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Rapid expansion for Accor in the luxury and lifestyle sectors across the Asia Pacific region

Accor Group’s third quarter report showed strong growth with performances varying by region. Europe was relatively resilient, while Asia-Pacific recorded a slight decline, mainly due to the environment in China. Nonetheless its management and franchise division in Asia-Pacific showed strong growth driven by the development of the network.

With Accor Group’s third quarter 2019 revenue at €1,049 million, up 10.9% as reported and 4.1% on a like-for-like basis, RevPAR increased by 0.7% with performances varying by region. Europe was relatively resilient (+1.2%), while Asia-Pacific recorded a slight decline (-1.1%), mainly due to the environment in China. However, Asia-Pacific posted brisk growth in management and franchise revenue of 9.1% on a like-for-like basis over 2018. Growth was driven by the development of the network and by the reopening of the Fairmont in Singapore. The implications of the trade tensions between China and the United States, along with the unrest in Hong Kong, caused market conditions to worsen in China. The entire region, including Australia, has been affected by this economic slowdown.

Raffles

2019 has seen momentous changes for the Raffles brand, owned by AccorHotels.  From the completion of a two-year renovation of its Singapore flagship hotel to the reopening of the Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor in Siem Riep, Cambodia, the brand continues to position itself at the pinnacle of luxury hospitality.

The Raffles brand is the growth engine for this regional development. Managed by Accor since 2016, the brand’s original Raffles Hotel on Beach Road in Singapore was founded in 1887. Raffles is known to be particularly dynamic and yet very selective regarding implantation. The brand was named after Sir Stamford Raffles, father of modern Singapore, and the hotel quickly became known as a bastion of refinement with a touch of adventure. As it refurbishes several iconic addresses, including its flagship and the Grand Hotel in Angkor, Cambodia, which both just reopened, the group has also announced the forthcoming opening of several new units in the region in the next few years.

Raffles Long Bar Singapore Sling
Raffles Long Bar Singapore Sling

The last known wild tiger in Singapore was shot beneath its billiards table.  Its Long Bar is famous for inventing the Singapore Sling and hosted such literary luminaries as Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling.

Since AccorHotels completed the Fairmont Raffles Hotels International acquisition for $3 billion in 2016, the group has moved aggressively to burnish its luxury image and position itself as an upscale market leader. At that time AccorHotels CEO Sebastien Bazin said:

This acquisition is a great accelerator of transformation for our group. It positions AccorHotels as a key leading player in the luxury hotel market; diversifying our group and enhancing this area of our business is a key part of our strategic plan.

Today, Accor has followed through on this strategy and taken the Raffles brand to 13 locations. worldwide. Strategic investments have included:

  • A 2-year renovation of the flagship Raffles Hotel in Singapore, culminating in a gala reopening this month.
  • The reopening of Grand Hotel d’Angkor in Cambodia, after a two-year ground-up restoration
  • Expanding the Raffles European footprint in Paris and Warsaw
  • Breaking into the nascent Philippine luxury market in Metro Makati

Speaking at the Singapore re-opening this month, Sébastien Bazin, chairman and CEO of Accor said:

As the hotel concludes its restoration and embarks on the next chapter, the return of this flagship property to Raffles Hotels and Resorts paves the way for the expansion of the brand as we deliver this same level of unparalleled service and sublime experiences to new destinations in cities such as Udaipur, London and Boston.

Philippines: record year with nine new hotel signings in 2019

Accor will grow its portfolio in the Philippines with a record-setting nine new hotels signed this year to be managed by the international augmented hospitality group. The nine new hotels signed represent an additional 2,155 rooms, increasing the group’s total pipeline to 14 new hotels in the Philippines with over 3,400 new rooms. By end of 2024, this expansion plan is expected to boost the leading hotel operator’s presence in the country from eight hotels with 2,127 rooms to 22 hotels with over 5,500 rooms.

The 14 new properties include the introduction of six brands which will make their debut in the Philippines including – Pullman Living, MGallery, Swissôtel, Novotel Living, and Ibis Styles. The Philippines is already home to Raffles, Fairmont, Sofitel, Mövenpick, Novotel and Mercure brands.

Two Raffles hotels to open by 2022

Raffles Udaipur will be set on a 21-acre private island in Udai Sagar Lake located in historic Udaipur. The 101-room hotel is expected to open by mid-2020. Raffles Jaipur is being built at Kukas in the city of Jaipur as a set of secluded private residences and courtyards adjacent to the larger hotel complex that presently houses the Fairmont Jaipur. Operations are expected to begin in 2022.

Jean-Michel Cassé, Chief Operating Officer (COO) – India and South Asia, Accor:

We are seeing increasing demand for luxury travel in India and are looking forward to expanding Accor’s globally renowned portfolio of luxury brands in this incredible country. The addition of the iconic Raffles brand signals a new era for our group.


It will be interesting to see how this aggressive strategy plays out as AccorHotels seeks to leverage and expand this iconic brand.

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