Accor Hotels to add 9 more hotels in 2016

Chennai, Jan 13 (IANS) French hospitality group Accor Hotels, as part of its India strategy to have 10,000 star-hotel rooms in 80 properties, will open nine more hotels under different brands this year, a senior official said.

According to him, 45 more hotels were under various stages of development-construction and design.

He also said the group was interested in managing a beach resort here or in Puducherry and will be expanding its footprint in leisure destinations.

“We will soon be opening nine more hotels under different brands. We have seven hotel brands in India — from budget hotels to luxury brands. By 2020, we will have 80 hotels with a room strength of around 10,000,” Jean-Michel Casse, senior vice president-operations India, told IANS here on Wednesday.

He said the company was interested in managing a beach resort property along the Chennai coast or in Puducherry.

The French group owns hotel brands like ibis, Novotel, Sofitel, Pullman, Grand Mercure and Formule 1 and Mercure.

According to Casse, the new properties that would be opened in India soon will be under ibis, Novotel and Grand Mercure brands.

He said the Accor group was focussing on setting up properties in tier-1 and -2 cities till now.

“We are now going towards leisure destinations. Till now the focus was on the business segment. We now have properties in Jaipur and Goa,” he said.

Looking forward for the year 2016, he said the industry hoped that the rack rates would firm up while in 2015 the rates did not move up though the demand was good.

Speaking about the group’s new ibis hotel here, Casse talked about a promotion campaign `Pay what you want’ whereby a guest can choose to pay whatever he wants while checking out.

According to him, a similar campaign was held in ibis Hotel in Delhi a year-and-half ago.

“The average realisation per room during that campaign period was Rs.2,000. Some guests paid more than the rack rate and couple of guests did not pay anything,” Casse said.

However, he did not agree that the promotional campaign is a price-discovery mechanism.