Published On:May 23 2016
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French hospitality major Accor targets 80 hotels in India by 2020.

French hospitality major Accor is looking at touching the 80-hotels mark in India by 2020, according to the company’s Global Deputy CEO Vivek Badrinath.

The group is set to open as many as 10 properties this year in cities such as Hyderabad, Goa, Jaipur, Chennai, Kochi, Coimbatore and Nashik. Five of these will come up under its brand ibis, and the rest either Novotel or Formule1.

In India, the group currently runs 38 hotels across seven brands — Sofitel, Pullman, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure, ibis, Formule1 — spanning 7,621 rooms across 15 cities.

On whether it is looking to launch any new brands in India, Badrinath told BusinessLine, “This is a market which has potential for all our brands.”

“In India, the metros are big areas for us. They are actually multiple markets in our view. Meanwhile, there are cities with significant economic activity to be present in where we open ibis or Mercure or small Novotel,” he added.

For the company, globally, the growth is coming from Asia in terms of development, said Jean-Michel Casse, Senior Vice-President, Operations India. He added that “Asia will account for more than 50 per cent of the global growth for the company. Within this, India is taking an increasingly more important role”.

Apart from India, the company is eyeing Iran and Africa for growth.

“We have a pretty strong presence in North Africa. We are starting to increase our presence in South Africa. In Nigeria, Ethiopia and Angola, we have deepened our presence and are starting to increase our footprint. While Africa is behind India in terms of the intensity of the economic activity, it is a good time to start there,” Badrinath added.

Moreover, with consumers becoming increasingly digital savvy, the company has earmarked a global investment of €250 million over the next five years in technology to elevate guest experience as well as streamline operations.

Accor is currently in the process of concluding the acquisition of FRHI Holdings Ltd (FRHI), the parent of Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissotel hotel brands.

In a statement the company had said that Accor Hotels will pay for the acquisition by issuing 46.7 million new Accor shares and a cash payment of $840 million (€768 million) – Qatar Investment Authority and Kingdom Holding Company of Saudi Arabia are to become major shareholders, with 10.5 per cent and 5.8 per cent of the share capital, respectively.

HBL



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