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Thursday, November 17, 2011

French group Accor to open 12 hotels next year

This story first appeared in DNA Money edition on Thursday, November 17, 2011.

French hospitality major Accor is all set to more than double the number of its hotels and guestrooms in the Indian market by December 2012. It will open 12 hotels next year, adding 2,516 guest rooms to the existing 2,016 across 10 hotels in the country.

Accor will also debut three new brands— Sofitel, Pullman and Formule 1 — taking the number of operational brands in India to six from three (Novotel, Mercure and Ibis) earlier.

Michael Issenberg, chairman and chief operating officer, Accor Asia Pacific, told DNA, “Our first Sofitel branded hotel will open for guests next month in Mumbai. The 302-room hotel would be located at the Bandra Kurla Complex. Early 2012 will see another two brands — Pullman and Formule 1 — make their debut in Gurgaon and Greater Noida, respectively.”

The new openings include Formule 1 (3 hotels), Ibis (5), Novotel (2), and one each under Pullman and Sofitel brands. These would be a mix of owned and managed properties as well as pure management contracts with different asset owners.

Accor’s hotel pipeline till 2015 includes four Pullman, 14 Novotel, five Mercure and 12 Formule 1 hotels. “Our plan is to have 90 hotels across our brands in India by 2015. While we are emphasising on the mid and economy segments, efforts are being made to expand in the upscale segment as well,” said
Issenberg.

The Sofitel Mumbai hotel is being developed in partnership with city-based realtor Shree Naman Group wherein Accor has invested $16 million (Rs71 crore) for a 40% stake. Work on the hotel started in November 2006 and was scheduled to open in 2009.

The total cost of the project then envisaged was Rs473 crore. While the two year delay has shot up the project cost, Accor officials said their holding in the asset remained at 40%.

Two more Sofitel hotels in the pipeline though details have not been yet made public.

The Pullman Gurgaon Central Park project is a pure management contract with Delhi-based realtor Central Park, which is also developing a four-star hotel at the Delhi International Airport Aerocity Project.

All the Formule 1 hotels in the pipeline (12 hotels by 2015) would be owned and managed by Accor.

“The Formule 1 hotels are positioned at the economy segment carrying the sub-Rs2,000 price tag for a night’s stay. These hotels will largely compete with brands like Ginger and offer limited services. The food and beverage facility in these hotels will be outsourced to third-party firms,” said Issenberg. Accor formed a joint venture with InterGlobe Enterprises in 2004 to set up 15 Ibis hotels with 2,700 rooms at an investment of Rs805 crore by 2007.

Currently, there are four Ibis hotels operational in the country with another five to open in 2012.

1 comment:

  1. its interesting to see how so many international players are entering the indian market with tall claims of opening double digit number of hotels in short span... i hope they keep to it and this is just not for media reports. It would be insightful to know how many of these companies have been able to open as promised.

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