Meliá Hotels International and the Chinese real estate group Greenland have signed an agreement to collaborate, in a bid to expand in and out of China.
As part of the agreement, Greenland will initially launch its urban hotel brand in Europe through the adaptation and re-branding of a Meliá operated hotel in Frankfurt, Germany.
The real estate group will continue to grow its urban brand in Europe and China in the short and medium term, as well as cooperating with the Spanish hotel company for development of hotels over the next few years.
Meliá inaugurated its first hotel in Shanghai, the Gran Meliá Shanghai, in 2010 and is currently finalising construction work of the Gran Meliá Xian and Meliá Chongqing.
The agreement, in the short-term, will allow Meliá to open two new hotels in 2013, with one at Jinan, Shanghai, and the other at Tianjin, near Beijing.
In the medium term, the partnership expects to assess numerous hotel development projects under successful Meliá brands, including Innside and Meliá in the city hotel business, and Paradisus in the Chinese resort hotel business.
The partnership also involves cooperation in the areas of training, global hotel distribution systems and procurement.
The companies will complement each other in the development and implementation of best practice management systems and will respond to a mutual need to expand their customer base internationally.
According to Meliá Hotels, the collaboration also aims to enhance the awareness of the hotel brands operated by both groups in the Chinese and European markets.
Meliá hotels International vice chairman and CEO Gabriel Escarrer said that in terms of both in and outbound travel, China was set to become the largest market in the near future.
"The presence of the Meliá brands are key to our success in the Asia Pacific region and for our business and resort hotels in the rest of the world," Escarrer said.