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Accor’s Development in China Expected to be Equally Divided Between Luxury and Economy Branded Hotels
BANGKOK: 8 May: 2007 will be a record year for Accor’s development in China with the company’s emphasis equally divided between new luxury upmarket product and economy hotels.

Accor Asia Pacific Managing Director, Michael Issenberg, announced at the annual World of Accor* trade expo in Hong Kong today that the company was on schedule to launch a record 20 hotels in 2007, while a further 40 hotels were either under construction or in final phases of planning. 

The 60 new hotels are spread across the country and include deluxe Sofitel and Grand Mercure hotels, mid-market Novotel and Mercure hotels and economy Ibis hotels.

A feature of 2007’s development activity will be the opening of Accor’s flagship hotel in China, Sofitel Wanda Beijing. The 23-storey hotel is being built to new national ‘Platinum 5-star’ hotel standards, and boasts a prestigious location in the heart of Beijing’s newest central business district, home to some of the city’s leading media, financial and services companies. 

The opening of Sofitel Wanda Beijing will significantly boost Accor’s presence in the China capital. Earlier this year, Accor launched Grand Mercure Xidan Beijing, which joined the well-established Novotel Xinqiao and Novotel Peace Beijing, which is just completing a comprehensive refurbishment. 

Accor is involved in a number of other new hotel projects in Beijing including the interconnected 312-room Novotel Phoenix Beijing and 405-room Ibis Phoenix Beijing, scheduled to open in early 2008, and Novotel Beijing West in the hi-tech area of Zhonggauncun, 

In Shanghai, Accor will open the first-internationally managed luxury boutique hotel in the city – the Pudi Boutique Hotel Fuxing Parc – later this month. The chic 52-room hotel is located near the city’s original French concession and within walking distance of Xintiandi and the Yandang Pedestrian Street. Earlier this year, Accor added the Grand Mercure Baolong near Duolun Road, in the Hongkou District of Shanghai. A new Grand Mercure will also open in Shanghai’s Hongqiao district in the middle of the year.

Accor is also targeting major secondary cities in 2007 with new Sofitels in Qingyuan, Hefei, Harbin and Chongquin, a Novotel in Anshan and a Mercure in Suzhou.

Ibis will undergo its fastest ever expansion in China with over 40 Ibis hotels either under construction, building on the current network of seven hotels. In recent months, the 3-star economy hotel brand has expanded to the cities of Wuhan, Wuxi and Zhongshan, and over the next two years new hotels are scheduled to open in cities such as Chongqing, Jinan, Hangzhou, Xian, Shanyang, Chengdu, Jiangmen, Tianjin and Zibo.

Michael Issenberg said that Accor was unique amongst international hotel groups to develop hotels across the full market spectrum – from luxury to economy.

“We have placed great emphasis on the expansion of Ibis because of the growth of the domestic and regional business and leisure markets,” he said.

“The Ibis’ style, guaranteed quality and affordable rates (about 160RMB per night) makes the brand highly attractive for the growing domestic market. Our primary target is business travelers, with hotels located in industrial areas of cities, but with the move into cities such as Hangzhou, Suzhou and Xian we will increasingly build the leisure market. With over 1.2 billion domestic travel movements annually and 13% annual growth in the China tourism industry there is vast potential for the Ibis hotel product.

“We are concentrating on secondary cities because these areas are currently under-serviced by quality 3-star accommodation, though in 2008 the brand will make its debut in first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

“While there is considerable activity in the economy sector, we are also building the top-end of the market in both first-tier and secondary cities. We are set to become a real force in both the Beijing and Shanghai luxury markets, and in 2008 Sofitels will open in Macau and Guangzhou to give us a comprehensive network of Sofitel hotels across the country.”

Accor currently operates 43 hotels in China and Hong Kong. A further 62 hotels are scheduled to join the network, bringing the network to over 100 hotels by the end of the decade. 

*World of Accor is an annual trade show organized by Accor in Hong Kong and other key centres around the Asia pacific region. The success of the Hong Kong event has led Accor to move the trade expo to the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. It will be held from 10am – 8pm Tuesday 8 May. All members of the travel industry are welcome to attend.

Accor, the European leader in hotels and tourism, and a global leader in corporate services, operates in nearly 100 countries with 170,000 employees. It offers to its individual and corporate clients 40 years of expertise in its two core businesses:

* Hotels, with the Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, Suitehotel, Ibis, All Seasons, Red Roof Inn, Etap Hotel, Formule 1 and Motel 6 brands: over 4,100 hotels and 486,000 rooms in 90 countries, as well as strategically related activities, such as Lenôtre; 

* Services to corporate clients and public institutions: 23 million people in 35 countries benefit from Accor Services products – meal and food vouchers, people care, incentive and loyalty programs. 

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Contact:

Pornthip Yoskittiphat
PR-Communications Coordinator - Asia 
Phone  : +66 (0) 2659 4621
www.accorhotels.com/asia

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Also See: Dalian Wanda Group Appoints Accor to Manage 453-room Sofitel Wanda Beijing / December 2004
Sofitel Opens Two Hotels in Two Different Areas of Nanjing’s Expanding Downtown and Suburbs, A Gary Player Designed Golf Course Surrounds the Surbanban Sofitel Zhongshan Golf & Resort / May 2006
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