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HomeNewsAccor bullish on India, plans to launch 30 new luxury hotels with...

Accor bullish on India, plans to launch 30 new luxury hotels with 5,500 rooms over next 3-5 years

India should expect the opening of more luxury hotels from renowned brands like Fairmont, Raffles, and Sofitel, as stated by Sébastien Bazin, the group chairman and CEO of Accor, Europe’s largest hotel chain. He further mentioned that other brands from Accor’s luxury and lifestyle division are also expected to establish their presence in the country in the coming years.

Accor plans to open 30 new hotels in India over the next three to five years, adding approximately 5,500 rooms. Despite the fact that Sébastien Bazin already operates 62 hotels in India, totaling approximately 11,000 rooms, he believes this is insufficient.

“I have always had great faith in India. However, while we operate 2,000 hotels in France, we have fewer than 100 hotels in India. Considering the vast size of the country, we should ideally have over 1,000 hotels here. I understand this will take time, but it’s a vision for the future that will be worthwhile. As we expand, we will require more Accor employees across various levels and will need to empower them with greater decision-making authority,” he elaborated.

Bazin emphasized that India is a country that cannot be overlooked.

Continue Exploring: Accor to double room capacity in India, plans weekly hotel openings across PME segments in Asia

“We are fortunate to have the best partner anyone could hope for in Rahul Bhatia of IndiGo airline. I should be visiting here every quarter to deepen my understanding of the country and to address any existing challenges,” he commented.

“It’s uncommon to find a country with the world’s largest population that has been the fastest-growing for the past five years, and likely to maintain this pace for the next five years, coupled with a burgeoning middle class, improved access to education, and advancements in technology and telecom. India boasts rich heritage, archaeology, and diverse geography stretching from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean. It offers everything one could desire, backed by a visionary government,” he remarked.

Bazin mentioned that Accor, set to introduce its Raffles Jaipur hotel this year, is also contemplating bringing luxury brands like Orient Express to India. However, he acknowledged that challenges in hotel development timelines persist, despite a more favorable fiscal environment.

“It is likely the most historic brand in the hospitality sector, with a legacy of about 140 years. It’s more than just a product; it embodies a sentiment. We are expanding into trains, yachts, and hotels under this brand. Orient Express holds significant potential in India. Raffles, on the other hand, represents elegance, heritage, and palatial luxury, making it one of our most promising brands,” he remarked.

Accor established its luxury and lifestyle division about 18 months ago, boasting around 550 hotels and 24 brands, including notable names like 25hours, Delano, Mondrian, Mama Shelter, and MGallery. Last year, in partnership with the Hinduja Group, Accor unveiled Raffles London at The OWO, which stands as London’s most lavish hotel.

“We currently hold the second position globally in luxury lifestyle, just behind Marriott. It will take time, but our ambition is to claim the top spot,” he commented. Accor added 291 hotels with 41,000 rooms to its portfolio last year. Bazin stated that the company plans to open a comparable number of hotels, amounting to around 48,000-50,000 rooms, this year. Additionally, the company recruited 120,000 new employees last year.

Continue Exploring: Indian hospitality industry set for a record-breaking 2024: Surge in new hotel rooms expected

“We currently hold the second position globally in luxury lifestyle, just behind Marriott. It will take time, but our ambition is to claim the top spot,” he commented. Accor added 291 hotels with 41,000 rooms to its portfolio last year. Bazin stated that the company plans to open a comparable number of hotels, amounting to around 48,000-50,000 rooms, this year. Additionally, the company recruited 120,000 new employees last year.

“In America, American chains dominate. In China, the likes of Jin Jiang and Huazhu are in control. However, outside of these regions, Accor holds sway. Apart from Europe, we are the leading operator in the Middle East, South America, and Asia Pacific, including key markets like Australia, Korea, and Japan,” Bazin explained.

Accor announced its intention to return approximately 3 billion Euros to shareholders between 2023 and 2027 through dividends and share buybacks. Bazin has committed to shareholders and analysts to achieve a growth rate of 9-12% annually for the next four years. “I’ve made this commitment to ensure disciplined delivery of results. With each passing year, our strength will increase. The travel and tourism industry is flourishing, expected to grow at about 5% annually for the next 20 years. We are fortunate to witness such high demand in travel,” he remarked.

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