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Gabriel Escarrer Juliá receives the Kingdom of Spain Award for his business career


His Majesty the King presented the Kingdom of Spain Award today to Gabriel Escarrer Julia, Chairman of Meliá Hotels International, in recognition of his career in business. The award is organised by the Círculo de Empresarions in Madrid, the Basque Country and Catalonia.

The award ceremony took place at the Convention Centre in Palma. The awards were presided over by His Majesty the King of Spain, and was also attended by the President of the Government of the Balearic Islands, Francina Armengol, the Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, Jose Luis Escriva, the President of parliament, Vicenç de Paül Thomas, the Government Delegate in the Balearic Islands, Aina Calvo, and the Commander General of the Balearic Islands Fernando Luis Gracia Herreiz, among other authorities. The presidents of the three organisations behind the award were also present; Manuel Perez-Sala, President of the Circulo de Empresarios. Jaume Guardiola, President of the Cercle d'Economia, and José Galindez, President of the Circulo de Empresarios Vascos.

Jaume Guardiola spoke on behalf of the three organisations about Escarrer and declared: “His dedication to making Meliá the largest Spanish hotel group, an Ibex 35 company, a benchmark in the industry, a standard-bearer in the successful history of Mallorcan hotel entrepreneurs who moved from this island into mainland Spain and the Canary Islands, and then on to other parts of the world, in the process making our tourism industry a leader on a global level”. Guardiola also mentioned that: “The commitment of entrepreneurs is vital. Their function as generators of wealth and employment reinforces the foundations of a society that looks towards the future with some uncertainty”.

The jury stated that the award to Escarrer Juliá was "by virtue of his contribution to the economic and social development of Spain over several decades of hard work, creating employment, expending its activities internationally and helping improve his surroundings and the well-being of the country. Reasons that make him a benchmark for future generations”.

The jury consisted of distinguished representatives of Spanish civil society. Under the presidency of Santiago Munoz Machado, Spanish academic and Director of the Spanish Royal Academy, other members included María Blasco (Director of the National Cancer Research Institute), Juan Manuel Bonet (Director Emeritus of the Cervantes Institute), Nuria Cabuti (CEO of Penguin Random House), Jose Luis Garcia Delgado (Dr. in Law and Professor of Applied Economics), José María Guibert (Rector of the University of Deusto), Sarah de la Rica (Director of the ISEAK Foundation), Elvira Roca Barea (writer and essayist) and Miquel Roca Junyent (founding partner and president of RocaJunyent). The General Secretary of the Círculo de Empresarios, Antonio Porto, acted as secretary of the jury.

After more than six decades of hard work, Gabriel Escarrer Julia (Porreres, Mallorca, 1935) has made the company the founded at the age of 21 into an IBEX-35 company that is an indisputable benchmark in the tourism industry in Spain and in the world, with 45,000 employees and more than 380 hotels in more than 40 countries on 4 continents. In March 2020, as a result of the pandemic caused by Covid-19, Meliá Hotels International made its hotels available to the authorities so that they could be used as makeshift hospitals. It also launched the "Meliá with the Heroes" campaign which provided 10,000 hotel stays for doctors, nurses, auxiliaries and ambulance personnel, as well as security forces (national police, regional police, local police and civil guard), firefighters and emergency military units.

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