Barcelona, Spain — Tour operator Madrid and tour operator Aruba have been forced to merge to form the Tour Operators Association of Spain (TOAS).
The merger was agreed on Friday by the Tour Organisation de la Frontera (TOF) and the Spanish Government.
The merger will reduce the total number of operators to six, including the Tour Operator of the Year-ranked Barcelona-based Aruba and the Tour Organiser of the Day-ranked Madrid-based Madrid.
Madrid will now be the largest operator of the three companies.
Aruba will be the biggest of the two smaller companies, with the smaller tour operator joining the French company Côte d’Azur.
Maduro said the new company is in line with his long-term strategy to become the world’s largest operator, according to a statement from the Tourism Ministry.
Arabia is the world leader in the tourism industry, with tourism generating a record-breaking $2.3 trillion last year, according TOF.
The two new companies are expected to achieve the same growth rates as they have already done.
The merger is part of a larger plan by Maduro to transform the Spanish tourism industry from an industry that is dominated by one operator to one where all operators are competing.
Maduriz said that the new companies will have the ability to “become the world leaders in the world of tourism.”
He added that he will use the new entities to increase the size of the industry.
Madrassa in Valencia, Spain.
Tour operators in Spain have already lost out to operators in other countries, as well as from private companies.
Madurs new company will bring together Spain’s largest operators and will be run by Spanish Tour Operator of the Week-ranked Aruba, according the statement.
Madura also said that Aruba will not only be the top operator in the region, but also in the whole world.
The deal is a blow to Aruba’s already struggling business.