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Accor CEO to doubters in Asia: our brand-heavy strategy is working

10/22/2019| 6:00:47 PM| 中文

Having more brands when cheap money is chasing real estate is good for Accor, but may not be for its hotel owners.

Here’s a quick test: Which global hotel chain has the most number of brands?

Most people would probably say Marriott International after it acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts. But Accor actually has more brands than Marriott today, thanks to its acquisitive chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin, who has also encouraged the birth of new Accor brands, the latest being Greet and Tribe.

Marriott has 30 brands and Accor, 39, excluding non-hotel acquisitions such as John Paul, D-edge, and Wojo.

And in current uncertain macroeconomics and geopolitical conditions, Accor says it’s in a sweet spot to expand as cheap money chases real estate assets that need brands plastered across buildings.

At end-September, the chain had 4,946 hotels with 726,345 rooms, and a record pipeline of 1,181 hotels with 205,000 rooms. It’s on track to operate 5,000 hotels by end-2019, which means more management and franchise fees even if revenue per available room (RevPAR) continues to shrink in the fourth quarter in its key Asia-Pacific markets such as Hong Kong, mainland China, and Australia.

Europe and Asia-Pacific comprise the bulk of Accor’s business (80 percent), and while the chain cannot double down on expansion in a mature region such as Europe, it certainly can and is doing so in Asia-Pacific despite headwinds.

Asia-Pacific is now 31 percent of Accor’s portfolio and 50 percent of its pipeline as of end-September, the chain’s third-quarter earnings presentation last week revealed.

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TAGS: Accor | Marriot | hotel
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