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Francisco Vila

SPAIN - Telecoms & IT

Francisco Vila

CEO, Arabella Hoteles e Inversiones

Bio

After studying business administration and various postgraduate courses in public finance, finance, and administration, Francisco Vila began his professional career in various construction, tourism services, and banking companies, until 1993, when he started his relationship with the Schörghuber Group. He has held various roles within the group and is currently CEO of the Mallorcan subsidiary, Arabella Hoteles e Inversiones de España, where he is responsible for Real Estate, Hotels and Golf. He is also a member of several organizations, such as Fomento del Turismo, APD and Fundación Impulsa.

Arabella Golf Mallorca is focused on providing an unparalleled experience for golfers across its various courses and hospitality offerings.

What does Arabella Golf Mallorca mean for the island’s golf sector?

Arabella Golf Mallorca is a subsidiary of Arabella Hospitality, and we chose Mallorca as a strategic enclave for the development of our golf, hotel, and real estate activities. Here, we operate four golf courses with 63 holes. Arabella relies on its location in Palma, in an urban area in which it also owns two five-star hotels managed by Marriott, ensuring an unparalleled environment for the convenient enjoyment of golf. On top of that, Arabella is the largest golf resort in Spain with four completely different courses, each with its own personality and character. The golf experience that we offer is extensive. Tourism and golf have an enriching association in three main areas. One is that it is seasonality, where peak occupation of golf courses is in spring and autumn. The second is that it is a tremendously transversal sector creating value for transportation, restaurants, consumption, retail, accommodation, and numerous other areas. Third, it creates quality employment. Around 95% of our workers from the sector in Mallorca have permanent employment. For these three reasons, golf is essential to the economic health of Mallorca. Arabella benefits from this close relationship. The abovementioned hotels, Castillo Hotel Son Vida and the Sheraton Mallorca Arabella Golf Hotel, are largely occupied in spring and autumn by golfers. We provide golf courses, family offers, and packages for groups of friends. And in March, April, May, September, October, and November, the vast majority of customers are golfers.

How do your golf courses adapt to the wide range of golfers visiting Mallorca?

Our facilities include different types of course, starting with a “golf nursery” called Golf Son Quint Pitch + Putt, where players, after learning how to hit balls, start to play. There are nine very short holes between 60 and 90m in length. People can start practicing there, and thanks to the increasing popularity of golf and our competitive prices for this course, it is full every weekend. In addition, we have Golf Son Quint, which is a fun course on an open layout without many challenging obstacles. It is also available at an affordable price. Next is Golf Son Vida course, a traditional course and the oldest in Mallorca, and among the oldest in Spain—in fact, it hosted two European Tour Events. And finally Golf Son Muntaner is a course that belongs to European Tour Destination (the only one in Mallorca) where international tournaments can be hosted, which it has indeed done. It is the signature course of the Arabella Group, and a wide, long, and more challenging layout, exquisitely maintained. With no buildings in the neighborhood, it ranks among the top courses in Mallorca, without a doubt.

What is your vision for combining sustainability and golf in both Arabella and Mallorca?

Arabella has a dynamic sustainable program called Green Evolution, started five years ago and is based on four pillars inspired by NATO Sustainable Development Goals. We create a series of activities to show that golf is actually environmentally friendly. Contrary to popular belief, in Mallorca golf uses a small percentage of the island’s territory, and makes use only of recycled water. When we water the golf course, the water is filtered, we keep the nutrients, and the aquifers are refilled. The land on which our golf courses are located was completely abandoned before, apart from landfills. Today, they are a green, natural environment home to flora and fauna.

What is Mallorca’s potential to continue attracting world class golf events?

Mallorca has considerable potential for sports, and proof of this is the many events hosted on the island for tennis, cycling, marathons, or sailing, to name a few. What draws people in are the big names and events. The local authorities have taken note and are actively supporting us. And ultimately this has contributed to the international renown that Mallorca enjoys as a golfing destination.

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