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Accor to Expand Hotel Portfolio in Thailand

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com Latest Travel News Send to Friend Friday, 16 May 2008

Accor kicked off its annual World of Accor trade and sales expo in Bangkok on Thursday, following its latest exhibitions in China, Japan, the USA and Singapore.

The World of Accor has grown significantly since 2005 with new destinations, new products and a new vision for the region. Its growth mirrors the rapid expansion of the Accor group across the Asia Pacific region.

Accor is now focusing on extending its Asia footprint for the long-term development of its hospitality business in the region. For 2008, Accor will consolidate the groups brand portfolio but also enhance its corporate image by focusing on Thailand which is increasingly becoming an important inbound market for tourists from China and India.

Accor, which currently operates 36 hotels in Thailand, is planning to add another 12 hotels to its portfolio by early 2010. By early 2009, Accor (which opened its first hotel in Thailand in 1988) will add at least 4 more Ibis hotels in key destinations such as Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket and Samui.

Accors Pulllman brand will also expand in Thailand with the Pullman Khon Kaen. The current Sofitel Khon Kaen will be repositioned and relaunched as the Pullman Khon Kaen by 3Q 2008. This is in line with Accors strategy of repositioning and segmentation of the Upscale (Pullman) and Luxury (Sofitel) brands worldwide, a strategy announced in 2007.

By end 2008, the Pullman network will consist of 59 hotels and over 13,000 rooms in 23 countries in Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and South America. The Pullman brand in the Asia Pacific region will expand rapidly in the next 12 months with an estimated 18 hotels in operation by 2010.

Michael Issenberg, Chairman and COO of Accor Asia Pacific, who was hosting the World of Accor event in Bangkok this week, said that Accor would have more than 10,000 rooms and more than 10,000 employees in Thailand within the next two years. Issenberg believes that hotel investment activity will remain strong as investors are confident in the country as a premium tourist destination.

This is reflected with the number of new rooms being planned for Bangkok. Issenberg said that surveys show that over 4000 new hotel rooms will be created in the capital before the end of 2009. These figures show that Thailand is still seen as a very attractive location for the hotel industry. The further growth of the medical tourist segment and increased development of the spa industry will also help to maintain future growth, said Issenberg.

These figures are reflected in Accors performance on a group basis for the first quarter of this year. In the first three months of 2008, the companys turnover grew by US$14 million or 27% compared to the same period in 2007.

Despite some concerns about stability in Thailand, the tourism market has performed well so far this year and we are hopeful that we will see that sustained for the rest of the year, added Issenberg.

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