2015 was a record year for AccorHotels, the world’s leading hotel operator with over 3,900 hotels and 510,000 rooms in 92 countries. Last year, the Group opened 229 new hotels or a total of 36,172 rooms, at a rate of two hotels every three days.
At the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) 2016, Global Chief Development Officer for AccorHotels, Gaurav Bhushan, comments, “2015 was a historic year for AccorHotels’ expansion. We crossed the symbolic milestone of half a million rooms with a 20% increase in the number of openings last year! We have a record pipeline of 160,000 rooms, and our objective is to maintain profitable expansion, strengthen our presence in the countries where we are leaders and rapidly acquire market share in emerging markets.”
Geographically speaking, the accelerated expansion drive focused on Asia Pacific with 39% of rooms opened (14,000 new rooms) and Europe with 37% (13,500 new rooms). The year also featured remarkable openings in key markets like the Pullman The Park Lane Hong Kong (834 rooms), the Pullman Roissy CDG (305 rooms) or the Novotel Muenchen City Arnulfpark (204 rooms) as well as landmark deals such as the signing of 50 hotels in Angola, strategic partnerships with Alesayi Group (1,650 rooms) and Al Rajhi Investment Group (2,500 rooms) in Saudi Arabia, the opening of the Pullman Cayo Coco (518 rooms) in Cuba and of the Novotel and ibis Ikia (492 rooms) in Teheran, in Iran.
92% of expansion was through franchise and management contracts, reflecting the strength of the brand portfolio and the Group’s appeal among hotel investors.
Though the breakdown by segment is generally well-balanced, this year Mercure posted the strongest growth with 59 new hotels, followed by ibis, which added 44 new establishments to its network and then by Pullman with opened 17 new addresses.
At the end of December 2015, the Group had a pipeline of 160,000 rooms and close to 50% is located in Asia Pacific which is the Group’s real engine of organic growth. After opening 23,000 rooms in 2013, 30,000 in 2014, 36,000 in 2015, and with over 54,000 rooms already signed for over the last few months, the Group’s expansion is set to continue at a robust pace in the coming period.
The Group has also taken action to bolster its expertise in the luxury sector with an agreement with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) of Saudi Arabia and Oxford Properties, for the acquisition of FRHI that holds 155 prestigious establishments under the Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel brands by mid-2016.
At the beginning of 2016, AccorHotels also sealed its strategic alliance with China’s Huazhu Group, which will accelerate the expansion of its brands in China with the opening of 350 to 400 hotels over the next five years.
Focus on France
In 2015, the Group opened 44 new hotels and 3,843 rooms in Paris and the French provinces i.e. a 75% increase compared with 2014. France continues to show strong growth even though it is a mature market with a pipeline of 50 hotels in the upcoming years. The franchised non-standardized model is especially appreciated as attested by the opening of four MGallery hotels, 12 Mercure addresses and 11 ibis Styles establishments this year.
HotelInvest’s strategy also involves boosting hotel development through ownership mode with two key projects at the Paris airports: Pullman and ibis Styles Paris Roissy CDG combo (305 rooms each, 710 rooms in total) and “Coeur d’Orly” with a 120-room Novotel, 150-room ibis budget and 400-room ibis.
A 150-room SO/Sofitel establishment has been sealed with Emerige as part of the “Réinventer Paris” (Reinvent Paris) project. It consists of the conversion into a hotel of the Sully Morland Prefecture building in Paris’ 4th district.
KEY OPENINGS IN 2015 AND FLAGSHIP OPENINGS IN 2016
Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit
The hotel is the third Pullman in the ‘City of Angels’ featuring 325 spacious and beautifully designed rooms to the region’s most dynamic upscale hotel brand. The hotel showcases a highly visible sail-shaped glass façade, a range of room styles from deluxe rooms to executive suites and a presidential suite as well as 2 restaurants, a deli lounge, a cocktail bar, outdoor pool, well-equipped gym and extensive spa. There are great facilities for functions or celebrations, with ten meeting rooms including a pillarless grand ballroom for up to 500 guests.
Novotel Manila Araneta Center – Philippines
This establishment, Novotel’s first in the Philippines, opened in October 2015. Its strategic location in a lively district in the city of Quezon appeals to both business and leisure travelers. With 401 rooms and suites, the hotel is currently Quezon’s largest hotel. It boasts a sky bar with a 360 degree view of the city, two restaurants, a spa, a swimming pool and a kids play area. For events and seminars, the hotel has six meeting rooms, a ballroom and a 2,500m² garden.
SO Sofitel Hua Hin – Thailand: opening summer 2016
SO Sofitel Hua Hin’s ‘Imaginative Escape’ concept combines the destination’s style and the resort’s soul. Hua Hin has long been known as an aristocratic retreat – making it the perfect destination for luxury accommodation with a sense of refinement and a nostalgic seaside charm. The resort will especially appeal to design enthusiasts and trendsetters hoping to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 – Thailand: opening Spring 2016
This 244-room hotel in the bustling neighborhood of Sukhumvit will offer guests a perfect living space in the heart of the capital. It boasts a rooftop bar on the 26th floor, two restaurants, a pool and bar on the 9th floor, and 11 meeting rooms or a total of 600m2 for business events.
Mercure Maldives Koodoo Resort – Maldives: opening in 2016
The latest Mercure Resort will open by the end of 2016 in the southern Maldives in the Gaafu Alifu Atoll. Featuring architecture inspired by local Maldives culture, the establishment will comprise 68 villas in an idyllic setting with a spectacular view of the lagoon and white sand beaches. The hotel’s all-day restaurant, swimming pool, bars, spa, fitness room and selection of watersports, including scuba diving, will ensure that guests enjoy an unforgettable stay at AccorHotels’ first address in the Maldives.