Luxury and Tourism : ACCOR
Europe’s largest hotel operator, France’s ACCOR, is responding to the challenge of websites like Airbnb which allow individuals to rent their homes for short stays. ACCOR’s reaction has been a series of acquisitions lately to expand its online offers and develop new frontiers in hospitality services.
The latest is the purchase of John Paul a concierge services provider for $150 million. John Paul was founded in Paris in 2007 by David Amsellem who merged it with US group LesConcierges in 2015 to create the world’s largest concierge services company. The services provided include errand, travel, banking, car etc.
John Paul also brings in advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning and therefore robots into the Hospitality Industry. Though guests engaging in luxury travel, in general prefer personalized services, a good many of them would be comfortable using their smartphones to be guided and informed by a robot at the other end of the line.
Other recent purchases included French high-end rentals start-up Squarebreak and London-based Onefinestay. The latter allows private individuals to rent out their luxury private homes with attached quality services similar to hotel ones.
ACCOR, now known as AccorHotels covers the whole spectrum of hotel accommodation from budget and economy accommodation to five-star hotels. This includes well-known brands like ibis, F1, Mercure, Novotel, Pullman, MGallery, Sofitel etc.
In 2016, Sebastien Bazin the Chairman and CEO of ACCOR concluded the purchase of ultra-luxury Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel brands for nearly $3 billion. This purchase brings landmarks like the Savoy Hotel in London, the Plaza Hotel in New York and Raffles Hotel in Singapore into the laps of ACCOR, consolidating its ranking among the top world hotel groups.
Sources : nytimes.com, yahoo.com, bfmbusiness, lesechos.fr
Video links : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loSDT1MW6nA
Online publishing, July 31st, 2016