Accor’s year of China

ACCOR has shined the spotlight on China’s outbound market and is putting its full weight behind efforts to achieve double-digit growth in bookings for its properties in Asia, Australia and Europe.

“This is the year of China,” said Accor senior vice president sales and marketing, Graham Wilson, in an interview with the Daily.

“We are targeting an increase of 16.8 per cent in Chinese business to France this year, 18.2 per cent to the UK and 18 per cent to Germany. In Asia, we are looking at an increase of 11 per cent in Thailand and about 20 per cent in South Korea.”

As part of its efforts to develop the Chinese market, Accor has relaunched its Grand Mercure brand in China as Mei Jue, mainly targeting the domestic market. It has also appointed Samuel Shih as Accor China chairman and CEO to develop partnerships with operators in key cities such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, as well as Hong Kong. These partnerships will look at developing both the domestic and outbound markets.

To grow the Chinese outbound market for Accor properties worldwide, the company intends to expand the reach of its China Optimum Service Standards, a programme that sees hotels design its services specifically for the Chinese market. The programme, created in consultation with leading tour and travel operators from China, made its debut in Australia last year.

“We are introducing congee and dim sum in our hotels in France and Germany, for example. We are also introducing information in Mandarin, and offering Mandarin TV shows in the guestrooms,” said Wilson.

He added: “The Chinese outbound market is projected to reach 100 million by 2020 and Accor has 4,000 hotels worldwide, so we want to make sure we capture the whole spectrum of the market. We have a wide range of products for all markets, so we are trying to differentiate and make sure there is an emotional connection between the brand and guest experience.

“(Chinese) guests do not care much about the size of the room; they care about the location and the experience they get for the price,” he said.

Read the full report in TTG Asia, March 23, 2012

Read the full report in ITB Berlin

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