Melia Hotels highlight Asian expansion plans

26 Nov 2015 by Clement Huang

Melia Hotels International is gearing up for a significant expansion of its Asia-Pacific portfolio over the next three years, with the majority of the company’s focus being in the Chinese and Indonesian market.

Speaking to Business Traveller Asia-Pacific, Maria Zarraluqui, global development managing director for Melia revealed that the Spanish hotel chain is expected to open 16 properties over the next three years, with half of those due to begin operations in 2016.

“Asia-Pacific is a strategic market for us. We believe in achieving sustainable growth over volume. And our development focus is identifying the right opportunities with the right partners in the right locations,” said Zarraluqui.

“Our APAC and China portfolio more than doubled in the last three years. Over the next three to four years, the group plans to increase the number of properties in Asia to 60.”

Grand Melia Jakarta Red Level reception

The group expects to open seven new hotels in Indonesia over the next two years, starting with Innside Legian, Innside Makassar, Innside Yogtakarta, and Sol House Kuta in 2016. This will be followed by Gran Melia Bintan, Melia Surabaya, and Melia Ubud in 2017.

Zarraluqui said: “There is strong business and leisure market potential in Indonesia. For example, Jakarta is an international business hub, while the country has some of the world’s most sought-after leisure destinations, like Bali".

Melia Bali lobby

“There is also a growing middle class in Indonesia. For this market, we will continue to grow existing flagship brands in established global tourism destinations for example, Gran Melia in Bintan and Melia Ubud in Bali. We will also introduce new brands in the upscale segment, such as Innside Bandung, our urban design hotel brand that caters to the demographic and psychographic needs of savvy Indonesian travellers today.”

China continues to be a powerful market, with Melia recognising the growth of the Chinese travel clientele. Similar to the Starwood Personalised Travel Program and Li Yu introduced by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Marriott International back in 2011 and 2012 respectively, Melia has introduced a scheme that caters to the needs of Chinese guests.

Grand Melia Xi'an entrance

Said Zarraluqui: “We recently launched Peng You by Melia, a worldwide programme, which will be gradually introduced in 80 hotels throughout the portfolio to adapt to the needs and expectations of Chinese guests. Chinese tourists generally hope to find a range of features and amenities in the hotels they visit.

“Under this initiative, an extensive training programme will see staff trained and fluent in Mandarin; and all hotels to accept Chinese credit cards from Union Pay, have Chinese TV channels, Chinese breakfast and menu items, such as a tea station and cup noodles, and translated reading materials.”

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Clement Huang

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