Meliá prepares hotels for the safe return to travel for meetings and events
Wednesday, 5th August 2020
Source : Meliá Hotels International

The digitalisation of the company and its new 'Stay Safe with Meliá' customer experience programme are key advantages in the recovery of the MICE segment.

The company is aware that confidence about health and safety will be an essential element in the complex reactivation of this market segment.

As the company moves forward with reopening hotels, with more than 150 hotels in the world currently open, Meliá Hotels International continues to prepare for a revival in travel for meetings and events. The company has continued to improve its digital relationship with B2B travel professionals and adapted all its operations to the new needs and expectations of MICE travellers as part of its Stay Safe with Meliá programme, preparing all its hotels to receive business travellers and guarantee a safe experience in the best possible health and safety conditions.

Stay Safe with Meliá has been certified by Bureau Veritas and involves the transformation of the customer experience in the context of Covid19, including a special focus on meetings and events in three fundamental areas:

  • Layouts: virtual site inspections have been enhanced, with 3D diagramming tools helping to design new layouts due to reductions in maximum capacity in event rooms. Signage has been introduced to help direct the movements of people and separation systems to ensure social distancing. Digital applications are also being promoted in the relationship between event organisers and the hotel.
  • Additional hygiene measures: including the use of disinfectant mats, hydroalcoholic gel dispensers, the sealing of rooms after disinfection, water in glass bottles for each attendee, sealing of cutlery and frequently used items, stationery on request and a reduction in the use of decorative items.
  • Catering services: carried out in a private room or in areas specially reserved for each group and, whenever possible, using outdoor set-ups and show cooking. In addition, dishes are served in pre-prepared individual portions and coffee breaks and buffets are served by staff to avoid customers handling utensils. Take-away services are also available.

All these measures have been carried out both in compliance with new regulations and also to meet the new expectations of business travellers as indicated in the survey the company has been carrying out with event organisers. The company has surveyed more than 12,000 meeting planners all over the world, with the results mainly highlight the importance of reducing capacity, adopting social distancing measures in event room layouts and catering services, and reinforcing health and safety measures. Sustainability is now also seen as a more important factor and health certification is also highly valued.

The digitalisation of the company was also mentioned as one of its significant competitive advantages to face the changes in the industry in the “new normal" period. Thanks to the MeliáPro programme and sales channels, the company has strengthened its B2B relationship with travel professionals and is now in a more favourable position to boost a revival of business travel in its hotels. Meliá is currently also finalising the details of a new hybrid meeting concept in hotels, enabling interaction between on-site and remote attendees, and creating a solution for the reactivation of the events and meetings segment in the post-Covid19 period.

Just a few weeks ago, Meliá Pro also announced the launch of a community for travel agents on Facebook (Meliá Pro Travel Labs) to improve relationships in a virtual and secure environment and using new digital communication tools to replace traditional face-to-face meetings. The community allows travel agents to visit hotels remotely and keep up to date with company news without ever leaving home.

With the current campaign running under the tagline "When you come back, trust your events to Meliá", the company aims to stimulate activity in the MICE segment by offering maximum flexibility for group bookings, extra MeliáRewards points, and the peace of mind of staying in a hotel and hosting an event in a place with the new health and safety standards required by the Stay Safe with Meliá programme.​

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