The Gran Melia Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo courtesy of Gran Melia Jakarta)

Spanish Hotelier Melia to Open 15 New Hotels in Indonesia

BY :VANESHA MANUTURI

SEPTEMBER 10, 2015

Jakarta. Spanish luxury hotel chain operator Melia Hotels International plans to open as many as 15 new hotels across Indonesia within the next three years, anticipating a spike in local tourists on the back the nation's expanding middle class.

"China and Indonesia are key countries for Melia Hotels International in the region... In the next three years, we want to add 30 more hotels in the Asia Pacific, half of which will be in Indonesia," Bernardo Cabot Estarellas, regional senior vice president of Melia Hotels International in the Asia Pacific region, said in Jakarta on Thursday.

"We have to have more presence in Jakarta and in other main cities in the country. We must also have more resorts. Indonesia has great potential and we know the country very well," he added, declining to mention exactly how much the hotel chain is setting aside to achieve its targets.

Through several local partners, including publicly-listed Surya Semesta Internusa and Podo Joyo Mashyur, Melia currently operates 13 hotels across Indonesia, offering 4,000 rooms, with an occupancy rate of between 68 percent and 69 percent.

Some of Melia's hotels in Southeast Asia's largest economy include the Gran Melia in Jakarta and Innside Makassar, South Sulawesi.

The Spanish hotelier, which opened a regional office in Jakarta two years ago, is already in negotiations to build 10 hotels in the archipelago, according to Estarellas.

"Within the next month, we will have another signing ceremony in Indonesia," he added.

Melia is scheduled to open up to six new hotels in the country over the next six months, which include Innside Legian and the Innside Yogyakarta, Estarellas said.

As the company prepares to start launching new hotels next year, Estrellas brushed off any concerns over the current sluggish economic pace, saying that Indonesia remains a relevant market.

He also emphasized that the company is targeting to attract domestic tourists.

"The domestic market is critical. In the past, we were looking for international hotels for the international market. But not anymore; most of our visitors here are Indonesians," he added.

The number of Indonesians staying at star-rated hotels reached 41.4 million last year, up 8 percent from 2013 at 38.2 million, according to data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS).

In comparison, there were some 10.2 million foreigners staying at star-rated hotels in Indonesia last year, up 7 percent from 9.5 million in the year before.

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