Hotel group Accor is focusing on the luxury and lifestyle segments and conversion opportunities for its growth strategy.
Speaking to The Caterer, Accor's chief development officer Agnes Roquefort (pictured) said: "We are always considering new opportunities, new brands. Accor is very active in acquiring and creating new brands. But at this stage we are working on our existing brands that are already well-installed to compete… We are pushing really hard, with really great results, on luxury, on lifestyle and on conversion brands."
The group revealed last month that it is planning to join forces with Gleneagles owner Ennismore to form what it says will be the world's largest operator of lifestyle hotels; while the Mondrian brand will also be returning to London, with the former Curtain hotel set to reopen next year. Roquefort added that she sees "great potential" in the UK market.
Accor has also broadened its growth and development strategy to place greater emphasis on conversion opportunities, targeting owners and independent hoteliers who are under higher financial and operating pressure due to the global pandemic and offering support in distribution, loyalty programming, purchasing, technology, sales, marketing and sustainability.
The group is particularly focused on conversion brands with more flexible standards and lower investment costs, including the House of Originals (luxury), MGallery (upper premium), Mövenpick (premium), Grand Mercure (premium), Mercure (midscale), Ibis Styles (economy) and Greet (Budget). These brands account for 43% of Accor's opening pipeline over the next five years.
"These conversion brands allow flexibility and allow independent hotels to make the choice of a group that doesn't put too many constraints on them, and it allows us to welcome quality hotels," said Roquefort.
Meanwhile, Accor still has its sights set on disgruntled Travelodge landlords and Roquefort said things are "still in progress". In partnership with the Travelodge Landlords Action Group, Accor launched Ago Hotels, offering landlords the chance to move to its Ibis brand and offering to fund the rebrand costs. It has already confirmed that it has secured nine Travelodge leases.
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