SPAIN’S biggest hotel chain, Melia Hotels, is suing the government for €116 million in damages due to their enforced closure during last year’s first State of Alarm.

Melia has over a hundred hotels in the country with 12 establishments on the Costa del Sol and nine on the Costa Blanca, including five in the Benidorm area.

The chain was founded in 1956 and is the world’s 17th biggest with hotels in 40 countries.

A Melia spokesperson said: “Our claim is related to losses suffered as a result of the government-imposed lockdown between mid-March and late June of 2020.”

The NH Hotel group has reportedly filed a damages claim as well but the company has refused to confirm the report published in the Spanish newspaper Expansion, which also broke the news of Melia’s legal action.

Almost 15% of Spain’s total Gross Domestic Product relies on tourism which has been severely curtailed over the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

That percentage is far higher in regions which have tourism as one of their economic mainstays.

The national government has approved rescue packages for airline Air Europa and travel operator Avoris.

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