over 1,400 people and had a turnover of 251 million euros in 2014.
The companies that make up the Julià Group hold top positions in their respective markets.
The Julià Group is organised into three main divisions:
The Julià Group is a pioneering company in the development of tourist bus and train services. In fact, it is the third largest tourist bus operator internationally, transporting a total of over 3.5 million passengers in 2014. The group's tourist buses operate in Spain's main cities and in international capitals, whereas the trains run in some of the Spanish mainland's most prominent tourist destinations.
The companies in the Tourist Bus business line are: Andorra City Tour (which operates in Andorra la Vella), Barcelona City Tour (in Barcelona), Madrid City Tour (in Madrid), Toledo City Tour (in Toledo), San Sebastián City Tour (in San Sebastián), Murcia City Tour (in Murcia), London City Tour (in London, Great Britain), Mexico City Tour (in Mexico City, Mexico), Marrakech City Tour (in Marrakesh, Morocco), Miami Open City Tour (in Miami, United States), San Francisco Open City Tour (in San Francisco, United States), and Washington City Tour (in Washington, D.C., United States).
The tourist trains operated by the Group are present in Peñíscola, Fuengirola, Benidorm, Girona, Granada and San Sebastián. The tourist train business line features state-of-the-art vehicles, with the train used in the Granada City Tour being the first in Spain to use hybrid technology.
The main activity of the companies that make up the Tourist Vehicles division is to offer a tourist transport service with a fixed schedule for each city. This service relies on double-decker open-top buses and three-car trains that can seat 60 passengers. All of the vehicles feature audio guides, TFT information displays and ramps for the physically disabled. Moreover, some tourist bus services, like those in Barcelona and London, include free Wi-Fi, USB chargers and automatic GPS-based audio guides.
The tourist bus side of this division has over 150 coaches and a staff of over 550, while the tourist train side has a fleet of 12 trains and a staff of about 30.
The companies in this division are: Julià Tours, Julià Travel and Julià Central de Viajes. The group uses these companies to provide its tourism services: tour operators (specialising in long-distance holiday travel), inbound tourism services and retail travel agency (specialising in business travel).
The Julià Group's Tourism division has operations centres in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and Málaga/Torremolinos/Costa del Sol, which provide coverage to the entire Spanish mainland, as well as offices in Argentina (Buenos Aires and Córdoba), Mexico (Mexico City, Cancún, Guadalajara and Monterrey), Puerto Rico (San Juan de Puerto Rico) and the United States (Miami and San Francisco). This division currently has a staff of over 380.
Autocares Julià, Autocares Nadal, Bages Exprés and Julià Rent-a-car make up the Transport Division of the Julià Group. Thanks to these companies, the Julià Group offers the entire gamut of road transport services for passengers: scheduled service, special-use scheduled service, charter service and rent-a-car.
This activity is present in Barcelona, Madrid, Málaga/Torremolinos/Costa del Sol and Andorra and offers its services throughout Spain. The division has over 1,000 regular clients. The fleet boasts 250 coaches and is run by a staff of over 260.
Strategy: international expansion and diversification
The Julià Group is carrying out the company's strategic plan in an effort to enhance the activities of its three business divisions through partnership agreements and by marketing specialised, high-quality products and services that are tailored to its clients' needs.
To consolidate the growth strategy of recent years, in 2015 the Julià Group is focusing its efforts on diversifying and innovating its products and services and on expanding its business and operations abroad.
The international business is taking on increased significance in the company's turnover. In 2014, the approximate sales distribution was as follows: 59% internationally and 41% in Spain. This trend will no doubt continue into the future.
The Julià Group recently expanded its Tourist Vehicle Division. In fact, in recent years the company has positioned itself as one of the top three tourist bus operators on the international stage, carrying over 3.5 million passengers in 2014.
The year 2013 saw the launch of the Miami Open City Tour and the San Sebastián City Tour, with the San Francisco Open City Tour, the Washington City Tour and Murcia City Tour beginning operations in 2014 and the London City Tour in March 2015. The tourist trains in Girona, Granada and San Sebastián also went into operations in 2013, joining those already in existence in Peñíscola, Benidorm and Fuengirola.
As for the group's Tourism Division, it is working to consolidate itself through Julià Travel as a specialist company in providing inbound services in urban destinations. To this end, the division recently opened three new offices offering inbound tourism services in Miami, San Francisco and Torremolinos (Málaga).
Additionally, thanks to the agreement signed in 2012 with Gray Line, the world's largest operator of tourism excursions and activities, all of the excursions and services offered by Julià Travel in Spain are part of the catalogue that Gray Line offers to its international portfolio of clients.
Julià Travel also offers products and services beyond traditional tourist sightseeing tours in order to provide its clients a broad range of options for seeing a city (guided walking tours, tours in alternate means of transport like Segway or side-cars, and motorcycle tours).
Along these lines, in 2015 the Julià Group started working with the prepaid iVenture Card system, the idea being to combine the tourist activities and experiences available in the world's leading urban tourist destinations. The Julià Group offers the iVenture Card in London and Barcelona, providing users access to each of these cities' top attractions and restaurants.
The division also has an innovative service that is a world first. It is the Gourmet Bus, which combines two concepts: a guided, sightseeing bus tour of the city's most notable attractions and a fine, gourmet meal prepared by the best local chefs. The Gourmet Bus, currently in operation in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), features cutting-edge technology and an exclusive design.
The Tourism Division also includes the services offered by the group through Julià Central de Viajes, specialising in business travel, and Julià Tours, the company's tour operator, specialising in worldwide holiday tourism.
The group's Passenger Transport Division is working to create a network of small companies throughout Spain that are tied to the brand so as to ensure greater coverage domestically while meeting the high standards of quality required by the Julià Group. The goal is to have the first nationwide fleet of buses that can provide a service that is tailored to this division's clients.