Melia and UNICEF Renew Alliance


Melia and UNICEF signed a three-year agreement at the end of 2010 to work together on projects focused on preventing child exploitation.

The President of UNICEF Spanish Committee, Consuelo Crespo, and the Vice-president and CEO of Melia Hotels International, Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, signed an agreement on 21 November in which both organisations renew the successful strategic alliance forged three year ago which, in the words of Escarrer, "exceeded all expectations, both in terms of fundraising, which was double the target, and of raising awareness about the need to protect children and prevent their exploitation."

Since the beginning of the agreement, the company has helped raise more than €1.3 million mainly from guests and personnel, more than double the target of €600,000. Also, more than 38,000 Melia employees throughout the world have received special training.

A total of 220 hotels (75% of the company portfolio) in 22 countries participated in the programme by way of the "Solidarity Check-in"; an initiative in which guests were invited to donate €1 to UNICEF on the first night of their stay at the hotel. Melia’s employees also took part in the "Solidarity Wages," through which they could donate part of their wages to UNICEF, thus giving them a reason to feel proud of belonging to the company.

The 2011-2013 alliance centred on the Dominican Republic, where the hotel company has several resorts, but UNICEF and Melia now want to deepen their collaboration and have renewed the alliance for the period 2014-2016 with a special focus on Asia, where Melia is growing strongly. The hotel company aims to accompany this growth with a clear commitment to child protection. In the words of Consuelo Crespo: "The growth of tourism in developing countries must take into account the needs of children and the commitment of leading companies such as Melia, which act as a powerful and important ’driver’ for the rest of the industry, can help much to improve their lives and future, as well as setting an example. That is why we appreciate the efforts made by Melia to help improve the lives of millions of vulnerable children." In addition, the president of the Spanish Committee stressed that Melia is a partner who clearly satisfies the criteria of economic contribution, commitment, communication and change.

As new feature of this renewed agreement, a part of the proceeds (the "Solidarity Wage" from Spanish employees) will go to finance an impact study on Spanish children, while part of the "Solidarity Check-in" will go towards fighting child exploitation in another country in Latin America.