The Company currently operates hotels under three of its brands: Meliá, Innside by Meliá and Tryp by Wyndham, although it is confident that other brands will achieve a presence in the near future given the cosmopolitan and dynamic nature of the German market.
Germany is also the fourth biggest feeder market for Meliá, behind Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, providing nearly 10% of our guests in our hotels all around the world, another factor that encourages us to continue to increase our presence in the country. Cities such as Berlin, Bremen, Dusseldorf, Dresden, Aachen, Leipzig, Munich, Dortmund, Wolfsburg and Frankfurt, among others, are home to some of the most iconic of our hotels, such as the Meliá Berlin, the Innside Frankfurt Eurotheum, Innside Dusseldorf Hafen, Meliá Dusseldorf, Innside Dresden, Innside Wolfsburg and Innside Aachen.
Due to the importance of the German market, Meliá located its Central European offices in Dusseldorf, and attributes a large part of its success to its adaptation to German partners and customers, meaning that in Germany, Meliá feels German and thinks German. In line with Company strategy to strengthen its hotel management function, most Meliá hotels in the German market are operated under lease or management agreements.
Acquisition of Innside a turning point
In 2007, when the Company acquired Innside, a small German hotel chain founded in 1997, for 16.5 million euros, the growth of Meliá in Germany entered a new stage of development. From the 8 original Innside hotels, the brand currently has a total of 14 hotels in Germany either open or scheduled to open. More importantly, what was originally a young and exclusively "German" brand, has now become highly internationalized, as Meliá has signed up Innside hotels in such disparate and remote locations as China, Chile, Dubai, Doha, Spain, and New York, where the magnificent Innside New York Nomad has just opened to a great response from the market.
The Meliá brand is also well positioned on the east-west axis, with Meliá hotels in Dusseldorf and Berlin, and from 2018 also in the geographical and financial heart of the country in Frankfurt. The aim is now to add Meliá hotels on the north-south axis, in cities such as Hamburg and Munich, which together with our Innside hotels will further strengthen our brand recognition.
Paradise for "bleisure hotels" and the MICE segment
The mentioned Meliá and Innside hotels in Germany are a great example of urban hotels adapted to both business and leisure travellers: what we now know as the "bleisure" (business + leisure) segment. Thanks to these brands, our leadership in the resort hotel industry, and our commercial strength, our hotels are ideally positioned for business travellers, yet also offer a complete destination and lifestyle experience: of the 26 hotels we operate in Germany, 12 offer facilities for meetings and conventions, a segment that in Germany moves around 11.4 million travellers a year, generating around 7.5 million overnight stays. In a segment in which innovation is very important, the introduction of Innside brand attributes such as "creative meetings" also give our hotels a competitive advantage in the German market.
Among our main competitive strengths in Germany are the fact that our Company is supported by significant investors and hedge funds, and thanks to an impeccable track record in Germany, Meliá is nowadays a Company that inspires confidence and which can grow faster as it has already overcome the learning curve. In terms of reputation, we benefit from our Mediterranean nature and origin, and the close relationship that exists between Germany and our headquarters in Mallorca. Our Innside hotels have been named as the favourite hotels for German travellers for several years by the prestigious reservations website Hotel.de. This recognition is also reflected in our sales growth in Germany, with an increase of 50% in sales through melia.com in 2016 over the previous year.
According to Enrique Ortiz, Vice President for Europe, Middle East & Africa,"the commitment of Meliá Hotels International to Germany is even more consolidated year on year. It is not only one of the countries in which we are growing fastest and the birthplace of our successful Innside by Meliá brand, but German cities are also the perfect setting for our urban brands focused on the fast-growing “bleisure” travel market, combining business facilities with spaces for leisure and for discovering the cities". For Ortiz,"the main challenges for the Company in Germany today are to continue to grow with emblematic hotels in cities on the north-south axis, and to introduce other brands that are already market leaders in other countries such as the luxury lifestyle and cutting-edge ME by Meliá brand (ME London, ME Milan, ME Miami, etc.) or the classical luxury with an avant-garde flair of the Gran Meliá brand (Gran Meliá Rome, Gran Meliá Colon, Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques, etc.)".