French hospitality giant, Accor, plans to almost double the number of hotels in its global portfolio to 7,000 in the next seven years. The €1.4bn expansion will target high-growth emerging markets, particularly in Brazil and India, and will include opening a new hotel every week in Asia over the next two years.
The world’s fourth-largest hotel group will also boost its presence in North Africa in Algeria, Morocco and Egypt will its Sofitel, Ibis, Novotel and Formula 1 brands.
However its chairman and chief executive Gilles Pélisson has ruled out blanket expansion across all emerging markets. He says the group will exercise particular caution in China, where it already has 96 hotels, saying there was a danger of oversupply in hotel rooms.
Russia has also been put on the backburner, with Pélisson saying Accor had struggled to develop its brand in a difficult operating environment.
The Paris-based group currently has only eight hotels in India but plans to make a $150m investment in partnership with contributions by local partners and investment funds to reach its target of become one of the country’s hospitality heavyweights.
Pélisson told the Financial Times: “Our ambition is to be the number one international operator of hotels in India by 2015 with 90 hotels across all segments of the market from low cost to luxury,” he said.
Brazil, which is the group’s fourth largest market after France, Germany and the US, is also high on the Accor agenda. He plans to increase the number of its hotels in the country from 143 to 225 within five years.