AccorHotels to launch new hotel brands in India
MUMBAI: After building asizeable number of economy and midscale hotels in India, Europe’s leading hospitality firm AccorHotelshaslinedupanewpipeline of hotel brandsinluxuryandservice apartmentspace, acategory which has seen growing interest from major hotel chains like Indian Hotels Co. Ltd, Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Marriott International Inc.
In an interview with Mint, Jean-Michel Cassé, chief operating officer (India andSouthAsia) at AccorHotels, saidthecompany is in advancedstageofdiscussion with a real estate developer in Gurugram to launch its first global apartment hotel brand, Novotel Suites, in the country. Constructionoftheprojectwhich comprises around 100 apartmentsislikely to start in the next few months, he said.
The Paris-based hotel company owns and runs around 20 brands across 92 countries. In India, it currently operates around47hotelsunder10brands, including Sofitel, Novotel and Ibis, in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.
“Weareworkingonsomeprojects in termsofoffering serviced apartments. One or two projects are under development. We will be launching our pure standaloneapartmenthotelbrandNovotel Suites,” Casse said. At present, the hotel companyoperates service apartment business undertheNovotelbrandinKolkata and Visakhatpatnam and Grand Mercure in Bengaluru.
BesidestheGurugramproject, the company is exploring an opportunity to launch its service apartment business in Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh.
“Upto15% of online travellers in India are using non-hotel accommodations, including homerentalsandservices apartments. The demand is growing for this space. Fouryearsback, it was about 10%. There has been alsobeenagrowingdemandfrom corporate executives for long stay and such apartments provides a convenient option,” said ChetanKapoor, researchanalyst (Asia Pacific) at Phocuswright, a travel research firm.
AccorHotels is also at an advanced stage of discussion to launch its global luxury brands Raffles Hotel and Banyan Tree, Cassesaid, addingthat uptofour hotels are likely to be launched under these brands.
“We want to develop a strong pipeline intheluxuryspacewhile we also see more opportunity to strengthen our existing brands as wegetmorerecognition in the local market. We are aiming to open our luxury brand Raffles and also few Banyan Tree hotels in India,” he said.
Atpresent, the companyoperates four luxury hotels under Sofitel, Fairmont, Pullman and Swissotel brands across Mumbai, Jaipur, New Delhi and Kolkata. It is also looking develop more Fairmont hotels in Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai, he added.
“Wewouldbehappytodevelop more Sofitel hotels in locations like Goa. In the luxury space, we haveshowninterestamongproperty ownersinbringingTheBanyanTree, aluxuryresortbrand,” he said.