Gabriel Escarrer: New Tour Of Asia-Pacific And Middle East Hotels
- The Meliá Chief Executive Officer witnessed the strong strategic development of the company in a region that is leading the growth in global tourism
- The Spanish company's command of the resort and city leisure segments is its most significant competitive strength for growth in Asia
The tour had another important stopover in Dubai, where they could confirm the progress in the Meliá Desert Palm Dubai hotel, an urban oasis for relaxation and for the practice of Polo, surrounded by a lush nature and views of the Dubai skyline.
Dubai is an increasingly important destination for the hotel Group, where it plans to add some new extraordinary projects in the coming months, jointly with Albwardy Investment one of its most relevant partners in several continents. Together, they noted the remarkable evolution and results of their collaboration, with flagship hotels such as Meliá Serengeti Lodge, Melia Zanzibar in Tanzania, (where they will soon open the spectacular Gran Meliá Arusha) and the Gran Meliá Iguazú, in Argentina."
Meliá Hotels International currently has more than 50 hotels in Asia Pacific either already in operation or in the process of opening, with a special focus on Indonesia (16 hotels) Vietnam (13) and China (10). In Vietnam and Indonesia, Meliá is already on a par with all of the largest international hotel operators.
Growth in Asia Pacific is one of the key features of the Meliá Hotels International 2020 strategy, focusing 100% on leisure resorts and urban leisure or "bleisure" hotels. Growth is being achieved primarily through hotel management agreements, which allow the company greater agility and appropriate returns with low levels of leverage. As Gabriel Escarrer emphasises, "After more than 30 years operating hotels in Southeast Asia and almost 10 years of experience in China, we are a long way along the learning curve in a destination that is equally exciting and complex. For a company with expertise in the leisure and urban leisure markets such as Meliá, Asia Pacific has a similar potential to other regions such as the Caribbean, both in regard to its contribution to the group's results and to expansion and our international reputation over the coming years."
The Meliá executives wanted to see for themselves the evolution of one of the most recent "jewels in the crown" for the company in Southeast Asia, the Meliá Yangon Hotel in Myanmar, a beautiful destination that has yet to be discovered by mass tourism. Escarrer and Gerondeau were able to verify that the Meliá Yangon provides all the attributes required by the "bleisure" hotels (business + leisure) in which Meliá specialises thanks to its proximity to the largest shopping centre in the city, the airport and the centre of the city itself, along with a spectacular location alongside the beautiful Lake Inya. In Vietnam, they visited other leading "bleisure" hotels including the well-established Meliá Hanoi, the Innside Central Saigon - the first hotel for the Inside by Meliá brand in the region- and the Meliá Ninh Binh, all of them ideal options for both business and leisure travellers.
Specifically, the strong commitment of Meliá in the south of Vietnam took them to visit some of the Group's most spectacular projects, like the successful Sol Beach House Phu Quoc and Meliá Ho Tram resorts, already operating, as well as to check the nice progresses in projects such as the Meliá Cam Rahn and the Meliá Phu Quoc, an island in which they are considering the addition of new projects.
Thriving Chinese feeder market
APAC (Asia Pacific) is an important source of business for Meliá Hotels International both within the region, where Asian visitors to Asian destinations is 72,6% of the business, and globally, where China stands out as one of the largest feeder markets for company hotels in Europe, Africa and America.
During his trip, the Meliá CEO highlighted the growth of the Chinese market in 2018 for Meliá hotels in Europe, with an increase of 196% in the Meliá Barcelona Sky and 151% in the ME London compared to the previous year. China is also the biggest market for the iconic Meliá Serengeti Lodge in Tanzania, a sustainable luxury product opened a year ago.
Sustainability and circular economy
Since the opening of the Meliá Bali in the 1980s, the company has always understood the importance of sustainability and corporate responsibility in this part of the world due to its significant social and environmental culture and awareness. This early vision of "responsible tourism" laid the foundations for Meliá to be acknowledged today as the third most sustainable hotel company in the world according to the ranking prepared by RobecoSAM, the sustainable investment agency whose ranking is used by the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
Among the solidarity and environmental improvement projects in company hotels in APAC, the "Soap for Hope" project in cooperation with the Diversey Group is a highlight, and has been running since 2018 in 7 Meliá hotels in the region: Meliá Hanoi, Meliá Bali, Melia Danang, Meliá Yangon, Meliá Purosani, Sol Beach House Bali Benoa and Sol House Bali Legian. As part of the tour, Gabriel Escarrer and other Group executives visited the hotels taking part in the project to learn more about their progress and listen to the exciting declarations from hotel staff and members of the community. For the Meliá CEO "Projects like Soap for Hope make it easier to understand that the circular economy is not only possible, but also essential to achieve a better balance between people, the planet, and economic development. I would like to congratulate Diversey, our business partner for more than three decades and promoter of the project, for allowing us to take part in a project such as this. "
The Soap for Hope project aims to recycle soap used by hotel guests (about 3 tons per year for an average hotel with 400 rooms) and give it new "life", at the same time improving public hygiene, reducing waste and providing employment to the communities that most need it. In 2018, the hotels involved managed to recycle 13.3 tons of soap and help more than 9,800 people.
About Melia Hotels International
Founded in 1956 in Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Meliá Hotels International is one of the largest hotel companies worldwide, as well as the absolute leader within the Spanish market, with more than 380 hotels (current portfolio and pipeline) throughout more than 40 countries and four continents, operated under the brands: Gran Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Paradisus by Meliá, ME by Meliá, Meliá Hotels & Resorts, INNSIDE by Meliá, Sol by Meliá and TRYP by Wyndham. The strategic focus on international growth has allowed Meliá Hotels International to be the first Spanish hotel company with presence in key markets such as China, the Arabian Gulf or the US, as well as maintaining its leadership in traditional markets such as Europe, Latin America or the Caribbean. Its high degree of globalization, a diversified business model, the consistent growth plan supported by strategic alliances with major investors and its commitment to responsible tourism are the major strengths of Meliá Hotels International, being the Spanish Hotel leader in Corporate Reputation (Merco Ranking) and one of the most attractive to work worldwide. Meliá Hotels International is included in the IBEX 35 Spanish stock market index. Follow Meliá Hotels International on Twitter @MeliaHotelsInt and Facebook meliahotelsinternational.