Yesterday, Accorhotels completed its acquisition of Canadian-based hotel management company, FRHI Hotels and Resorts and its three luxury brands: Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel.
A vast majority of the newly acquired 154 hotels and resorts, of which 40 are under development, are operated under long-term management contracts. They now fall under the management of Accorhotels and include iconic properties such as The Savoy in London, Raffles Singapore, Fairmont San Francisco, New York’s The Plaza, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City and Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris.
The acquisition has helped the group increase its footprint in North America that Accorhotels terms as the “world’s largest and most influential consumer market”.
Sébastien Bazin, chairman and CEO of Accorhotels says, “Today is a great day for our Group. The acquisition of these three emblematic luxury hotel brands is a historical milestone for AccorHotels. It will open up amazing growth prospects, lift our international presence to unprecedented heights, and build value over the long term.”
Speaking at a briefing in Dubai (writes Business Traveller‘s Middle East Editor, Dominic Ellis), Jean-Jacques Dessors, CEO HotelServices for the Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa, acknowledged it will have to “exaggerate” the qualities of each brand, particularly in the now-crowded five-star and luxury segments (now over 450 hotels), and each market will have to look at how they are positioned.
“Maybe some of the Sofitel Legends will move over to Fairmont or Raffles,” he said. A dedicated luxury structure, headed by CEO Chris Cahill (former FRHI), will be introduced to drive luxury business.
On loyalty integration, Dessors said it would look to pair the recognition strengths of FRHI with the more distribution-led, earn-and-burn nature of Le Club.
Olivier Granet, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer for AccorHotels Middle East, believes the UAE has room for more top-end hotels. “Dubai has a great opportunity for a Sofitel So and an MGallery,” he said.