ACCOR CHECKS IN
WHY SALE IS GREAT FOR TOURISM
GOLD Coast tourism bosses are salivating at the prospect of global hotel giant Accor adding the city’s Mantra Group properties to its marketing and booking system.
If Paris-based AccorHotels’ $1.18 billion bid – which Mantra Group’s board has accepted – is finalised by regulators and shareholders next year it will see Mantra’s 22 Coast hotels join Accor’s stable.
AccorHotels’ footprint of 4200 hotels, resorts and residences – plus 10,000 private homes – spans 95 countries and includes leading brands Raffles, Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis.
Gold Coast Tourism chairman Paul Donovan said the boost from having Mantra’s Gold Coast properties marketed via Accor’s booking system would be significant.
“That is going to result in additional tourists,” he said. “If you are anywhere in the world and have an Accor frequent users card then all of a sudden Accor might have special deals and we’ll be part of that.
“I don’t see anything other than additional value that a global brand like that will bring to an organisation like Mantra.
“The other big thing is it is recognised the Gold Coast has a premier company that has caught the eye of a global brand like Accor.
“How good is it that a brand inspired and developed by a Gold Coaster is now big enough to get on the world stage with Accor? It all comes back to the work done by Bob East as CEO.”
Since Mr East’s appointment as CEO in 2007 he has grown Mantra Group’s 41 properties to about 115 in Australia plus another dozen in New Zealand, Bali and Hawaii.
Surfers Paradise Alliance CEO Mike Winlaw said Mantra had provided great marketing support and economic injection into the Surfers Paradise precinct over the years.
“The announcement of Accor as a global company taking the reins will provide a solid platform for both a domestic and international tourism boost for the Gold Coast economy,” he said.
Broadbeach Alliance CEO Jan McCormick said exposure from the Accor deal for the city’s tourism and commercial reputation would be outstanding.
“It opens up more global opportunities for all the properties on the Gold Coast. It will help with the reputation of the Gold Coast as well in terms of the getting the city’s brand out there.”
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate was also enthusiastic. “We need to be cautious as any deal is yet to be finalised but the Mantra group’s story is quintessential Gold Coast – a world-class hotel portfolio built through vision and hard work, led by a highly competent board,” Cr Tate said.
“There is no doubt the Gold Coast punches above its weight in the commercial world.”
Broadbeach councillor Paul Taylor, an AccorHotels member, said: “Accor is a massive organisation – it shows a lot of confidence in the Gold Coast.”
Mantra Group is understood to have least several hundred staff working out of its head office in Surfers Paradise.
But Bond University associate professor of finance Colette Southam said Mantra’s head office staff shouldn’t be too uncomfortable. “When it’s a cross-border acquisition like this it’s not like you bring in a bunch of people who don’t understand the local context,” she said.
Ms Southam said the premium price being offered by AccorHotels to make the acquisition was “quite nice” and showed Accor had a lot of faith in Mantra’s potential for growth.
Mantra CEO Bob East at the Peppers Soul building.