The two companies will work together on marketing, service and technology and the direct connection between Ctrip and Melia will be enhanced. This includes making the Melia hotel inventory more available to China's Ctrip users. Marketing strategies will cover online and offline campaigns, underpinned by "big data driven precision solutions."
Melia Hotels currently has 370 properties in four continents under various brands, including Gran Melia, ME by Melia, TRYP and Paradisus. However, the properties of particular interest are in Europe, especially those in Spain.
Melia is a member of Ctrip's "China Preferred Hotel" program, which reviews international hotels for their ability to accommodate the specific demands of Chinese travelers. The new partnership takes this a step further through the "Friends" initiative, which will provide personalized services to Chinese guests staying in a Melia hotel, like Chinese-speaking staff.
The new partnership follows the deal Ctrip's marketing team signed with Madrid authorities to promote the city to Chinese tourists through the online travel agency. Melia stated its partnership with Ctrip is helping the hotel group increase its presence in China. The group noted the help and support it has received from Ctrip in getting its first Chinese hotels running. Rong Zhang, GM of Ctrip Hotel Business, said the deal with Melia “signals our further development in the European market and will provide more diverse hotel options for Chinese travelers when they visit Europe."