WTM 2018: Magaluf ‘reborn’ as family destination, says Melia boss

Melia Hotels International’s chief executive claims Magaluf has been “reborn” following a huge investment to transform the destination into a family friendly haven.

The hotelier’s management first pledged to give Magaluf a “second chance” back in 2012, as it looked to change the resort’s profile from being a partygoer’s paradise to a high-end family destination.

The transformation of the destination has paid off, according to Gabriel Escarrer, executive vice president and chief executive of Melia. He said the investment in driving the standard of hotel accommodation in the area had encouraged more families and couples to travel to Magaluf. Melia has spent just shy of €250million to transform its 11 hotels in the area around Magaluf, totalling more than 3,500 rooms.

Statistics revealed by Melia at WTM show that 80% of visitors to the island are now families, adult travellers or couples. Less than 17% of visitors in 2018 were young people or students, compared to 22% in 2016. Antisocial behaviour has dropped too, with 41% less clients removed from hotels in comparison with 2017.

Escarrer said the addition and modernisation of external facilities such as shopping centres, restaurants and beach clubs, had also had a positive effect.

He said: “We’ve been working very closely with local authorities to transform Magaluf. We believed it deserved a second chance and we have invested €248million in the area to drive a more premium offering.

“We wanted to make Magaluf one of the best destinations in the Mediterranean, and a place that Mallorcan people can feel proud of.

“The area has been reborn, showcasing all the offerings that make a destination attractive for travellers, investors and workers in the tourism industry.”

“We are seeing more families coming to Magaluf, which is exactly what we wanted,” he added. “We wanted to move Magaluf away from hooliganism.

According to the Palmanova-Magaluf Hotel Association, Magaluf now boasts the highest percentage of four and five star hotels in Mallorca, with 66% of hotels under that star rating (a figure which is expected to rise to 70% by 2020).

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