• First results of the project to reposition a mature destination;
• Key highlights: the market response and local socio-economic development.
This beautiful location became a magnet for European tourists in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, but had lost competitiveness over recent years and seen a decline in all of its socio-economic indicators.
The project has been undertaken by the hotel company through a joint venture with the company Evertaas, and aims to lay the foundations for a new tourism model that will set an example for other destinations. The main objectives are to reposition the destination by improving its urban environment and facilities while also raising the value and economic and social sustainability of the area by integrating Magaluf into the privileged surrounding coastal environment which includes marinas and luxury residential areas.
Meliá Hotels International (solmelia.com) and its partners also have the support of the Balearic Island authorities and Calviŕ Town Hall, who declared the project of "special regional interest" and have provided greater administrative flexibility and a commitment to stimulate investment and guarantees for investors through increased legal security. This all made it possible to complete the first stage of the resort development in just a few months and operate the new facilities for part of the summer season from June.
The first stage of Calviŕ Beach Resort has focused on the renovation and repositioning of the four hotels on the seafront, affecting approximately one kilometre of beach. The actions planned for the next 4 or 5 years include the renovation of other hotels, changes in their use, pedestrianisation, more improvements to complementary facilities and the construction of new urban areas and facilities, as well as the progressive incorporation of nautical, golf and sports tourism, etc. in the low season.
Achievements and challenges
After its inauguration in early June, the initial operational results of the Sol Wave House and Beach House hotels, which, along with the Wave House Mallorca – the artificial wave attraction – and Nikki Beach Mallorca – the beach club – are the real "litmus test" of the market reaction to and future viability of private sector initiatives which, like this one, aim to reinvent obsolete tourist destinations in cooperation with the public authorities.
According to the hotel chain, the most important achievements identified by Meliá Hotels International in the launch phase and initial operations are:
• Greater integration and appreciation of the area by local residents and feeder markets.
• Job creation (300 new jobs, plus maintenance of existing positions), increased business confidence and economic benefits from tourism.
• Attraction of new markets and customer segments, improvement in guest profiles and spending power: more than 43 different guest nationalities, approximately 35% Russian, and the replacement of the dominant British market with guests from Spain, Germany and Russia.
• Improvements in the destination’s image, security and international positioning (Magaluf beach).
One of the greatest achievements of the project has been the involvement of the local community which has always been kept informed and whose voice has been heard and taken into account at various stages in the project planning and development. The neighbours of the affected property, local traders and taxi drivers, have been the groups most involved, although the company would also like to highlight the positive response from the community in general and the practically unanimous support received in the numerous public meetings and open days that have been held.
In the words of the company Vice President and CEO, Gabriel Escarrer, these achievements justify important investments in the coming years, even though “there are still challenges and critical issues which we must fight for, such as the extension of improvements to the shops and food and beverage outlets in the area, and, of course, the prolongation of the tourism season to 9 or 10 months, something which is largely down to an increase in the number of flights to Mallorca in winter”.