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Accor Hotels To Launch Luxury Brands Raffles, Fairmont In India

Accor’s first Raffles hotel on the Udaisagar land in Udaipur will have 101 rooms and suites, and will open by the middle of next year.

Europe’s largest hotel group AccorHotels is set to introduce its luxury brand Raffles in India with the launch of two new hotels in Udaipur and Jaipur. The Paris-based group is also bringing its Fairmont brand to the country with a hotel in Mumbai.

Terming India as a land of opportunities, AccorHotels chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin said one third of the group’s upcoming hotels in the country will be in the luxury category. “Every time I come to India, I am surprised with new infrastructure in the airline and travel space,” Bazin said. “The Delhi airport is expanding.

There is a strong economy, good political environment, hopefully manageable interest rates and an environment for travel infrastructure, big operating partners and sophisticated hotel companies. It’s a good recipe.” Accor already operates brands like Ibis, Pullman and Novotel in India. “India performed well in a better economic environment but I am extremely intrigued about your country,” Bazin said.

“India has extraordinary hospitality capacity for all of us but it is still a very tough country to penetrate. We have a strong pipeline. 5,000 rooms on top of the existing 10,000 rooms. I will continue striving hard to penetrate this market because this is probably aland of opportunities.” In India, Accor has 51 operational hotels, of which 20 are Novotels and 19 Ibis. But Bazin said the pipeline over the past two years is steering towards luxury.

“We will have a new Fairmont (in Mumbai) and new Raffles hotels coming up in Udaipur and Jaipur. This is a big move for us. Ibis and Novotels have been the sweet spot for us because they target SMEs and the local population but we will penetrate India further with Sofitel, Fairmont and Raffles because you can have wonderful showcases and landmark properties here,” Bazin said. Accor’s first Raffles hotel on the Udaisagar land in Udaipur will have 101 rooms and suites, and will open by the middle of next year.

The company will open another Raffles hotel with the same owner in Jaipur with about 55 suites, which will be operational in another two years. Bazin said globally, Accor has succeeded in divesting most of its stake in its real estate arm AccorInvest, and is now 95% asset light. Accor will also offer all its integrated services under one app, ALL-Accor Live Limitless, by the end of this year.

“Customer’s needs are changing and when they travel they will not only need a hotel brand, but an airline carrier, food experiences, museums, a car rental company and concierge services etc. So, a single platform should offer that to you. That is augmented hospitality. Which is why Accor went into co-working, private homes, and all the things I talked about,” Bazin said.

Source : Economic Times

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