The globalization of Meliá Hotels International is strongly linked to Indonesia. It was in Nusa Dua in Bali, still an emerging destination at the time, where the company opened its first international hotel after becoming the leading hotel company in its home country, Spain.
The keys to this early globalization lie in the visionary nature of our founder and Chairman, Gabriel Escarrer Julià, and the expertise the Company had already acquired in resort hotels, where Spain was and still remains one of the leading destinations worldwide. The opportunity to open a hotel in Bali, which was clearly destined to become a major travel destination, laid the foundations for future globalization of the Company (now in 44 countries) and demonstrated its strong social commitment. The Company learned a great deal from Indonesia and its cultural diversity, respect for its traditions and customs, and absorbed the spirit of the destination, assuming respect for diversity and the importance of social and environmental commitment as a basic premise for the business ever since.
The project was a success, and Bali went on to become one of the top destinations in Asia-Pacific, a region which has excellent prospects for the travel industry according to estimates by the World Tourism Organization: Asia-Pacific recorded the highest growth in visitors in 2015, 7%, and will remain the fastest growing region until at least 2030, with annual growth expected to average 4.9%. In 2030, 30% of all international travellers will visit Asia-Pacific destination.
Meliá still considers the region a priority focus for strategy, and is extending its presence in countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Myanmar and Thailand. But it is in Indonesia where the Company has the largest number of hotels, with five in operation (Gran Melia Jakarta, Meliá Bali Meliá Purosani, Sol Beach House Bali and Sol House Bali Legian) with a total of 1,394 rooms and 2,000 employees.
Expansion in Indonesia is unrelenting, and Meliá now has 10 hotels in the pipeline that will add 2,021 more rooms over the next two years: Meliá Surabaya, Innside Yogyakarta, Meliá Makassar, Gran Melia Bintan, Meliá Ubud, Sol House Jimbaran, Innside Bandung, Melia Lombok Tangkong, and Melia Pekanbaru.
I would like to mention some other specific Meliá competitive advantages that have contributed to a history of 30 years of success in Indonesia: our Spanish and Mediterranean heritage give us a unique culture and “passion for service” and our specialization in MICE hotels, a growing segment in Indonesia, where we are working together with a leading operator in the market to continue to make progress.
In 2016 our Company is also celebrating its sixtieth anniversary, and our impeccable track record over the years in managing our own hotels and hotels owned by others always makes us a leading option for demanding hotel owners in Asia. Combined with the philosophy and solid values of a family business (family-grown Company), this has helped create a solid long-term relationship with our partners.
The market potential and spectacular growth in demand (both inbound and outbound), together with the beauty of the destinations and the quality of the hotels, mean that 30 years after the Meliá Bali, Indonesia remains a priority destination and market for the growth of Meliá Hotels International.
As our founder and Group Chairman, Gabriel Escarrer Juliá, always says: “We are proud to have been part of the transformation of Indonesia into a leading destination in Asia, and after 30 years of growing together, we are more committed than ever to the country, and our responsible and long-term growth in the destination.”