AccorHotels has named Mark Willis as its new CEO for the Middle East and Africa, replacing Olivier Granet who is embarking on a new project to drive sustainable development in Africa with AccorHotels.
Willis was previously president for the Asia region with Movenpick Hotels & Resorts and has also held a number of senior leadership roles within the Radisson Hotel Group.
Based in Dubai, Willis will be responsible for overseeing a combined network of almost 400 hotels open and in the pipeline across the region. He will also focus on fueling the region’s growth by nurturing a talent pool to reach 50,000 employees by 2021, according to a statement.
Willis joins the group at a time when the Middle East and Africa region has experienced significant growth, opening on average two hotels every month. According to the recent Middle East hotel construction pipeline report by analysts at Lodging Econometrics, the region continued to show rapid pipeline expansion in second-quarter 2018 with the highest counts since 2007 when LE first began its tracking. Of all global companies operating in the region, AccorHotels's pipeline came in third, with 81 hotels and 23,512 guestrooms.
AccorHotels has also grown its economy and midscale portfolio of hotels, reinforced its luxury presence in the region and launched lifestyle brands in the Middle East for the first time, with projects including Mama Shelter, 25H Hotels and SO/.