Looking to the future of travel with optimism

Meliá Hotels comes to ITB Asia 2022 with an impressive portfolio of hotels and a strong tack record in sustainability

Steve Nunan, Senior Director of Business Development Asia Pacific at Meliá Hotels International, relishes Meliá hotels being back at ITB Asia

What is Meliá Hotels presenting at ITB Asia 2022?
We are delighted to again be present at ITB Asia, representing our portfolio of over 350 hotels across 40 countries. In Asia, we have individual hotels across Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar, including our exciting new Gran Meliá Nha Trang that opens in early 2023. It is the first time we are representing our Vietnamese partner at the show, having added 13 Meliá Vinpearl properties this year.

Sustainability is at the heart of Meliá hotels’ strategy. What does it mean in practice?
Sustainability is a core pillar of our brand. We rank as the most sustainable hotel company in Spain and Europe every year since 2020 by the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment. We ranked 7th in the Wall Street Journal’s list of the 100 most sustainably managed companies in the world in 2020. 

Our sustainability practices operate at all levels from eliminating single-use plastics to implementing energy conservation measures and local community initiatives. Individual Meliá properties also roll out environmental programmes to create a more circular hotel economy. For example, Meliá Chiang Mai, Meliá Ba Vi Mountain Retreat, Meliá Koh Samui, Meliá Ho Tram and Meliá Bali have their own organic gardens that are used to supply restaurants, sometimes also spas and staffs’ canteens. They follow a concept of food waste being returned to the earth as compost. Meliá Bali also introduced bee hives into their garden with the first batch of honey coming this month.

Villa Le Blanc, a 5-star luxury Gran Meliá resort opened at the end of July in Spain. As a prototype of an environmentally respectful hotel, it incorporates state-of-the-art facilities and technologies that allow to an 87% reduction of its CO2 emissions.

What about your plans for 2023 and in particular regarding your debut in Vietnam?
Meliá first entered Vietnam in 1999 with the opening of Meliá Hanoi. We now have 18 hotels throughout the country, including 13 properties under Meliá Vinpearl. We have four hotels in the pipeline in Vietnam, three of which scheduled in 2023. These include Gran Meliá Nha Trang, the first under this brand in Vietnam, Meliá Nha Trang, and Gran Meliá Cam Ranh. Meliá Quy Nhon Beach Resort should open in 2025. In Indonesia, we look for Gran Meliá Lombok in 2024. 

Why is ITB Asia as an international trade show important for Meliá hotels
As border restrictions ease and we experience a new dawn in travel, it is important to connect and reconnect with people in the industry. While Covid introduced us to what could be achieved online, face-to-face interactions are still essential. We are looking forward with optimism towards the future of travel. ITB Asia is a great platform for connection, discussion and to share all the exciting things we have in store. 

As border restrictions ease and we experience a new dawn in travel, it is important to connect and reconnect with people in the industry

Meliá : best practices in sustainability

Soap for Hope, Linens for Life and PlasticShreds: The first two initiatives involve transforming materials such as soap and old linen, into new soap bars and clothes for people in need. PlasticShreds is an upcycle initiative that repurposes plastic already in circulation into various uses such as roads. Eight Meliá properties throughout Southeast Asia including Meliá  Danang, Meliá  Hanoi, Meliá  Ho Tram, and Sol by Meliá Phu Quoc, have worked with hygiene and cleaning solutions company Diversey on the “Soap for Hope” project. Meliá Hanoi and Meliá Ba Vi Mountain Retreat were the first hotels in Vietnam to launch PlasticShreds.