Melia taps Accenture for digital transformationNews / DistributionBy Martin Cowen | December 1, 2014Share This article was originally published on Another day, another digital transformation. This time it's Europe's third biggest hotel operator Melia Hotels International, earmarking Euro 100 million over the next three years.Accenture Digital will collaborate on the project. A target has been set of getting 40% of revenues to come directly through Melia's own digital channels by 2017Third-party online channels - online travel agents and tour operators - will contribute a further 25% by 2017 - in 2015 the tipping point will be reached where online is bigger than offline.Lluis Pons has been brought in to head up the "Melia Digital" project as VP of Global Digital Sales & Marketing. He joins from IAG's Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling where he was head of digital strategy and marketing.The Euro 100 million will be spent on people, technology, digital marketing, enhancing the Meliá Rewards loyalty programme, and Accenture's fee.Melia Rewards and its hotel dotcom www.melia.com are pivotal to getting to the 40% direct target. An investor presentation this August revealed, Melia Rewards has 3.4 million members.Meanwhile, Melia.com is tipped to bring in euros230 million of sales this year, up from Euro 187 million in 2013. There are 11 versions of the site existing in seven languages.Seven brands are operated by Melia Hotels International: Gran Meliá, Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Paradisus Resorts, ME by Meliá, Innside by Meliá, Tryp by Wyndham and Sol HotelsThe move by Melia comes a month or so after Accor launched its own digital revamp. Melia was more circumspect - no web cast, no detailed questions from analysts, a solitary press release rather than a folder of materials.And while Melia's spend of euros100 million over three years might seems modest compared with Accor's euros225 million over five years, Melia International has a much smaller estate - 365 hotels in 40 countries, compared with Accor's 3,500 hotels in 90+ countries.