Meliá Hotels International creates Meliá Digital to lead the digital transformation of the company. Meliá has spent many years leading online development in the industry and melia.com has become its most important sales channel, recording annual sales growth of 25 percent over the last three years.
By 2017, the company plans to have 40 percent of its revenues from its direct sales channels, particularly from members of its Meliá Rewards loyalty program. In parallel, other channels are also expected to grow and contribute the remaining 60 percent of revenues. All in all, in 2015 online channels in general will already surpass offline or more traditional channels.
“Our digital transformation is not an option, we can only choose between leading the transformation or being dragged along by it,” Jose María Dalmau, SVP business development at Meliá. “We have chosen the former.”
The Meliá Digital project will be led by the new vice president of global digital sales and marketing, Lluís Pons, who was previously head of digital strategy and marketing at Vueling.
The Melia digital transformation is not limited to sales or customer relations, but will extend to the entire hotel value chain and will focus on three key areas:
- Customers: The Meliá Digital project will transform all of the interactions: with the end customer through the development of melia.com and mobile applications; with professional customers by developing the MeliaPro program; and for business trips thanks to Business Travel by Meliá, which currently has 125,000 registered companies. The revolution also extends to the hotel front desk as customers may, amongst other innovations, check in using their phones or tablets.
- Employees: The digital transformation of the sales force was launched during the Company Global Sales Convention, held last week at the Melia Villaitana in Alicante. More than 300 members of the sales team witnessed the digital change and also the new features of a "Meliá Sales App" which brings together in a single tablet App all of the tools needed by the sales team. Meliá is also implementing digital projects in all areas of management such as Finance, Expansion, Human Resources, etc.
- Hotel owners and investors: One of the most important projects to cater to stakeholders - whose importance continues to grow as Meliá adds more hotels under management to its portfolio under its Strategic Plan - includes the creation of a new Owner Portal with extensive information about the Company and its products, access to owner benefits and to their personal reservations.
Meliá Digital is backed by an in the project over the next three years of around €100 million, focused on five major areas: strengthening the team (recently increased by 30 people), technology, digital marketing, boosting the Meliá Rewards loyalty program, and the partnership with Accenture.