Gabriel Escarrer at the Fitur fair. | @MeliaHotelsInt

At a presentation at the Fitur tourism fair in Madrid on Thursday, the CEO of Mallorca-based Meliá Hotels International, Gabriel Escarrer, expressed confidence in the global tourism recovery and in the company getting back to pre-pandemic revenue levels by the end of 2023 or beginning of 2024.

In the immediate short term, Escarrer acknowledged that the first quarter of the year will be difficult. But the situation for the second and third quarters is more optimistic, once the sixth wave of the pandemic passes. Meliá bookings for Easter and the summer are currently 11% higher than in 2019.

He wished to convey a clear message of optimism about the tourism recovery during the year. "We expect that, throughout 2022, revenue and occupancy levels of 2019 can be recovered in vacation hotels, which account for 61% of our portfolio. In urban hotels, the recovery will be delayed a little longer until 2023."

For Escarrer, "winning companies in the post-pandemic era" will be those which have committed to sustainability. In the case of Meliá, this is strengthened by a commitment to the luxury segment and lifestyle brands and experiences. "We look forward to 2022 with great hope but also with great care. The most important thing is that our clients continue to have the desire to travel. Together, we all have to learn to live with the virus and, as far as possible, gradually adopt a certain normality that I believe will become more evident throughout this year."