AccorHotels has announced plans to grow its luxury brand expansion in India. The hotel group will expand its Fairmont, Banyan Tree and Sofitel brands in the region through a series of management contracts.
Jean-Michel Cassé, COO of AccorHotels' India and South Asia division, told The Hindu that the group will not use its Triguna fund to develop these new hotels. "The will of Accor globally is to go asset-light and not to inject any more money into hotel projects," he said. "Now, we can grow naturally either through the JV with InterGlobe and through management contracts in India. In the next four to five years, we should easily have 15,000 rooms, and management contract is the way forward for us."
Cassé mapped out the group's plans for India, with Sofitels planned for Delhi and other urban markets. The company is also looking to grow its Banyan tree brand for the leisure resort segment.
AccorHotels also plans to further expand its Raffles brand in the region, along with Mercure, Novotel and Ibis as we noted earlier. "We will be signing pacts with the property owners in weeks or months," Cassé said in a statement. "These luxury hotels will come up in Mumbai, Jaipur and Goa." AccorHotels will open another four hotels in Kochi, Chennai, Vijayawada and Kolkata. Three of these new properties will operate as Novotels while one will operate as an Ibis hotel. The group will also open another set of Mercure properties in Ahmedabad in 2019.
AccorHotels has already invested about $250 million in hotel projects in India. The company operates 47 hotels with 8,800 guestrooms under nine brands in 22 cities in India, most of which operate under the Ibis and Novotel brands. Another 20 hotels are currently in Accor's pipeline; four of these are slated to open this year.
AccorHotels is on track to open six Ibis hotels in the next 18 months as part of its 40:60 joint venture with InterGlobe, which the groups established in 2004. The partners are planning to develop 25 Ibis hotels, 19 of which have been developed. Once the final six Ibis hotels are completed, AccorHotels will enter Ibis' second phase of expansion with InterGlobe.