Spain’s Melia Hotels swung to a sharp annual loss in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic put global travel into hibernation, the company said on Thursday, while projecting that demand will begin to pick up from the second quarter.

“I’m confident that the worst is behind us and that we can have a very positive summer season,” Chief Executive Gabriel Escarrer said.

The Mallorca-based firm posted a net loss of 595.9 million euros ($728.67 million), from a profit of 222.8 million euros in 2019, while revenues slumped 71% to 528.4 million.

But progress with vaccinations and treatment of the coronavirus should drive a gradual recovery in the second quarter and the company said it is “moderately optimistic” about a strong increase in bookings from May-June.

 (Reporting by Nathan Allen, editing by Andrei Khalip)

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Photo Credit: A Melia Hotel in Torremolinos, Spain. The chain hopes that it will begin to turn around its fortunes in Q2 2021. Melia Hotels