Accor kicked off the year with plans for a host of new hotel openings in North & Central America and around the world.
And although 2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges – not the least of which were felt among the travel and hospitality sectors – Accor maintained a steady pace of development and continued to sign new projects, leading to a robust roster of new hotel openings throughout 2021.
Agnes Roquefort, global chief development officer, said that: “As we are all too familiar, 2020 had a profound impact on our day-to-day lives and the hospitality industry as a whole; even so, the early stages of a global rebound will be material and significant.”
Roquefort continued: “Despite the delays and temporary closures we experienced due to the pandemic, we continued to experience sustained momentum across our development pipeline and are optimistic that the worldwide rollout of COVID-19 vaccines will lead to renewed trust in travel and a much greater sense of personal safety for the entire global population.”
The company notes that its sound financial capacity, worldwide reach, and unrivalled portfolio of brands not only kept the company in a solid position to weather the challenges of 2020, but its development capabilities and organizational model allowed the Group to focus on providing support and service to its owners, developers and partners.
The lifestyle category is set to be one of Accor’s most vibrant segments over the coming years, with the number of lifestyle hotel openings expected to triple by 2023.
Moreover, Accor’s lifestyle segment currently accounts for roughly five percent of the Group’s annual revenue, while representing 25% of the company’s development pipeline by value.
The recently announced joint venture with Ennismore, expected to close in Q2 2021, will contribute to a richly diverse platform set to become even more exciting this year with uniquely stylish new properties opening their doors, including SLS Cancun Hotel & Residences; Mondrian Shoreditch London; JO&JOE Vienna Westbahnhof; SO/ Sotogrande Resort & Spa in southern Spain; SLS Dubai and 25hours Dubai.
Accor’s luxury segment will also make headlines in 2021 with Fairmont seeing the much-anticipated opening of Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles, along with Fairmont Windsor in England; Carton House, a Fairmont managed hotel in Dublin; Fairmont Ramla Riyadh; Fairmont Ambassador Seoul; and Fairmont Tagazhout Bay in Morocco. Banyan Tree Doha will open in Qatar and new Raffles properties will debut in Udaipur and Jeddah. Sofitel will bring French sophistication to several new destinations including Seoul, Hangzhou, and Adelaide.
Heather McCrory, CEO, Accor North & Central America, pointed out that: “For the past five years, Accor has experienced record-breaking growth across North & Central America, favorably positioning the Group as the second largest operator of luxury hotels and the fastest growing operator of lifestyle hotels in the United States.”
McCrory continued: “The pandemic slowed down our industry, there is no doubt, but there are still strategic opportunities for expansion through conversions and new developments, especially for brands that offer a differentiated, meaningful guest experience, backed by a company such as Accor with a strong loyalty program, powerful distribution and operating and franchising expertise.”
Accor reports that conversion opportunities also presented themselves in 2020 and will continue to be a growth driver in 2021 and beyond, as the company has emerged as the partner of choice among independent hotel owners attracted to the company’s renowned flexibility and ease of transition, its unmatched spectrum of brands, and its welcoming culture that celebrates authenticity, diversity and entrepreneurialism.
Across the Group’s brand portfolio, leading brands for conversion opportunities include The House of Originals (Luxury), MGallery (Upper Premium), Mövenpick (Premium), Grand Mercure (Premium), Mercure (Midscale), ibis Styles (Economy) and greet (Budget). Not surprisingly, these seven brands account for 43% of Accor’s opening pipeline over the next five years.
It also emphasizes that all of the Group’s new properties are expected to open in full compliance with Accor’s ALLSAFE hygiene and cleanliness label. The ALLSAFE label was established by Accor in mid-2020 to give guests the assurance of a third-party verified standard of hotel cleanliness and hygienic requirements.
These standards were developed with and vetted by Bureau Veritas, a world leader in operational testing, inspections and certifications.
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