AA: The group has different brands like Enforex, Don Quijote, we have Enfocamp for juniors, we have EduSpain for university placement, we recently acquired Solexico, another chain of schools in Mexico that has four schools [in the country].
The PIE: When did you buy that?
AA: It was last summer. They are the leading, number one school in Mexico. We believe that Spanish is becoming more and more important. We are leading the market, always trying to improve ourselves with new ideas and with new development. The last thing we did was open a three-star hotel that is going to be part of the Intercontinental hotel chain and is focused for students. It’s a Study Hotel.
The PIE: So is this a new collaboration with Intercontinental?
AA: No it’s our own business, we just opened the hotel as the Don Quijote hotel in Barcelona, right in the heart of the city at Plaza Catalunya. We just decided to establish it as part of the Intercontinental chain to be able to supply the best services.
The PIE: So Intercontinental is a partner?
“We just opened the hotel as the Don Quijote hotel in Barcelona, right in the heart of the city at Plaza Catalunya”
AA: They are just providing their name and the support of their staff. But the business is ours and this hotel is designed to provide the best accommodation for students. We believe the accommodation is now as important as the quality of the classes; people are demanding better and better accommodation. The good thing about this hotel is that the regular price is €300 per night, but we charge our students €300 per week.
The PIE: And do you expect it to be full with students in the summer?
AA: Yes. We want to make this a successful Study Hotel. It is a new concept that we developed and it is going very well.
The PIE: And if it wasn’t full then you could sell it as a normal hotel?
AA: Exactly. In the low season we will sell it as a regular hotel to tourists, like we did over Christmas when there aren’t so many students in the city.
The PIE: And in terms of the wider Spanish market, you probably control 65% of the Spanish language market?
“Approximately half of the market is in our hands”
AA: I am very happy that you say that but unfortunately we don’t have 65%. But yes, approximately half of the market is in our hands. And what we like is that we are able to really improve it every day. Our interest is that more people are interested in studying Spanish and we see that this market is growing.
Our focus now is Latin America. We are looking to find good opportunities in many other places. But the most important thing is to try to make people more and more interested in learning Spanish.
The PIE: Are there any new source markets developing?[more>>]