|June 9, 1999 - The opening of the first Formule 1 hotel
in Melbourne on 2 June 1999, saw Accor Asia Pacific become the first hotel
group in Australia to reach the 10,000 room mark.
With the introduction of the Formule 1 brand, Melbourne is the first state in Australia to offer the full spectrum of Accor's brands including Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis and Formule 1, making Accor, with 9 hotels, the dominant hotel player in Victoria.
In a move that demonstrates Accor's long term vision for Melbourne tourism,
a commitment has recently been made to upgrade two existing Accor hotels,
with close to $9 million being spent on the full refurbishment of the Novotel
Bayside at St Kilda and Melbourne Sheraton in the city.
"The benefits of being the largest hotel operating company both globally and in this part of the world are becoming clearer to owners of independent hotels and small chains," says Issenberg.
"Australia is now completely incorporated in the global travel market, and it is becoming evident that only those companies with global strength in sales, marketing, reservations and loyalty programmes will be able to compete favourably in the major markets.
"Our emphasis will continue to be on our mid-market brands Novotel, Mercure and Ibis, but if opportunities arise for Sofitel hotels in key markets we will certainly pursue these opportunities.
"At the other end of the market, we have achieved great success with the Formule 1 motel brand, with their 'McDonalds-like' consistency being a winning factor. We expect to grow this brand quite rapidly in the next few years."
Existing hotels in Victoria include Hotel Sofitel Melbourne, Grand Mercure Hotel Melbourne, Novotel Melbourne on Collins, Novotel Bayside, Novotel Glen Waverley, Hotel Ibis Melbourne, Melbourne Sheraton, Motel Formule 1 Fawkner, Mercure Inn Ballarat.
Accor's most recent openings in Australia have been the Mercure Hotel Sydney and Hotel Ibis World Square, both in the Sydney central business district. There are currently 2800 Accor hotels worldwide.