The founder of Meliá Hotels International, Gabriel Escarrer Julià, was distinguished for his professional career with the Gold Medal 2021 in an event organized by the College of Economists of the Balearic Islands within the framework of the celebration of the XIX edition of the Diada del Economistes 2021 .

This year’s edition had as its central axis the challenge of economists in the post-covid era and was attended by academics, businessmen and public officials.

Escarrer Julià was born in 1935 in Porreres. His parents were farmers, a humble family without many resources. When the future hotelier was five years old, they moved to Palma, where the boy studied and later learned French and English. At the age of 21, he rented a small hotel in Son Armadans with 60 rooms together with his wife Ana María.

This is how this story began, which has several milestones: in 1990, Meliá was the first international chain to sign a contract to manage a hotel in Cuba and in 1996 it became the first European hotel company to go public.

Entrepreneurs Juan José Hidalgo (Air Europa), Abel Matutes (Grupo Matutes) and Gabriel Barceló (Barceló Hotels) were some of the winners in past editions.

Gabriel Escarrer Julià, founder of Meliá Hotels International. Photo: Meliá Hotels International.