On the heels of a recent tour through Vietnam, the CEO and COO of Meliá Hotels International, one of the largest international hotel players in Vietnam, are doubling down on efforts to nurture the next generation of hospitality professionals from north to south.
“Throughout our more than 65-year history, we have always prioritized our people, their talents and their wellbeing. Training, education, and growth opportunities are a big part of what we offer all Meliá employees,” said Meliá CEO Gabriel Escarrer Jaume.
Meliá Hotels International, has committed to providing substantial educational opportunities and hands-on training to Vietnamese students through a new collaboration with VinUniversity. Under this collaboration, Meliá and the Hanoi-based university will help raise the bar of Vietnam’s hospitality industry by providing growth opportunities at a university level.
The Spanish hotel group plans to offer internships for talented students at their properties throughout Vietnam and globally in more than 40 countries, support Future Leader Development programs, and create a mentorship program to help elevate the level of human capital of Vietnam. In addition to these initiatives, there are also plans in the works for Meliá team members to lecture in select university classes, undertake joint research projects and develop academic industry programs, workshops, and events.
“Through this collaboration we’ll be able to bring our knowledge and expertise to a wider audience that will, as a result, benefit Vietnam’s hospitality industry as it continues to grow,” said Jaume.
Jaume’s tour through Vietnam with the company’s COO, Andre Gerondeau, also included meetings with Spain’s ambassador to the country as well as meetings with its main business partners.
“Vietnam is a very important market for us and keeping a strong and close relationship with our partners comes first. As soon as travel restrictions eased we booked our tickets here,” said Gerondeau. “Our Vietnam portfolio [including both operating and pipeline] now represents 60% of our total portfolio in Southeast Asia.”
Meliá’s ambitions in the country prompted the relocation of the company’s main office for Southeast Asia to Ho Chi Minh City in late 2019.
Meliá has big expansion plans for Vietnam. The hotel group currently operates six properties under the Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Sol by Meliá, and INNSiDE by Meliá brands, in addition to the Meliá Vinpearl properties. The group has also announced plans for four new hotels and resorts that are expected to open in the next three years.
The Gran Meliá brand, the Meliá brand which epitomizes Spanish luxury, is set to make its debut in 2023. Gran Meliá Nha Trang will be the first Gran Meliá property in Vietnam, and the second in Southeast Asia. Meliá Nha Trang is also set to open next year. In 2025, Meliá Quy Nhon Beach Resort will debut on the country’s central coast.
“Vietnam has become the most important destination in Southeast Asia for Meliá Hotels International in terms of hotel portfolio,” said Jaume. “We have absolute faith in the country as a leading resort destination.”