THE JULIÀ GROUP WILL INVEST 150 MILLION OVER 10 YEARS
The Julià Group has launched an international expansion plan in an effort to establish a presence in the world's leading cities through its tourist bus line. To this end, the Group is planning to invest some 15 million euros a year over the next decade.
The company's CEO, José Francisco Adell, explained to Europa Press that the international business currently represents 59% of the company's total turnover, a percentage that will grow with the expansion of the tourist bus division, which now accounts for 18% of the Group's business and which is where investments in new projects will be focused.
The Julià Group, headquartered in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona), has tourist buses in Barcelona, Madrid, Murcia, San Sebastián, Toledo, Andorra, Marrakesh, Mexico, Miami, San Francisco, Washington and, since this year, London.
Adell explained that the company is working with a portfolio of ten possible cities in which to establish a presence, including Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) - the company has been trying to gain access to the country for year - and that its intention is to be present in all of the world's main cities, though he admitted that the competition is very strong since the main operator, Big Bus, is owned by a powerful investment group with a large investment capacity.
The international expansion of the tourist bus division will also entail expanding the tourism division, which includes Julià Travel (inbound tourism), Julià Tours (tour operator specialising in long-distance holiday travel) and the retail travel agency Julià Central de Viajes (specialising in business travel).
The company plans to establish itself as an inbound tour operator in every city where it has tourist buses, as it has already done in Miami and San Francisco through the purchase of local affiliates of the international firm Gray Line. The goal is to do the same thing in London in one or two years.
"Tourists take a tourist bus when they first go to a city, and it's a good time to introduce our clients to all of the other tourism options that the city has to offer", explained Adell.
He also wants to expand the tour operator business, which now has branches in Argentina, Puerto Rico and Mexico, in particular into the United States in the next two or three years, once the company enhances its presence there.
The Julià Group closed out the 2014 FY with a turnover of 251 million euros. This was a slight drop from the previous year, due primarily to the devaluation of the Argentine peso.
For this year the company is forecasting growth, especially for the tourist bus and Julià Travel divisions, which have increased by 30% in recent years.