Senior Spanish hotel executives are planning new openings throughout the world as demand exceeds pre-pandemic levels, but others are wary that economic and other issues might still cloud the business growth and success. A fantastic 2022 highlighted by tourists resuming flights has led to increased hotel rates, while the MICE and corporate travel sectors have also returned to normal, executives said at a series of press briefings at Madrid’s FITUR travel expo. Some were concerned about growing prices, a labor shortage, and the potential long-term implications of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“I’m prudently optimistic as we go into 2023 and I expect that this year will see a total recovery in the sector,” said Gabriel Escarrer, the CEO of Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Spain’s biggest hotel group with more than 380 hotels in four continents and who was most bullish on the sector’s prospects.
“At the moment, we’re seeing room reservations in Spain up by 30 percent over this time last year and 23 percent above pre-Covid 2019. Globally, those figures are up by 35 percent compared to 2022 and 40 percent over 2019,” he said.
Average room rates were up by 20 percent over last year and 30 percent higher than in 2019.
“Our goals for the coming year include attracting and retaining employees, consolidating our commitment to sustainability, and expanding our international presence.”
Last year, the Mallorca-based company added 32 hotels totaling 7,500 rooms, primarily in Vietnam, making it the country’s second-largest hotel operator. There were also five new properties in Spain, nine in the rest of Europe, and two in Brazil, as well as agreements inked for an additional 33 properties totaling 8,200 rooms.
This year, at least 25 Meliá hotels will open in 14 countries, including a Gran Meliá in Nha Trang, Vietnam. The group will also establish two new hotels in Albania, which Escarrer called a “destination of special interest for our company.”
The CEO also introduced two new brands, Zel and Falcon’s Resorts, which he characterized as “lifestyle-oriented,” increasing the chain’s total number of brands to 10.
Qatar Airways Unveils Extensive Expansion of its Flight Network
7,000 New Islands, Hitherto Unknown, Discovered in Japan
A New Sustainable Retreat Opening Soon in Saudi Arabia