Melia Hotels to tackle over-tourism with focus on quality

by | Aug 2, 2018 | Chains

The COO of Melia Hotels recently spoke at the Skift Forum Europe about how the group is planning on attracting customers, tackling overtourism and handling advances in technology. We find out more about his thoughts on these issues.

Melia at Skift Forum Europe

Melia Hotels was just one of the groups that was in attendance at the recent Skift Forum Europe, and some of the group’s top executives had much to say about the current state of the hotel industry, how best to approach certain issues, and what Melia in particular was doing to try and gain customer loyalty. Chief operating officer André Gerondeau gave his thoughts backstage at the Skift Take Studio, a series of interviews conducted with industry leaders.

Overtourism

The issue of overtourism was something that Gerondeau weighed in on, saying that it was a tricky business trying to balance customers’ desires to visit certain destinations and the fact that the locals in those places are often opposed to further increases in an already saturated tourism market. Particular cities like Barcelona, Venice and Dubrovnik are at the forefront of this backlash against mass tourism, and against cruise ships in particular, and while Gerondeau states that he appreciates that type of tourism, that, “It’s true that certain destinations, certain periods of the week, there is so much intensity that I think it detracts from the customer experience within the destination.” Some things he sees as being  solutions to this pressing issue are those of quality over quantity, correct segmentation and fair distribution.

Customer loyalty and technology

Gerondeau says that he is astonished at the rate at which technology is advancing, often putting the customer ahead of the provider, leaving hotel groups struggling to keep up. He says, “We want to make sure that technology is a facilitator of the process, but not the process itself.” To put themselves at an advantage, Melia is trying to be in the business of attraction, rather than promotion. They want the customer to be a part of the offering, and crafting experiences that are targeted at Melia’s demographic is key to the success of this strategy. Melia’s relationship with its customers is borne out of the fact that they are positioned as a leisure and pleasure hotel group, as opposed to business, so this means that guests are likely to spend more time at a Melia property, allowing the hotel to really engage with the customer to ensure that they come back and remain loyal to this particular brand. For more information, check out the original article here.

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