Melia presents its commitment to responsible tourism at FITUR
The newly named “Most Sustainable Hotel Company in the World” celebrates the 40th edition of the Madrid Fair presenting its commitment to the 2030 Agenda
Meliá Hotels International (MHI), the main Spanish hotel group, which was recently recognized as the Most Sustainable Hotel Company in the World according to SAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment, is once again present at Fitur, where sustainability and the new image of its brand Paradisus will be the main protagonists of its participation in the fair, which this year celebrates its forty anniversary.
As on previous occasions, it has been its Vice President and CEO, Gabriel Escarrer, in charge of making a balance of the company today with a special focus on Responsible Tourism and its commitment to advance in the 2030 Agenda. To this end, he has held a talk together with the sustainability expert Álvaro Rodríguez, coordinator for Spain of * The Climate Reality Project *, the initiative against climate change promoted by the Nobel Prize winner, Al Gore. Both have highlighted the risks of climate change, especially for the tourism industry, as well as analyzed what the sector can do to minimize environmental impact and generate a globally positive impact.
Gabriel Escarrer, a leader who has positioned himself at the forefront of Tourism in the field of Sustainability, agreed with Álvaro Rodriguez on the urgency for the sector to act in a double plane: on the one hand, mitigating the worst impacts of climate change through plans to contingency and, on the other, working on converting the negative impact (mainly produced by CO2 emissions) into a positive impact, working to drastically reduce emissions and offsetting those that cannot be reduced. "
Rodriguez, who thanked the opportunity to speak before an important representation of the sector, insisted that “before the moment of authentic climatic emergency, it is essential that an industry such as tourism, with great impact and a great capacity to sensitize and set an example, align with the objectives of the COP. We have to overcome a partial vision and assume that, in climate matters, we are all part of the problem, and we must all be part of the solution. "
In 2019, Meliá Hotels International was recognized as the Most Sustainable Hotel Company in the World according to the Corporate Sustainability Assistance of the SAM agency. As Escarrer has pointed out, “This achievement is due, among other reasons, to our progress in reducing emissions, our commitment to a circular hotel model, the extension of our ethical commitments to our suppliers, the investment in training and development of our collaborators or the reinforcement of our relationships with the academic world ". The hotel company has also taken advantage of Fitur's framework to present and disseminate its" Responsible Traveler Decalogue ", with which it intends to sensitize and involve the public in the need to get a positive impact of Tourism.
Resilience and Trust
Gabriel Escarrer also wanted to deepen the different strengths of the company, which has shown great resilience to the difficulties in America and the Canary Islands in 2019, expressing his optimism regarding the stabilization and change of trend in these markets. He also highlighted the good performance of urban hotels and the EMEA region in 2019.
Another key aspect has been the digital leadership of the company, which today has a solid distribution model, key to boost the performance of its business. Its own channels already concentrate almost 33% of the company's sales and especially noticeable in the last year has been the evolution of B2B channel, MeliáPro.com, and the Contact Center, with sales increases of 18% and 11% respectively. On the other hand, the “mobile first” current is still booming and the Meliá App grew 175%, while traffic to melia.com from mobile devices already represents 70%.
As Escarrer has emphasized, Meliá has also placed a strategic focus on the company's internal digital transformation, which is relying on the latest disruptive technologies to advance managerial excellence. Thus, within the framework of Fitur he has announced a robotization project, by the hand of the world leader Uipath, which will allow him to automate back-office processes and, as Escarrer himself explains, “allow a greater focus of people in what provides a differential value to the customer ".
Internationalization has been another aspect highlighted by Escarrer, who announced the opening of 23 establishments in 2020 (12 in Europe, 9 in Asia Pacific and 2 in America) giving continuity to the diversification of the company, especially focused on the holiday segment and bleisure and in the high and premium segment brands. Thus, he highlighted the momentum of the INNSiDE by Meliá brand, which will open for the first time in cities such as Amsterdam, Lisbon, Liverpool or Kuala Lumpur; or the growth of the Gran Meliá luxury brand in Asia Pacific, where it will open three new hotels in China and Vietnam. This region, in particular, remains a prominent focus of expansion (it brings together 32% of the hotels pending opening), where Meliá Hotels International already has 51 hotels (adding operational hotels and in the process of opening), compared to 30 I had in 2015.
Other emblematic openings that are expected this year are the ME Dubai, an extraordinary design by Zaha Hadid; or the Paradisus Playa Mujeres (Mexico), which represents the new generation of all-inclusive luxury hotels of the Paradisus by Meliá brand, whose essence - linked to the nature and local culture of each destination - has inspired this year the design of the Fitur stand.