Melia Hotels International Continues Global Expansion After Signing Over 100 hotels Under its Strategic Plan

MIAMI, Fla., Feb. 4, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At its annual press conference at FITUR, Meliá Hotels International presented its achievements for the 2012-2014 period of its Strategic Plan. Gabriel Escarrer, Vice Chairman and CEO of Meliá Hotels International, explained how the company has delivered on its promise to resist the recent economic crisis and come out of it stronger than ever before.

"Our Strategic Plan has allowed us to carefully manage a few difficult years and we have levered our resort leadership and international presence to become one of the largest hotel management companies in the world, all while retaining our commitment to Spain where we have continued to invest and reinvent our value proposal for guests and for society as a whole," stated Gabriel Escarrer, Vice Chairman and CEO of Meliá Hotel International.

Escarrer described how the following business and reputation performance indicators now make Meliá Hotels International the indisputable market leader in Spain and amongst the most admired hotel companies in the world:

· The addition of over 100 hotels to the company portfolio within the Strategic Plan duration
· An important reduction of debt and healthier balance sheet, a trend that continues in the first quarter of 2015
· The attractiveness of company shares and the increase of 127.5% in the share price in the last three quarters
· Major innovations in products, services and the "digital revolution"
· Sales leadership with travel agents, tour operators and direct sales channels, including annual growth of of 25% over the past three years
· Consolidation of its corporate reputation (top company in the industry in 2013 and 2014 according to MERCO) and progress as an "employer brand"

The evolution of the company over the past few years has been extraordinary, both in terms of its management and financial results. Meliá Hotels International is a leader worldwide in RevPAR performance (revenue per available room) after 17 quarters of uninterrupted growth, and has retained market confidence, keeping its share price above market levels to become one of the most attractive companies for investors.

Strong international growth

Gabriel Escarrer also revealed excellent growth forecasts for the company, which has seen unprecedented growth with the addition of over a hundred hotels during its last Strategic Plan (2012-2014).

The Meliá Hotels International portfolio now stands at 378 hotels open or in the process of opening in 41 countries on four continents. 99% of the rooms in the current pipeline are located outside of Spain, more than 65% of them in emerging markets in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America. Thanks to its impeccable 60-year track record, managerial excellence in its own hotels and those owned by third parties, as well as its high degree of diversification and international experience, the company is now amongst the most important international hotel management companies in the worldwide.

With regard to the recovery of the Spanish economy, where Meliá manages over 35,000 rooms, Mr. Escarrer stated that the company remains committed to Spain, where tourism industry continues to thrive as the third most popular travel destination worldwide. Meliá Hotels International has invested over 450 million euros in Spain since 2008, attracting major international investors for various projects such as Avenue Capital, London Regional and Starwood Capital Group. Unlike other companies, Meliá Hotels International's product diversification has enabled it to become stronger over recent years.

New hotels announced

Escarrer announced the company's latest additions during FITUR: new hotels in the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Brazil and Spain. The urban made in Germany brand, Innside by Meliá, is achieving the greatest growth with the addition of the Innside Glasgow (175 rooms), Innside Birmingham (180 rooms) and Innside Dubai (125 rooms). Thanks to its profitability and value provided to guests, the brand has increased from 8 hotels in 2008 to 36 hotels open or in the opening process in different destinations in Europe, Asia and the Americas, and is on its way to becoming a new benchmark for urban hotels worldwide.

In Morocco, the company announced the addition of the Sol House Taghazout (87 bungalows) and in Indonesia the Sol House Kuta Bali (132 rooms), as part of a new strategy to reposition the new Sol Hotels & Resorts brand in order to grow in new resort destinations worldwide. Both hotels will open this year, as will the new Meliá Ibirapuera (350 rooms) in Sao Paulo (Brazil). The company has chosen to grow in emerging markets, and expansion in Brazil has been significant for the company in the past three years where it now has 14 operating hotels and another 8 in the pipeline.

In Spain, Mr. Escarrer announced the signing of the ME Barcelona (173 rooms), with an excellent location next to Plaza Catalunya and Paseo de Gracia, which will be a flagship for contemporary luxury in Barcelona. This addition responds to the selective growth of the ME by Meliá brand, which is positioning itself in the world's most attractive international destinations including Ibiza, Los Cabos and Mallorca, and in the capitals of fashion, finance and culture including Dubai, London, Madrid and Miami.

Openings for 2015

In addition to the aforementioned openings - the Sol House Kuta Bali (Indonesia), Sol House Taghazout (Morocco) and Meliá Ibirapuera (Brazil)- the company will also open at least 11 hotels in 2015. Meliá Doha (317 rooms) was recently opened in January and is the first Spanish hotel in Qatar. Located in Bin Samikh Tower, one of the skyscrapers along the stunning skyline on the Qatar coast, the hotel is in the most prestigious district of Doha, West Bay. Soon to open is the Meliá Paris La Défense (369 rooms), the company's sixth company hotel in Paris and its first city hotel dedicated to the MICE and business segment.

The company will be opening two new hotels in Italy: ME Milan Il Duca (132 rooms) and the Meliá Campione (41 rooms). In the UK, the company will launch the Innside brand in 2015 with the opening of Innside Manchester (208 rooms) and in Spain, the company will soon open the TRYP Castellón (78 rooms).

On the American continent, Meliá will start operating in two of the most important cities in the USA with the openings of ME Miami (130 rooms) and Meliá Costa Hollywood (307 rooms). Another debut for the company will be in the Caribbean with the opening of Meliá Jamaica (226 rooms). The ME by Meliá brand will also open ME Caracas in 2015 (201 rooms) in Venezuela, expanding its international presence. Lastly, in Brazil, an important emerging market for the company, Meliá will continue strengthening the presence of its brands with the opening of Meliá Paiva (192 rooms) in Recife.

About Meliá 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 370 hotels (current portfolio and pipeline) throughout more than 40 countries and 4 continents under the brands: Gran Meliá, Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Paradisus Resorts, ME by Meliá, Innside by Meliá, Tryp by Wyndham and Sol Hoteles. 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.

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Source:Melia Hotels International