|By Moulishree Srivastava, Mint, New
DelhiMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Nov. 03, 2012--NEW DELHI -- French hotel operator Accor SA said on Friday it would open hotels in Bangladesh and Myanmar as part of its expansion drive in South Asia to take advantage of expanding trade and travel between countries in the region.
The company, which runs hotels under the Sofitel, Pullman, Ibis and Formule1 brands, said it would pursue its plans in India, where it has committed $250 million of investment for development and expansion of its business.
"Accor is interested in expanding our South Asian network and is exploring opportunities in a number of markets. Today we have announced our entry for the first time to Bangladesh with the signing of two Novotels and we are exploring further opportunities in Sri Lanka, although we have no firm commitments there currently," said Jean-Michel Casse, senior vice president, Accor South Asia.
The company has 20 operational properties and plans to open 90 hotels by 2015 in India. It will take the total number of rooms to 4,000 by the end of this year and to 6,500 next year with the addition of 11 new hotel by 2013, said Michael Issenberg, chairman, Asia Pacific.
"We will continue to invest in India," said Issenberg. "We develop assets and then sell, this is our global strategy. We are not in the business of holding assets. In our ongoing strategy around the world, we recycle our capital. We develop assets and then sell."
Akshay Kulkarni, regional director, hospitality, South and Southeast Asia, Cushman and Wakefield, said. "It is entering emerging markets which indicates a long-term strategy. It is willing to enter upfront in these markets early in the cycle so that after four-five years, when these market will stabilize, it will have substantial presence."
(c)2012 the Mint (New Delhi)
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