|February 1999: Accor is targeting key commercial centres
for its ambitious expansion drive into China. Accor plans to open three
new hotels in the next twelve months and has plans to double its existing
network of hotels in China over the next five years.
Reflecting Accor’s strategic intentions in China, the company has opened a representative office in Beijing, with Zhang-Shang Zhi appointed as Senior Delegate. He will develop Accor’s business interests in the country. Accor also operates a national sales office based in Shanghai.
The first new hotel to open will be Sofitel Zhengzhou, a 400 room hotel in the capital city of Henan, that is scheduled for launch in June. The Sofitel is being developed by a joint venture consisting of a subsidiary of AAPC Hong Kong and Henan International Hotel Company Limited. The hotel is being built adjacent to the existing Novotel International Hotel Zhengzhou.
Accor is to sign a management contract for a new Sofitel being built in Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province. The Sofitel Jinan Silver Plaza will be part of the 58 storey Shandong World Trade Centre complex, that will also comprise commercial offices, exhibition facilities, retail outlets, restaurants and entertainment. Wholly owned by the Shandong Commerce Group Corporation, the hotel is scheduled to be completed by the end of 1999.
Memoradum of Understandings and Technical Agreements have been signed for Novotels in Shanghai’s Pudong district and in the rapidly developing city of Wuhan in Henan Province.
Novotel Pudong Shanghai is set to be a flagship for the Novotel brand in China. The 306 room hotel is being developed by COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Company Limited) as part of a 50 storey mixed-use building. The hotel will feature a revolving restaurant and two other floors of restaurants and bars, as well as extensive meeting and banquet facilities.
Novotel Pudong will be the area’s first purpose-built 4-star hotel with 5-star standards. It will service Shanghai’s rapidly growing financial sector and will cater for increased numbers of visitors expected as a result of the opening of the Pudong airport later in the year. The Novotel is scheduled to open in January 2000.
Another Novotel is under construction and scheduled for completion at the end of the year in Wuhan, Hubei Province. Located on the Yangtze River, Wuhan has attracted considerable French and other European investment in recent years, with many foreign engineering companies based in the city.
Novotel Wuhan is situated in a prime business location in the new financial district of Wuhan City, next to the recently opened French consulate. The hotel will have 314 rooms, a variety of food and beverage outlets, function rooms, and a wide variety of leisure facilities.
In addition to the signed hotels, Accor is examining proposals for hotels in Beijing, Shanghai, and Zhuhai.
Commenting on the expansion plans, Accor Managing Director for Asia, Mr Anthony Young, said that China had shown the resilient nature of its economy over the past few years and prospects for growth in business and leisure travel continued to look healthy.
“Our strategy has been to expand in key regional centres over the past two years, and we will continue this policy while looking to expand the network in Shanghai and Beijing as well,” said Mr Young.
“Novotel has become a well-established name in China, as has Sofitel, but we will also introduce our mid-market brands Mercure and Ibis if the opportunity arises.
“A key advantage that the Accor group has in China is the popularity of the company’s brands in Europe, which is the major growth sector for investment and business travel into China.”
Accor is the world’s largest hotel and tourism group. The company operates 2,800 hotels across the globe as well as being a leader in car rental, travel agency, catering and other tourism services. In China, Accor’s current portfolio comprises: Sofitel Hyland Shanghai, Novotel Shanghai Yuan Lin, Novotel Hefei, Novotel Hangzhou and Novotel International Hotel Zhengzhou.
|Also See:||Accor Launches Initiatives to Build Market Share in the Face of Australia’s Slump in Inbound Business / July 1998|
|Asia - Favorable opportunities exist, but.. / Horwath Landauer / May 1998|
|Beijing: Commercial Travel Drives Surge in Lodging Market Demand / Arthur Andersen / Spring 1996|
|Accor and Kishu Railway Co Joint Venture to Build Formule 1 Hotels in Japan / Dec 1998|