Accor's goal: To be debt-free by 201218 Jun, 2010 By: Chris Crowell Hotel and Motel Management
New York–Many at the New York University International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference were there looking for growth opportunities. Accor was there to tout what it’s letting go.
For one, CEO Olivier Poirot said the company’s demerger from its prepaid services division was going to be effective on July 2.
“We will be 100 percent a hotel company,” Poirot said.
Second, sometime between 2011 and 2012, he expects the company to be debt-free, disposing of 450 properties and more than $2 billion of debt. The expectation is to save up some equity in order to put about $200 million back into corporate development every year. It’s a concept brought about largely by the recession, but Poirot said the asset-light strategy is here to stay.
Accor has been mixing things up since its introduction of the Motel 6 Phoenix prototype, which should be adopted by 100 properties by the end of the year. Poirot expects the integration to be complete by 2013.
But that’s not all for Motel 6 changes.
“Motel 6 is set in its ways,” Poirot said. “But we have ambitious plans to bring about standard operating procedures to drive the top line and customer service scores.”
Poirot said Canada is the next big opportunity for Motel 6. There are 150 locations currently, and he’s hopeful to add 17 more by year’s end.
The other big opportunity is Mexico, an opportunity the company had to pull away from at an earlier time.
“We were pushing the button when the drug war and H1N1 happened,” Poirot said.
Accor also has plans to start pushing its upscale, business-travel Pullman brand into the states, with the goal of getting 15-20 properties in key gateway cities.