The award comes as the hotel company bids farewell to 2009, a year marked by crisis but nevertheless with “more highlights than lowlights”. The company describes the changes since 1993 – the year it received the first Prince Felipe award – as a revolution in management, brands and values. The commitment to quality, innovation and improvements in competitiveness, key factors in achievement of the award.
Palma de Mallorca – On 13 December, 2009, the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade announced the decision of the jury for the Prince Felipe Business Excellence Awards. The award in the Tourism Excellence category went to Sol Meliá, the leading hotel company in Spain. The decision means that Sol Meliá became the first Spanish company to receive the most important prize for the tourism industry for the second time.
The prize recognises the achievements of a company over 54 years at the forefront of the Spanish and international hotel industry, a company that over the last few years in particular has focused intensely on the implementation of the most modern and innovative features and facilities in its hotels, greater brand recognition, the most advanced service concepts and a commitment to sustainability and social and cultural responsibility which led to certification as the first “Biosphere Hotel Company”, amongst many other awards.
Attributes of the award
The candidacy describes Sol Meliá by highlighting a number of attributes that characterise its leadership: improvements in quality, commitment to competitiveness and innovation, globalisation and entry in new markets, as well as the company’s social and environmental commitments.
The most important milestones in improved competitiveness have been achieved through a consistent brand equity strategy (Paradisus, Gran Meliá, Me, Meliá, Innside, Tryp, and Sol) and customer relationship and online sales projects. With regards to globalisation, one of Sol Meliá’s most prominent characteristics, the company has opened up new markets such as Bali, where it has developed a model of sustainable tourism over a period of 25 years, and it is proud of the more than 80 nationalities amongst its employees, representing the name of the Spanish hotel chain in 30 different countries. In December the company began operations in China with the opening of its first hotel, the Gran Meliá Shanghai.
With regard to the company contribution to the preservation and improvement of natural and cultural heritage, Sol Meliá presented a thorough report focusing on sustainability and social and cultural responsibility in its hotels and corporate offices. This focus has led to the company being certified as a Biosphere Hotel Company by the Institute of Responsible Tourism, supported by UNESCO.
The award comes at the end of a difficult year due to the impact of the international economic crisis in 2009, the management of which, however, is a source of pride for the company Vice Chairman, Sebastián Escarrer: “2009 has tested our management ability, our capacity to reinvent our model and our values, and we have come out of it much stronger, more innovative, and more committed to sustainability. This prize is a reward for this effort and encourages us to continue to improve”.
Sol Meliá will be presented with the award on 3 February, 2010, fifteen years after receiving it for the first time, in an event to be attended by Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Asturias.
Picture: Carstino Delmonte/ Touristikpresse.net