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AccorHotels may bring global hotel brands 25Hours and Banyan Tree to India

LiveMint logoLiveMint 23-03-2017 Bidya Sapam

Mumbai: French hospitality group AccorHotels is looking at opportunities to bring global hotel chains 25Hours and Banyan Tree into India even as the company focuses on strengthening its existing brands in the country, said a top executive.

The company, which is considered Europe’s largest hotel chain, recently made strategic investments into the two hospitality firms.

In an interview with Mint, AccorHotels’ chief marketing and distribution officer (Asia Pacific region) Graham Wilson said bringing new brands is in line with the company’s plan to have around 80 hotels in India by 2020. The company currently operates 46 hotels in the country under 10 brands including Sofitel, Novotel and Ibis in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

“The more brands we can have the better. The more choice you can offer to consumers, the more sales you will receive,” Wilson said.

Globally, AccorHotels owns and runs around 20 brands across 92 countries. In the recent past, the company has been on an acquisition spree.

In July last year, AccorHotels completed acquisition of FRHI Hotels & Resorts and its three luxury hotel brands: Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel for $2.56 billion from Qatar Investment Authority and Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holdings.

Later, the group also announced strategic investments in other global chains including Germany-based 25Hours and Singapore-headquartered Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd. While the group bought 30% stake in 25Hours, it acquired 5% stake in Banyan Tree with an agreement to co-develop latter’s brands around the world.

“We are researching on development of all of the brands. We just have to find the right location for the brands in order to make it work and if the feasibility adds up we will do it…We have a very strong development team in India and across the globe. They are absolutely focused on development of the new brands,” Wilson said.

Jean-Michel Cassé, senior vice president (operations) of AccorHotels India, said the company has started talking to hotel developers and partners in India on the possibility of introducing 25Hours and Banyan Tree in the country.

Besides, the company will also look at opportunities to bring in Raffles Hotels & Resorts though it is in the early stage, he added.

While Banyan Tree is a leisure hotel, 25Hours is a mid-scale lifestyle hotel brand known for being a popular food and beverage (F&B) destination in some of the German cities where it operates.

“In India, the F&B component is important and it is a key driver for hotels. In Europe to see a hotel that is creating buzz in terms of being F&B destination is very rare. When we look at the Indian market, Mumbai is probably the one and only place where we can bring this hotel (25Hours) …we will be happy to roll out in Mumbai to test the water but it’s a matter of opportunity,” Cassé said, adding that Banyan Tree will “resonate with leisure destinations like Goa”.

However, he said, the company’s top priority at the moment is to strengthen the number of hotels under the existing brands in the country, particularly Novotel and Ibis.

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