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French hotel group plans for more in M'sia

Publication Date : 27-01-2014


French hotel group Accor is rapidly expanding its network in Malaysia, with 15 new hotels nationwide in the pipeline by 2016.

The new hotels coming up in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah will provide about 2,600 rooms. By next year, the group’s Malaysian network is expected to more than double to 20 hotels with over 5,000 rooms from the current eight hotels.

Senior vice-president for Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore Gerard Guillouet said the Europe’s leading hotel operator saw Malaysia as one of Southeast Asia’s top tourism destinations.

“Malaysia has a lot of potential for us to grow. We are focusing our energy to aggressively develop more hotels in the country across all market segments.

“The mix of hotel segments in the pipeline indicates that we will continue to have a well-balanced network in 2015, with 15% of the hotels being upscale, 40% mid-scale and 45% being economy hotels,” he told The Star's StarBiz.

He said the network would also be geographically balanced, with hotels in strategic business and leisure destinations throughout the country.

Accor’s existing eight hotels in Malaysia are under three of the group’s 11 brands. The three are Pullman, Novotel and ibis Styles hotels. They are Pullman Putrajaya, Pullman Bangsar, Pullman Kuching, Novotel Kota Kinabalu, Novotel Kuala Lumpur City Centre, ibis Styles Fraser Perak, ibis Styles Cheras, Kuala Lumpur and ibis Styles Ipoh.

The 513-room Pullman Bangsar opened for business last month.

“We expect to open at least four hotels this year. They include Novotel Melaka (374 rooms), Mercure Kota Kinabalu Eton (103 rooms) and ibis Styles Sandakan Waterfront (135 rooms),” said Guillouet.

According to him, Accor would have 25 hotels in 11 Malaysian cities and towns by 2017 based on committed projects under construction.

He said Accor aimed to be Malaysia’s leading international hotel operator by 2017 from its current ranking of among the top five.

Guillouet said Accor hotels in Malaysia which opened at least three years ago were now recording average occupancy rate of between 75% and 80%, adding that the newer hotels would need time to build up their occupancy rates.

He gave the thumbs-up to the government for putting in place good infrastructure that was essential for tourism development.

“Everywhere you go, there are excellent airports like in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. What is also important (for tourism development) is efficient immigration and customs services,” said Guillouet, who returned to serve Malaysia two years ago. His first posting in this country was in 1991.

He said Accor recorded some 300 million visitors to its website and generated 25 million room nights in its hotels last year.

He said as Accor saw faster growth in Asia for upscale and luxury hotels, the group was in the process of shifting its marketing base to Singapore from Paris.

Accor currently operates four hotels in Singapore where its office will take over worldwide marketing for the group in the first quarter of this year.


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