Accor has signed three new franchisee agreements in London, including its second and third UK All Seasons hotels.
The company has struck a deal with Fairview to launch the 109-bedroom Mercure London Bloomsbury hotel by the end of this year.
The second and third of its All Seasons budget brand, introduced into the UK last year in London's Southwark, will be developed with Euro Hotels, opening in London's Croydon (100 bedrooms) and Leyton (139), also by the end of 2010.
In May Accor stated its intention to become the largest hotel franchisor in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) by 2015, and these brands, highly adaptable, are at the vanguard of this strategy.
Accor is currently number two in Europe behind consortium Best Western in terms of rooms, but has plans to add 800 hotels to its EMEA network in the next five years.
Jean-Jacques Dessors, chief operating officer at Accor UK and Ireland, said: "We are delighted to have signed these important alliances with Euro Hotels and Fairview, two hotel operators in the UK market.
"Accor's current focus is to substantially expand our business in the UK. We are confident that through our expertise as a franchisor and hotel operator, we will be able to take advantage of the significant market opportunity for mid-scale and budget hotels in this country."
In June, Accor Group won shareholder approval to split its voucher (now known as Edenred) and hotel business, putting in place two focused management teams to develop each concern to its full potential.
* See this week's edition of Caterer and Hotelkeeper or visit Caterersearch for an in-depth look at Accor's plans and the continuing popularity of franchising in the hotel sector.
By Chris Druce
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