Gabriel Escarrer, CEO of Meliá Hotels International.

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The annual ranking of the 50 Best CEOs in Spain published by Forbes magazine places Gabriel Escarrer, executive vice-president and CEO of Meliá Hotels International, in ninth position. This is the ranking for 2021, described as a "year of challenges". These centred on the reactivation of the economy and adaptation to the pandemic as well as on global events, such as the supply crisis, escalating energy prices and geopolitical tensions.

Escarrer is the only representative of the tourism sector in the Top 10, Forbes highlighting the resilience of a sector directly affected by fear of the pandemic and restrictions on mobility. Meliá experienced a partial recovery from the third quarter of the year, which it hopes to consolidate during 2022.

The Omicron variant proved to be another challenge, its impact coming late in 2021. Even so, Meliá closed the year with a strong recovery in terms of revenue. This was one aspect taken into account by the ranking jury, as were the company's strategic orientation towards digitalisation, sustainability and the quality of its product, with a clear commitment to the superior and luxury segment.

Gabriel Escarrer says that the ranking is an "enormous recognition". This is especially so because 2021 was a difficult year, one of transition and almost of rebirth. The recognition "gives satisfaction that undoubtedly stimulates us to continue striving so that the tourism sector leads the recovery in Spain and once again contributes its full potential to the country's economy and employment".