First Free Story (1 of 3)

More travel executives get their mission-critical industry news from Skift than any other source on the planet.

Already a member?

For Melia Hotels International COO André Gerondeau, the most recent economic crisis in Spain was both a challenge and an opportunity for his company, which was founded in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 63 years ago.

“Crisis is an opportunity,” Gerondeau explained on stage at the Skift Forum Europe in Berlin in April. That opportunity for Melia translated to focusing on the Spanish market but also keeping its focus on a global scale.

“We made thigs work in Spain, but we never lost sight of the global business,” he said, noting that the company has since invested 500 million Euros in its home country.

And although Melia is not nearly as large as some of the largest hotel companies out there, like a Marriott or a Hilton or an AccorHotels, it is a sizable global and public company that remains focused on serving its guests and continuing to evolve.

With 100,000 rooms spread out over 375 hotels in 44 countries worldwide, Gerondeau explained that Melia is more than the sun-and-beach resorts for which it is primarily known.

“We’re a young 63-year-old company,” Gerondeau said, noting that the company’s founder is still very active as a non-executive chairman of the board, and that the Melia family continues to run the now public company, which is considered the world’s 16th largest hotel group. He added, “We’re 55 percent resort and 45 percent urban.”

You can watch the entire interview above, or consider reading more coverage of Skift Forum Europe.

At Skift Forum Europe in Berlin, Europe’s travel leaders gathered for a day of inspiration, information, and conversation.

For more details on the upcoming Skift Restaurants Forum and Skift Global Forum in New York City, as well as the recent inaugural Skift Tech Forum, please visit our Forum site for details.

Photo Credit: Melia Hotels International COO André Gerondeau speaking at Skift Forum Europe in Berlin in April. Skift