Meliá, the first Spanish hotel company, insists on its change of strategy towards a model that prioritizes getting rid of owned hotels. Of the 322 properties it currently operates, it only owns 37 and the rest is divided between management (129), rental (106) and franchise (50). And the gap between the two models will continue to grow in the coming quarters. Proof of this is the agreement signed this morning between Meliá and BBVA, through which the financial institution will provide potential Meliá franchisees with access to financing with preferential conditions to cover cash flow needs.
“The agreement is based on the confidence that Meliá and the strength of its marketing model and its sales platform offer to financial institutions,” he stressed the CEO of Meliá, Gabriel Escarrer. In his opinion, the preferential financing conditions are essential to face a process of investment in hotel fixed assets or repositioning of assets, or operational needs that allow them to strengthen their competitiveness in the new post-Covid environment.
“This is a very attractive model, especially for hotels highly dependent on tour operators and with a low degree of digitization that have suffered significantly from the paralysis of tourism during the pandemic,” he said. María Zarraluqui, Director of Expansion at Meliá, referring to the thousands of hotels that suffered in the first place the bankruptcy of the British tour operator Thomas Cook, later the rise of online agencies such as Booking or Expedia and thirdly the decline of the German tour operator TUI, rescued up to four times by the Government German.
Melia offers two franchise models to independent hotels: adopting one of the Meliá brands or maintaining its identity under the Affiliated By Meliá seal. The hotelier can also choose for the hotel to be operated by the hotel giant or to maintain its own model. In either case, they can do so through Meliá’s distribution platform, which has 14 million customers.
Carlos Rodríguez Escudero, Eastern Regional Director of BBVA, stressed that the agreement “reaffirms BBVA’s commitment to the franchise sector in Spain, providing Meliá franchisees with all the facilities and advice they need to start their projects.”