AccorHotels has revealed that in 2015 it opened 229 new hotels or a total of 36,172 rooms, at a rate of two hotels every three days.
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.