Accor boosts digital to fight OTAs

Accor announced yesterday it would spend $25 million to enable independent hoteliers to offer their rooms on its booking website as it seeks ways to fight back against OTAs. The world's fourth-largest hotel group, which is undergoing a reorganization initiated by Chief Executive Sebastien Bazin, is also changing its name to "AccorHotels,” inline with its website, as part of the strategy.

"The transformation of our distribution platform into an open market place is a major step for the group and reflects a new approach," Bazin said in a statement to Reuters.

Last year, Accor pledged to invest $250.9 million between 2014 and 2018 to better equip the company for a world where customers increasingly book hotel rooms online, reports MarketWatch.

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Accor has 3,700 hotels worldwide ranging from the luxury Sofitel to the budget Ibis brands. Its goal is to triple its online offering to 10,000 hotels by 2018 via this new service to be launched in July.

Accor makes a third of it sales online, evenly split between bookings made via its own website and bookings made via OTAs, reports Reuters.

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