MADRID, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Meliá Hotels CEO Gabriel Escarrer said on Tuesday he expects occupancy rates at its hotels around the world to fully recover by 2024 to pre-pandemic levels, with prices rising by a single-digit percentage.

Spain's largest hotel company plans to open new hotels in the Caribbean, Mexico, the Mediterranean, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia this year to reap the benefits of an industry that shows no signs of slowing, it said.

Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of an industry event in Madrid, the executive said they expect a good year, pointing to strong demand from key markets such as China, Japan, Korea and the rest of Asia.

Escarrer expects full-year 2023 results, which the group will publish next month, to be in line with market expectations.

Meliá's occupancy rate last year was 4% lower than in 2019, he said, without going into details. For the first nine months of the year through September, the rate stood at 59.2%.

The first five months of 2023 were affected by concerns about energy prices, which discouraged many tourists from traveling in markets such as Germany, according to Escarrer.

Corporate tourism now follows leisure in the recovery, with demand for corporate events at Meliá hotels so far this year 15% higher than a year ago.

(Reporting by Corina Pons; editing by Inti Landauro and Charlie Devereux; Spanish editing by Tomás Cobos)