AccorHotels is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary on Nov. 19, 2017, and the company has decided to celebrate in a way that elevates everyday heroes across the world. On Nov. 19, in France and throughout the world, nearly 2,000 hotels will open their doors to men and women who work to improve their local community, such as firefighters, nurses, teachers, craftspersons and local shopkeepers. The "Welcome Heroes!" celebration is an opportunity for hoteliers and their employees to thank local heroes and share a moment with them around a breakfast, a barbecue, a concert or even a stay.
The worldwide event is an effort from the group to better connect its more than 250,000 employees to their local communities. Fittingly, as part of the celebration, AccorHotels is also launching AccorLocal, an application allowing residents who live near an Accor property to access the services of local artisans and companies.
Through AccorLocal, hoteliers are also able to promote their hospitality services to non-residents. Using the service, hoteliers are free to decide upon the services they propose, based on local needs and their relationships with local shopkeepers and businesses. Larger partnerships can include bouquet deliveries, yoga or other fitness classes provided on property, food delivers, pay-by-the-hour car rental services through a partnership with Hertz and more.
The strategy is part of Accor’s shift to becoming something of a technology company. The company recently retracted its plan to work with independent hoteliers through its internal booking engine, but is doubling down on using technology to consolidate guests under its distribution platform. Accor’s goal is to create a platform where guests are able to reserve services offered by one of its hotels in their neighborhood, all without having to book a room. These services can include those related to hospitality, such as spas, swimming pools, fitness rooms, co-working spaces or takeaway breakfasts, as well as access to printers, ironing rooms, parking under surveillance and more.
“For the past 50 years, millions of customers around the world have trusted AccorHotels’ hospitality expertise,” Sébastien Bazin, chairman and CEO of AccorHotels, said in a statement. “When they go through the door of one of our hotels, they can be certain of finding, at any time of day, a customized service offered by more than 250,000 people who are passionate about our unique savoir-faire in the field of hospitality and service. We have now chosen to make this unparalleled wealth available to benefit community life by developing an unprecedented model, creating social connections and value for small businesses, local communities and staff members at our hotels.
“With the launch of AccorLocal and the #WelcomeHeroes event, AccorHotels is continuing a history of daring and winning moves which has led us to where we’re not expected to go, but to where we do however have absolute legitimacy as a place bursting with life in the heart of the city,” Bazin said. “In this way, AccorLocal marks a new stage in the diversification of the group’s activities and gives yet more impetus to our promise to enhance the daily lives of as many people as possible.”
Currently, AccorLocal has roughly 3,000 active users worldwide and offers a number of services in more than 250 hotels in France. AccorLocal will be rolled out in 2018 and 2019 in major cities worldwide.