Spain’s biggest hospitality chain Meliá Hotels International wants to step up its growing presence in the region, with John Alarcon, vice president for development in Asia-Pacific, revealing Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong and Singapore as the top four cities on its expansion wish-list.
"We opened our first hotel in the region in Bali in 1986… and presently have 15 hotels in this part of the world," he told TTG Asia. "But Asia has become the focus of our business in our most recent three-year strategic plan, which started in 2016.
"We have 21 projects opening in Asia in the next three years and the target is to have 60 properties operational by the end of 2018."
Meliá Hotels has set up a commercial office in Tokyo and is looking into opportunities in Japan.
Alarcon added the company is confident that Japan’s inbound tourism market will continue growing and that Meliá Hotels' loyal customer base worldwide will opt to stay with them in Japan.
"We have seven different brands and (would like) to have one of our luxury, upscale properties in Tokyo, one in Osaka, which is important as both a leisure and a business market, and resort hotels in Okinawa or Hokkaido, Kyoto or Fukuoka.
"Ideally, we would open first in Tokyo, but we are flexible and if another opportunity came up, we would be ready to take that course," he added.