Jean-Jacques Morin has been President of the division that includes Accor's Economy, Midscale and Premium brands since early 2023. He shares the challenges facing Europe's number one hotel group and the opportunities offered by the sector.

What is your role in Accor’s new organisation?

Since January 1st, I have been the happy president of the division in Accor which is regrouping premium, midscale, and economy brands. It is the heart of what we do at Accor, 90% of the hotels and 75% of the fee revenues. This division regroups 18 brands including ibis, Novotel, and Pullman. Those 3 brands constitute about 50% of the turnover, they are very significant.

I would like to pay tribute to Mr. Dubrule and Pélisson who created those brands about 50 years ago. They were both pioneers and I want to pay them a special tribute.

What is your roadmap for this large scope of hotels?

To summarise it, we have a vision, we want hospitality excellence. We are today hospitality excellence, but we want even more hospitality excellence. We have the advantage of having a team of people at all levels, whether they are in headquarters or in the hotels, who have an extreme dedication. They enhance the level of recognition, of stickiness and brand equity that we have been able to build along the time on our brands.

What matters in brand management, is length. You just want to ensure consistency, progression. In Australia, Brazil, we are getting the fruits of having been there for a long time and having developed a deep-rooted network of owners and people working for us.

What, in your opinion, will be the driver of value creation for brands? You have those legacy brands with a historical track record, but there are also new brands, what would be the right way to develop the footprint of Accor worldwide?

I think that we have workforces, brands that today generate a lot of volume and business. Apart from those free brands, we also have Mövenpick, Mercure…

Post Covid, we want to revive those brands. Indeed, the way end customers would look today at a hotel has changed. People used to look for a room, a shower, and to be exactly where they were thinking they would be.

Things have changed, people were burnt by the Covid crisis, they want to see something different. We are to revitalize those brands and give them a little bit of lifestyle and tone. That will translate for instance by reviving the F&B approach. We can do better and more on that topic. People will value that.

There is also a difficulty to find the right financing today on the market. The financial crisis is not resolved. Anything around conversion, will play a role in development. Accor is by far the large group which chooses the most conversion. About 50% of our openings is coming from conversion. It has to do with where those brands were born. We were born in a place where new builds can be a challenge.

Revenge travel gave the industry the opportunity to really perform well, how do you project yourself in the coming years?

I think we have a unique opportunity to surf that wave because the business is strong. This will give us the benefit of all the toolboxes we have been putting in place to deliver value for the last 5 to 7 years.

We have been moving from a very French group to a much more international. To a midscale and eco portfolio to a much more balanced one. We also transformed into an asset light company. All those changes were accompanied to get the brand recognition worldwide.

We are now getting out of Covid, the business is very strong, and we just want to surf that wave, using the toolbox, and get the benefit of it.

ESG will be even more important than what people may think, it will be paramount to our success. It starts with having the right elements to put in place, the right strategy. One of the difficulties that everybody is facing, in any industry, is the lack of data that can lead to greenwashing. That is why we decided the invest in tools for all our properties to measure.

As the old saying states ‘if you don’t measure, you don’t’ improve’. This tool will provide the asset owners the elements they need, to understand their carbon footprint. Once you have the information, you can act. This will allow us to compare, to develop strategies and to push down acts to the properties.

 

Measurement is missing in something where everybody agrees on what is right. What is right is to do something, but what?

 

What is your mindset for this year, in your new role?

I am quite relaxed because we have everything lining up. The rebound, which is an extremely good playground to push things forward. We have the toolbox, I mentioned before. And I think we have the right team, the right spirit, a tremendous willingness from everybody in this company to prove that they can do their job normally and, even better, extraordinarily.

All of that combined, makes it a perfect alignment of stars to move forward and deliver value.

Accor

Accor

Hotel Group

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