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Accor wants to be on the roof of Europe on all subjects

Interview with Franck Gervais, CEO Europe Accor for a review of the year 2019 and future development prospects.

We are maintaining our existing brands in the eco and midscale sector. These segments are the history of the group and have led it to where it is today, the European and French leader. We are continuing our efforts in these segments. ibis Megabrand, particularly ibis Styles (+3,629 rooms, +2.5% editor’s note) and Mercure (+983 rooms, +1.6% editor’s note) have particularly driven growth in these segments.

Our growth priorities are the upscale (luxury, premium) and lifestyle segments. We are targeting a strong acceleration in these segments.

In 2016 we had 4 brands in these luxury and premium segments, and today we have around 20 brands in the group, 11 of which are present in Europe. We are in ideal conditions with the teams and the brands.

In the luxury and premium segment, our brands have established themselves in 9 new destinations over the last three years, and we are now present in 28 European countries. Between 2016 and 2019, the volume of the upscale offer has doubled. We intend to further accelerate by 2023, with the ambition of tripling the offer between 2016 and 2023.

In addition to this premium and luxury "horizontal" product offering, we are going to develop our lifestyle vertical. Starting with the economy (Greet, Jo&Joe...) to midscale (Mama Shelter, Tribe,25 Hours...) and luxury (SO/, Delano...). We push development to the maximum.

Accor Portfolio

What are the group's priorities in terms of development in mature markets?

We remain on our three core markets France, Germany and the UK, where our development ambitions are very strong. When you're a leader, you don't want to give up any room. We're going to take advantage of our footprint in these territories. When we have more than 1,600 hotels like today in France, we want to continue to grow. The arrival of new brands gives us even more growth opportunities in luxury and lifestyle.
For example, in 2021, we will open a SO/ at Sully Morland in Paris (Morland editor’s note mixed-use project), or the Raffles Old War Office in London (opening 2022 editor’s note).

What are the Group's priorities in terms of development in growth markets?

We have major development ambitions in Eastern Europe, which is undergoing very strong growth. Also, what I call New East Europe, i.e. Russia, Turkey and Israel, represents a significant part of our development. We are experiencing very strong acceleration in development from one year to the next.

A typical signature this year is the Pullman in Jerusalem, a magnificent property that will open in 2022.
In these destinations we are simultaneously developing our portfolio of historical brands and our lifestyle and luxury brands. Destinations such as Bosnia, Serbia and Hungary are also key.

We have opened a new country, Albania, with a Novotel in Tirana. The former Orbis headquarters in Warsaw will be transformed into TRIBE.

The arrival of the Fairmont in Prague and the SwissHotel in Bucharest shows that there is room in developing destinations for premium brands.

A few iconic openings planned for the coming years?

Over the next 3 years :

  • Opening of a third Mama Shelter in Paris as well as in Rome and Lisbon,
  • 25 Hours in Florence and Copenhagen,
  • Second Jo&Joe in Paris Buzenval as well as in Vienna, Budapest and Glasgow. A total of ten properties to come
  • TRIBE will expand in Paris and the UK,
  • We're opening a Fairmont in Windsor
  • greet in Paris, Marseille, Lyon but also Vienna. With an ambition to reach 300 locations in Europe within 10 years.
  • SO/ in addition to Morland, in Portugal and Spain.
  • Fairmont Moscow (142 rooms in 2021 NDR)
  • Mondrian in Bordeaux and Canne
  • M Gallery with a beautiful opening in Brittany and the M Gallery La Reine Margot Issy les Moulineaux in a former convent where Queen Margot lived, we have just laid the foundation stone.

All these new brands are now well known and well established, including with the owners. Our current owners sign these new brands. We have great ambitions for the development of the TRIBE brand in Europe, both in mature and developing markets.

We are going to capitalize on mixed-use projects such as the Mama Shelter in Budapest or the Jo&Joe in Vienna with Ikea. It was the developers of Ikea who came to us with the wish to create third places, particularly in their Austrian flagship.

The upcoming reopening of the Pullman Montparnasse will be very representative of this mixed-use approach with co-working and shopping in addition to the hotel.

To come back to SO/Morland, it is part of a project that integrates housing, shopping, services, day care...

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