Accor advances global development strategy

Accor opened 288 hotels and resorts and 41,000 rooms in 2021 and plans to debut more than 300 new properties this year.

At the end of last year, Accor’s total global network, open and operating, stood at more than 5,300 hotels and 778,000 rooms with another 1,200-plus properties and 214,000 rooms in the pipeline. Accor’s global development and design & technical services teams achieved a 3% net growth rate in 2021, with more openings and signings than any global competitor across its historical top markets.

The company’s 2021 development performance was particularly strong in Europe, China, and the Middle East. and the group experienced a record-breaking year of signings in North & Central America. Europe represented the number-one market for Accor with 153 new hotels signed, representing 20% growth vs. 2020. China followed, with the highest percentage growth at 39% vs. 2020, while the India, Middle East, Africa, Turkey (IMEAT) region increased its strategic position year-over-year. In terms of overall value, the IMEAT region is now the largest growth driver for Accor, according to the company. Of note, more than 40% of Accor’s worldwide development projects involve the refurbishment of existing buildings rather than new-builds, in line with the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments.

“In 2021, we continued to reinforce our leadership position in the regions where we have historically led the competition, while building strong momentum in the key markets of North America and China,” said Agnès Roquefort, global chief development officer, Accor. “We are projecting an even higher pace of growth this year and are pleased to have resumed signing new hotels at a rate of one per day. We are extremely grateful to our development teams around the world who are doing a fantastic job of pushing projects forward, exceeding targets, and opening new doors—despite ongoing supply chain challenges, geo-political tensions, stringent health and safety regulations and post-pandemic recoveries, which continue at a varied pace.”

A year of firsts
Accor’s development team achieved several milestones in 2021.

In North America, 2021 brought 11 newly signed developments, making it a record-breaking year in the region, further reinforcing the group’s position as the second-largest luxury operator in North America. Most noteworthy deals for the region included the 550-room Fairmont Orlando and a yet-to-be-announced Fairmont project, both opening in 2025; the Hotel Belmont Vancouver – MGallery Hotel Collection in late 2021; Mayaliah Tulum Hotel & Residences – MGallery Hotel Collection, opening in 2024; and two Novotel developments in Mexico, both slated for 2023.

In China, new project signings reached an all-time high—leading to more than 520 hotels currently operating in the region and an additional 350 under development. The first destination was signed for Accor’s newest luxury brand, Emblems Collection, for the development of a flagship hotel in Guizhou province, Guiyang Art Centre Hotel, Emblems Collection (pictured above).

The first two Orient Express destinations in the world were also announced last year, with the signings of Orient Express Grand Hotel de la Minerve in Rome and Orient Express Diriyah Gate in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Another luxury milestone included the first Banyan Tree in the Middle East, Banyan Tree Doha La Cigale Mushaireb in Qatar, which made its official debut last year. Continuing the brand’s momentum in the region, a second location will follow later this year, Banyan Tree AlUla in the Asher Valley of Saudi Arabia.

Last year also saw the introduction of the first ibis Square concept hotel at ibis Timisoara, Romania. The first Novotel RF Studio guestroom debuted at Novotel Dubai Jumeirah Triangle; while Novotel Mexico City Toreo opened the first Novotel showcasing the Sundukovy Sisters guestroom design concept.

Diverse brands
Accor’s luxury and premium offerings continue to drive up the value of the group’s development portfolio, while its economy and midscale segments continue to drive volume.

Versatile brands such as greet, ibis Styles, Mercure and Mövenpick represented 48% of signed rooms in 2021 (182 hotels and 27,500 rooms, up 54% vs. 2020) and are anticipated to generate significant interest again in 2022.

Looking ahead to the remainder of 2022 and early 2023, Accor’s development and operations teams will open the doors at new flagship properties throughout the group’s brand portfolio, including Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo Panama; Raffles Boston Back Bay Hotel & Residences; Raffles London at The OWO; Raffles & Fairmont Doha; Raffles at Galaxy Macau; Sofitel Barcelona Skipper; Sofitel Shanghai North Bund; Rixos Doha Qetaifan Island; The Admiral Hotel Manila – MGallery; Pullman Orchard Singapore; Novotel Mexico City Insurgentes; and Novotel Liverpool Paddington Village; among others.

Lifestyle hotels
Lifestyle is one of the fastest growing segments of the global hospitality industry, and Accor plans to triple its number of lifestyle hotels by 2023. The group’s position in the segment is led by Ennismore, a joint venture in which Accor holds a majority shareholding. Ennismore is a global collective of 14 brands, with 90 operating properties and a further 160-plus in the pipeline.

Notable growth and development highlights from Ennismore last year included the signings of a Morgans Originals Legacy in Miami; The Hoxton, Brussels; Hyde Paradox Hotel London City; SO/ Maldives; and TRIBE Phnom Penh Post Office Square, Cambodia. Openings in 2021 included SO/ Sotogrande, Spain; SLS Dubai & Hyde Dubai Business Bay; Mondrian Shoreditch London; 25Hours Florence and The Hoxton, Rome, Italy; Mama Shelter Lisbon, Portugal; and JO&JOE Vienna.

New Ennismore openings to watch this year include Maison Delano Paris; three openings for The Hoxton with Barcelona, Shepherd’s Bush and Brussels; SO/ Paris; 25hours Copenhagen; Mama Shelter Paris La Défense and Dubai; SLS Puerto Madero; and Mondrian Singapore Duxton.

Gaurav Bhushan, co-CEO, Ennismore, said: “Lifestyle is one of the fastest-growing segments of the hospitality industry, and we’re seeing that through increased demand for our brands, as we quickly bounce back to pre-pandemic levels. In 2021, we opened 15 new hotels, and we’re set to almost double that this year with strong growth in all regions, especially Europe, Americas and the Middle East. There’s no doubt lifestyle brands are recovering faster from the impact of the pandemic, helped by strong local and domestic demand, in particular for our restaurants and bars.”