Massive growth for the French-based industry giant
2015 was an historic year for AccorHotels in terms of new openings, now opening 2 hotels every 3 days. We asked Gaurav Bhushan Global Chief Development Officer – AccorHotels to explain this extraordinary performance.
In 2015, we opened more than 36,000 new rooms in the world (229 new hotels), excluding acquisitions, which represents +20% versus last year.
We broke our own record, we had never opened so many rooms before, and 54,000 rooms were signed in 2015 to be opened in the upcoming years. Europe (+3,500 rooms versus last year) and Asia Pacific (+2,100 rooms) made it possible. Asia Pacific is still in pull position, boosting AccorHotels worldwide development with 39% of rooms opened (14,000 new rooms) and 41% of rooms signed (21,800 new rooms). This booming region represents near 50% of AccorHotels secured pipeline i.e. 64,400 out of 132,900 rooms.
IN 2015, WE OPENED MORE THAN 36,000 NEW ROOMS IN THE WORLD (229 NEW HOTELS), EXCLUDING ACQUISITIONS, WHICH REPRESENTS +20% VERSUS LAST YEAR.
The Middle East shows full potential with remarkable deals that occurred in Saudi Arabia, thanks to the partnership sealed with the Alessayi Group (6 new hotels and 1,650 rooms), and the agreement signed with Al Rajhi Group for the “Mekkah Al Maseem” biggest hotel cluster in the world (3 AccorHotels and 2,500 rooms), meeting religious tourism expectations.
Big news with AccorHotels’ signing of an agreement to take over running of FRHI. How important is this strategically and why?
Indeed, AccorHotels signed in 2015 an agreement with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) of Saudi Arabia and Oxford Properties, an Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) company, for the acquisition for US$2,9 billion of FRHI Holdings Ltd (FRHI), parent of the most prestigious global luxury hotel brands: Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel. The Group will integrate an unrivalled hotel portfolio of 155 hotels and 56,000 rooms to its already existing 3,900 hotels and 510,000 rooms.
It is highly strategic because it strengthens our presence and expertise in the Luxury segment with strong iconic brands. It significantly strengthens our position in the North American market with flagship properties in key cities. It allows us to leverage high-end client databases, mostly US-based. It helps us build a new global brand architecture to address strong growth market potential. And it creates significant synergies thanks to shared expertise, distribution platform and loyalty programs.
What does your recent strategic alliance with Huazhu in China mean?
Huazu is now the Master Franchisee of AccorHotels for Mercure, ibis Styles and ibis in China, Tawain and Mongolia. Novotel and Grand Mercure (Mei Jue) will be developed and operated by both AccorHotels and Huazu under a co-development agreement. Huazhu also owns a 29,3% in AccorHotels’ luxury and upscale platform for China, developing and operating Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery by Sofitel. To end with, AccorHotels has a 10,8% stake in Huazhu and one representative to China Lodging Group’s Board of Directors. The combined hotel networks represent more than 6,500 hotels worldwide and the 2 loyalty programs have more than 75 million members.
ASIA PACIFIC IS STILL IN PULL POSITION, BOOSTING ACCORHOTELS WORLDWIDE DEVELOPMENT WITH 39% OF ROOMS OPENED AND 41% OF ROOMS SIGNED
The objective is to enhance synergies in the largest inbound market and soon-to-be the largest outbound market. It will accelerate AccorHotels’ development in the world’s biggest hospitality market, adding an average of 80 properties per year to the Group network. It will give AccorHotels access to the Chinese domestic market thanks to Huazu powerful distribution tool and loyalty programme, as well as bringing a growing number of Chinese travellers in AccorHotels worldwide.
Could you please tell us more about AccorHotels Group’s development strategy?
Geographically speaking, AccorHotels development strategy is built around a 2-strong approach: be present in all major markets and gateway cities of all regions around the world (Europe, ASPAC, Americas, Middle-East) and continue its rapid expansion in emerging countries for all brand segments, especially in China, Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia, subSaharan Africa & Iran.
MOST REMARKABLE OPENINGS
- MGALLERY CURES MARINES TROUVILLE, 103 rooms, France
McGallery Cures Marines, Trouville
- PULLMAN THE PARK LANE HONG KONG, 834 rooms, China
- PULLMAN DUBAI GRAND HOTEL JUMEIRAH LAKE, 354 rooms, United Arab Emirates
- MAHA CIPTA (GRAND MERCURE) JAKARTA KEMAYORAN, 505 rooms, Indonesia
- NOVOTEL MUENCHEN CITY ARNULFPARK, 204 rooms, Germany
- MERCURE ISTANBUL TOPKAPI, 204 rooms, Turkey
- MAMA SHELTER LOS ANGELES, 70 rooms, USA
- IBIS RIO COPACABANA, 231 rooms, Brazil