Digitalisation provides development opportunities for the travel industry and drives the creation of new business models and new added-value products and services for customers while also strengthening travel companies. Meliá Hotels International has been a pioneer in applying a digital strategy to its entire organisation and has been named in the latest research by the Coordenadas Institute of Governance and Applied Economics as one of the top ten companies leading the digital transformation of the Spanish economy.
Digital Transformation is an essential foundation of Meliá strategy, and over the last three years the company has invested more than 130 million euros in digitalisation in three key areas: enhancing its direct sales channels, personalising the customer experience and improving its operational model and digital culture within the organisation. Over the next three years, the company plans to enhance the digitalisation of processes that add little value for customers, allowing its team to focus on the top priority of continuing to improve service and the guest experience.
Improvements in distribution, customer experience and the environment
Big Data, artificial intelligence and new digital marketing tools have been a key driver of improvements in the customer relationship model and increased sales through direct channels, which have seen revenues grow by more than 68% since 2015, assisted by a 360º social media strategy and sales force training which has created almost 1,000 "digital salespeople".
The company has also used technology to improve the customer experience in its new app (winner of "The AppTourism Award 2019"), designed to personalise every stage of their trip from booking to their stay in the hotel. The guest experience in the hotel itself also continues to evolve as new technologies are added for guests, including virtual assistants and intelligent cashless wristbands that allow guests to make payments and open the door to their room.
Technology has also played a key role in environmental management and eco-efficiency in company hotels, allowing the development of a climate strategy that is essential in response to current challenges and the need to contribute towards the development of a more sustainable industry.
Finally, Meliá Hotels International also sees digital transformation as an opportunity to strengthen its operating model, improve efficiency and drive company growth. The Be Digital 360 project is designed to help Meliá strengthen this company-wide transformation and allow it to continue being a benchmark for the entire industry.
In relation to digital maturity in the hotel industry, the Coordenadas Institute cites the 'Digital transformation diagnosis' prepared by the Hotel Technology Institute, which concludes that there is still a long way to go in the industry and a significant gap between large companies and SMEs.
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.