Accor has marked 2007 as a record year for its development in China with the company’s emphasis equally divided between new luxury/upmarket product and economy hotels. (5/10/2007)
Accor Asia Pacific MD Michael Issenberg confirmed plans of launching a record 20 hotels in 2007, while a further 40 hotels were either under construction or in final phases of planning.
The 60 new hotels are spread across the country and include deluxe Sofitel and Grand Mercure hotels, mid-market Novotel and Mercure hotels and economy Ibis hotels. Accor currently operates 43 hotels in China and Hong Kong.
Ibis will undergo its fastest ever expansion in China with over 40 Ibis hotels either under construction, building on the current network of seven hotels. In recent months, the three-star economy hotel brand has expanded to the cities of Wuhan, Wuxi and Zhongshan, and over the next two years new hotels are scheduled to open in cities such as Chongqing, Jinan, Hangzhou, Xian, Shanyang, Chengdu, Jiangmen, Tianjin and Zibo.
Issenberg said that Accor was unique amongst international hotel groups to develop hotels across the full market spectrum – from luxury to economy.
“We have placed great emphasis on the expansion of Ibis because of the growth of the domestic and regional business and leisure markets,” he said.
“The Ibis’ style, guaranteed quality and affordable rates (about 160RMB per night) makes the brand highly attractive for the growing domestic market. Our primary target is business travelers, with hotels located in industrial areas of cities, but with the move into cities such as Hangzhou , Suzhou and Xian we will increasingly build the leisure market. With over 1.2 billion domestic travel movements annually and 13 percent annual growth in the China tourism industry there is vast potential for the Ibis hotel product,” he said.
“We are concentrating on secondary cities because these areas are currently under-serviced by quality 3-star accommodation, though in 2008 the brand will make its debut in first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai,” he said. “While there is considerable activity in the economy sector, we are also building the top-end of the market in both first-tier and secondary cities. We are set to become a real force in both the Beijing and Shanghai luxury markets, and in 2008 Sofitels will open in Macau and Guangzhou to give us a comprehensive network of Sofitel hotels across the country.”