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Corporate Report

Published on: Nov. 20, 2023, 3:15 p.m.
Accor sets the stage for expansion
  • Accor’s second ibis Styles property in Goa

By Arbind Gupta. Assistant Editor, Business India

French hospitality major Accor is betting big on the rapidly-growing Indian market. Having put up six properties this year alone, the hotel chain is now looking to add 30 new properties to its portfolio in the next 3-5 years. Some of these properties will also come up in tier II & III cites like Bhopal, Indore, Mohali, Bhubaneswar and Amritsar which, post the Covid pandemic, have shown good traction.

Of these properties, Raffles Jaipur, with 50 suites is set to open in 2024 and Fairmont in Mumbai, Agra and Udaipur will be operational in 2025. Keeping in mind the potential the Indian market presents, the hotel chain is also considering introducing more brands in the country to cater to different segments of customers.

Currently, Accor, which entered India in 2004, operates 61 properties under nine brands across India throughout luxury, premium, mid-scale and economy segments, with brands including Raffles, Fairmont, Sofitel, Pullman, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure, ibis and ibis Styles. Accor boasts a substantial presence in India with an impressive total of more than 11,000 keys across major cities.

The Novotel and ibis brands from the Accor portfolio in India have an extremely high brand recall and a strong focus on the meetings and conventions market, as well as the weddings and social event market. Globally, Accor operates over 5,500 properties under more than 40 brands in more than 110 countries. Founded in 1967, Accor has one of the industry’s most diverse hospitality ecosystems, from luxury to economy, as well as lifestyle.

“The Indian market has turned around in a big way after suffering severely during Covid challenges. We are currently enjoying an average occupancy of over 70 per cent, with strong micro and macro indicators in place and we are quite bullish on this market to expand our network further with our local partners,” says Puneet Dhawan, Senior Vice President of Operations – Accor India & South Asia. 

Accor has launched six properties so far in 2023, with Novotel Jaipur Convention Centre being the most recent one. Other properties include Novotel Jodhpur ITI Circle, Novotel Mumbai International Airport, ibis Mumbai and Thane, Grand Mercure Agra Fatehabad and ibis Styles Goa Vagator. In total, there is an addition of 860 operational rooms to the existing portfolio.

In October this year, Accor launched its second ibis Styles hotel – ibis Styles Goa Vagator in Goa. Nestled between medieval forts, scenic beaches and the most sought-after tourist attractions of North Goa, the 142-room hotel offers a true Goan vibe blended with a playful and vibrant design. The property is designed as a resort, with a vibrant theme of pastel hues blended with local culture which makes for a unique interior design. Strategically located a short ride from Goa’s MOPA airport, in close proximity to Goa’s premier nightlife, famous restaurants and most popular cafés, it offers a blend of historical charm and modern comforts. 

A significant milestone

“This newest addition to the ibis family marks a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to delivering exceptional hospitality. Anticipating a substantial influx of both domestic and international tourists this season, the hotel promises a distinctive and immersive experience tailored for business and leisure travellers alike. With a focus on creating a welcoming environment for families, the property boasts bold design elements and an inclusive atmosphere,” avers Dhawan.

  • Dhawan: ramping up portfolio

    Dhawan: ramping up portfolio

Commenting on the opening, JB Singh, President & CEO, InterGlobe Hotels says: “I am delighted to announce the grand opening of our second ibis Styles in Goa and 23rd ibis in India. This world-class hotel features the latest amenities, thoughtfully designed rooms, and contemporary public spaces, all built to the highest standards. Like all our properties across the country, ibis Styles Goa Vagator is meticulously crafted to cater to the lifestyle preferences and aspirations of modern travellers, with a special focus on providing a top-notch design experience to the younger generation.”

“The hotel serves as a testament to our commitment to excellence and innovation, and we partner with the best designers to realise this vision. ibis Styles Goa Vagator embraces design elements that are modern, trendy and vibrant, yet comfortable; a combination that resonates with the local community and tourists alike. With every new hotel, we raise the bar for hospitality and solidify our position as frontrunners in hotel design in the country. With art at the core of our design philosophy, we take immense pride in supporting emerging artists by displaying their original commissioned artwork at ibis hotels, fostering a vibrant artistic ecosystem,” adds Singh.

InterGlobe Hotels is a 60:40 joint venture between InterGlobe Enterprises Pvt Ltd (which also owns IndiGo Airlines) and Accor Asia Pacific. The JV, which invested around Rs135 crore in the ibis Styles Goa property, was established in 2004 to develop a network of ibis hotels throughout India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.

InterGlobe Hotel’s portfolio is very well diversified in terms of its geographical reach. Through its various SPVs in India, the company currently has 21 ibis and two ibis styles hotels. These cumulatively offer over around 4,200 rooms across 14 cities, encompassing both business and leisure destinations, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Gurugram, Pune, Nashik, Jaipur, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi, Coimbatore, and Thane.

InterGlobe Hotels is a recipient of many prestigious awards and accolades including Golden Peacock Award for Risk Management, IGBC Green Champion Award and the AON Commitment to Engagement award.

 Expansion plans

The Accor-InterGlobe JV is currently investing Rs550 crore in two upcoming properties. From these, the ibis Mumbai is scheduled to open in 2024, followed by the Novotel Hotel in Bengaluru in 2025. “InterGlobe Hotels is committed to expanding its presence in the country by pursuing new investments and we plan to concentrate on key Tier-I cities while also strategically investing in emerging Tier-II markets. We actively assess and evaluate opportunities to add to our development pipeline,” states Singh.

  • Singh: committed to excellence & innovations

    Singh: committed to excellence & innovations

The hospitality sector in India is experiencing a significant resurgence in hotel investment activity, with transaction volumes reaching an impressive $175 million in the first half of 2023, according to the latest report by JLL. This marks a substantial upturn from the previous 2 years, which were marred by the pandemic, as the sector saw a total deal volume of $73 million in 2022.

Unlike in 2021, which mainly witnessed consolidations in hotel transactions, 2022 showcased a diverse array of transactions, including single asset deals and lease agreements for land earmarked for greenfield airport-terminal hotels. In the first half of 2023, there has been a notable surge in investment activity stemming from National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) proceedings, particularly those involving high-value assets burdened with debt in thriving markets such as Mumbai and Bengaluru.

JLL predicts that this positive investment momentum in the hospitality sector will continue throughout the second half of 2023, with an expected volume of around $88 million, extending into 2024.

Key findings from the report titled ‘Hotel Investment Trends: India H1 2023’ highlight several noteworthy trends in the Indian hotel investment landscape. High-net-worth individuals (HNIs) are increasingly diversifying their investment portfolios by venturing into the hotel asset class. Furthermore, portfolios and operating assets are becoming more attractive to investors compared to greenfield projects.

NCLT resolution cases are gaining traction, with a special focus on operational assets in highly sought-after destinations. The conclusion of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) may open up new opportunities for investors, as it could lead to an increase in tradable assets in the market. Inbound institutional investments are also gaining momentum.

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