Melia Hotels chief executive Gabriel Escarrer said on Tuesday he expected occupancy rates at its hotels globally to fully recover in 2024 to pre-pandemic levels, with prices increasing a "single-digit" percentage.
Spain's largest hotel company expects to open new hotels in the Caribbean, Mexico, the Mediterranean, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia this year to reap benefits from an industry that shows no signs of slowing down, he said.
"Overall we think it will be a good year," he told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry event in Madrid, pointing to strong demand from key markets such as China, Japan, Korea and the rest of Asia.
Escarrer expected the 2023 financial year results, which the group is due to release next month, to be in line with market expectations.
Melia's occupancy rate last year was 4% lower than in 2019, he said, without going into details. In the nine months through September, the rate stood at 59.2%.
The first five months of 2023 were impacted by concerns over energy prices that discouraged many tourists from travelling in markets such as Germany, according to Escarrer.
Corporate tourism is now following leisure tourism in recovering, with demand for corporate events at Melia Hotels so far this year 15% higher than a year ago.
Melia Hotels International
Founded in 1956 in Mallorca (Spain), Melia Hotels International has a portfolio of more than 400 hotels (portfolio and pipeline), throughout more than 40 countries, and 10 brands.
Melia's strategic focus on international growth has allowed it to be the first Spanish hotel company with presence in key markets such as China, Middle East or the US, as well as maintaining a presence in traditional markets such as Europe, Latin America or the Caribbean.
Article by Reuters, additional reporting by Hospitality Ireland.