While many hotel companies have been itching to set up shop in Cuba, Spain's Meliá Hotels has been on the island for years and recently announced it will be adding eight more hotels under the Meliá, Sol by Meliá and Innside by Meliá flags. This in addition to the 27 hotels the company already manages in Cuba.
The new hotels provide a total of 931 rooms, and are located in Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Camagüey. The new hotels also mean that the company will operate five of its brands in Cuba: Meliá, Paradisus, Innside by Meliá, Sol by Meliá, and Tryp.
According to Meliá CEOP Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, "These eight hotels are an important challenge which we face with great enthusiasm and responsibility, given that we are also taking on a commitment to strengthen the multi-destination vacation segment, guaranteeing the service and quality of the Meliá, Innside, and Sol House brands from the east to the west of the island.”
The agreement between Meliá Hotels International and the Cuban hotel groups, Gran Caribe, Cubanacan and Islazul, aims to promote organized multi-destination vacations that already include several towns and cities on the island, while at the same time adding new destinations, one of the objectives of a Cuban tourism strategy that seeks to enhance the visibility of a number of cities and regions with huge potential for quality tourism.
In Cienfuegos, Meliá will manage the 56-room San Carlos Hotel and the 49-room Union Hotel. The company will also manage the Jagua Hotel in the same city, operating 173 rooms under the Innside by Meliá brand.
In Trinidad, the company will renovate and manage the 279-room Ancon Hotel under the Sol House brand, as well as a new 102-room hotel to be built at the end of the Ancon peninsula and operated under the Meliá brand.
Lastly, in Camagüey, Meliá will begin to work with the Islazul hotel group to manage three hotels, two of them in the historic centre of the city: the 72-room Gran Hotel and the 58-room Hotel Colón. Innside by Meliá will also be the brand applied to the 142-room Hotel Camagüey after an investment in renovation.
The Cuba additions came as Meliá announced its first-quarter numbers. The hotel company grew revenues over the same period last year, but ultimately profited less. It earned €20.4 million in the first quarter of 2017, 8 percent less than in the same period of 2016. Revenues increased by 5 percent to €420.3 million.
RevPAR increased 8.3 percent—even higher in its Spain hotels, clocking in at 12.5 percent.
The results for the first quarter were influenced by the shift in Easter, which fell in April this year. In spite of this, the revenues of owned and leased hotels plus the fees paid by managed hotels increased by €28.5 million compared to the same period in 2016.
"Meliá recorded a notable increase in its main performance indicator, RevPAR, which improved by 8.3% in the quarter, the 27th consecutive quarter of growth. The performance in Spain (+12.5 percent) in the weakest quarter of the year points toward a positive high season, which Meliá will continue to use to strengthen its products through extensive investments in the renovation and repositioning of hotels," said Escarrer Jaume. "The company also continues to move forward with expansion, adding 15 new hotels in the year to date, with a special focus on Cuba and Asia, where we have opened two new hotels this year in China (Shanghai and Zhengzhou) and we will open three more in Indonesia."