Palma.—Jiangsu GPRO International Business, which is based in the Chinese city of Nanjing, is reported to have invested 48 million euros in the purchase of the emblematic five star hotel which was built in 1974, by the Alba family before being purchased by Grupotel in 1994 which, over the past few months, has been negotiating its sale to the Chinese. Yesterday’s presentation was presided over by the Spanish Ambassador to Spain, Zhu Bang Zao, the Chairman of Jiangsu GPRO, Guo Jin Dong, the Balearic Minister for Tourism, Jaime Martinez, the Mayor of Nanjing, Li Fu Quan, Palma’s Councillor for Tourism, Alvaro Gijon and the Mayor of Palma, Mateo Isern and was attended by a host of key players in the local and national tourist industry.

Isern said that the commitment the Chinese company has made to Palma will "open Majorca’s doors to the Asian market," and that is exactly what Jiangsu GPRO intends to do. Isern said that fact that Jiangsu GPRO has decided to embark on its mission of creating a Chinese owned hotel chain in Spain here in Palma, is a clear indication of just how much the city and the island has to offer the Asian market.

Over the years a number of senior Chinese politicians, including the current President, have stayed at the hotel during official visits but Jiangsu GPRO does not want to cater exclusively for the Chinese market.

Although, one of the first steps it is going to take is to install a high standing typical Chinese restaurant serving traditional and authentic Chinese food.

What is more, the company is in talks with Air China about operating direct flight from Nanjing to Palma this Winter.

At the moment, Chinese tourists have to fly via Frankfurt.

And, apart from the investment, one very important feature about Chinese tourism habits is that they are not interested in sea and sun.

They are low season holiday makers who want culture, museums, gastronomy, sport and the environment and Palma, Majorca and Spain has plenty to offer the Chinese market. The Mayor of Palma, Mateo Isern, said that the Chinese commitment to Palma will give the council’s Palma 365 Foundation a major boost because the Chinese market will breath some new life into the Winter season.

"This could transform Palma into a world leading urban tourism destination," Isern proclaimed.

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