The Chairman and Vice Chairman of Meliá have announced new hotel agreements in Cuba during the FitCuba International Tourism Fair under which the company will manage eight hotels with a total of 931 rooms in the areas of Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Camagüey.
The agreement is in line with the objective of the Cuban authorities to promote multi-destination tourism, a segment of great interest due to its profitability and sustainability, allowing the diversification of tourism as well as guaranteeing Meliá quality standards in lesser-known destinations.
A history of expansion alongside growth in Cuban tourism
The history of Meliá in Cuba dates back to the opening of its first hotel in 1990, the Sol Palmeras in Varadero. From then until now, and the current total of 36 hotels, we have steadily moved forwards together with our Cuban partners within a context of reliable and responsible collaboration:
- 1990: opening of the first hotel, Sol Palmeras (Varadero)
- 1995: opening of the first hotel in Havana (Meliá Cohíba), fourth hotel on the island
- 1999: The company manages 12 hotels on the island, including new destinations such as the Cayos or Santiago de Cuba
- 2000: Paradisus brand is introduced and the company manages 17 hotels
- 2006: the portfolio is extended to 24 hotels
- 2015: addition of the largest hotel to date, the Meliá Jardines del Rey
- 2017: new impetus for growth with 8 new hotels in Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Camagüey. The company now manages 38 hotels
These new hotels are scheduled to open on 1 January and will mean that the company will operate 5 of its brands in Cuba: Meliá, Paradisus, Innside by Meliá, Sol by Meliá and Tryp.
Hotel business: performance and openness to change
Financial and business indicators in Cuba show healthy progress. In 2016, Meliá continued to improve its performance, achieving RevPAR growth of 10.3%, and in the first quarter of 2017 continued to grow RevPAR at a rate of 3.6% (even though Easter is not included this year in the first quarter), with excellent average occupancy of 80.9% and a 2.2% increase in revenues.
The fact that changes in the US administration have not affected bilateral relations has allowed progressive growth in the number of travellers from the US and consolidation of direct flights from the US to Cuba, a factor that will undoubtedly contribute to achieving the goal of attracting even more visitors this year than the 4 million people welcomed in 2016.
The country’s objective to diversify and achieve qualitative progress in tourism in the twenty-first century is behind the new agreements for Meliá hotels in interior travel destinations, and was also reflected in the celebration of the South American Conference on Hotel and Tourism Investment (SAHIC) for the first time ever in the Caribbean and in Cuba. SAHIC is a very successful annual event which aims to promote business in the hotel, travel and real estate sectors in Latin America and the Caribbean. This year it took place in the Meliá Cohiba Hotel in Havana and was attended by 240 representatives of Latin American hotel companies, investors and consultants, interested in the numerous projects for new hotels and for diversifying and quality improvements in existing hotels.
During the event, the Director of Operations for Meliá Cuba, Francisco Camps Orfila, brought his ample experience (Meliá has been operating on the island for 27 years) to the debate, highlighting the importance of the human factor in the success of a hotel company in Cuba, and affirming that it is the training and excellence of its people that is one of the strengths of the industry in Cuba.
Melia Hotels International, May 29, 2017