9 September 2014

Accor relocates luxury and upscale team to Singapore to focus on Asia Pacific

Accor has moved its Global Luxury and Upscale marketing operations from Paris to Singapore in a move that signals the growing importance of Asia Pacific in these segments. Asian consumers now account for almost half of global luxury sales, the company said. The implications for MICE organisers are that events in this part of the world may have to be of a certain standard to satisfy participants from this part of the world.

“Asian travellers are very demanding and the standard of hotels in this region is very high. We believe that Asia right now is a hub of creativity, innovation and transformation and that this environment provides the perfect breeding ground for us to take our luxury and upscale brands to the next level,“ says Rick Harvey Lam, Senior Vice President Global Marketing, Accor Luxury and Upscale Brands, who recently relocated from Paris to Singapore.

Accor believes that Asia will replace North-America and Europe as the key market for travel in future, especially in the upmarket and luxury segments. And while China and India are leading the way, other markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines also have a growing affluent middle class with increasing disposable incomes, Accor said. Accor has luxury and upscale hotels in all these regions and will continue to grow its high-end footprint in all these countries.

"Over the past decade Asia Pacific’s economic development has been remarkable and as travellers become more affluent, their desire to travel and explore the world grows, making this region the fastest growing luxury market in the world,” says Michael Issenberg, Chairman and CEO Accor Asia Pacific. “We currently have more than 170 luxury / uspscale hotels with over 37,000 rooms in the region, plus over 70 luxury and upscale hotels under development. This means that Accor will open, on average, a new luxury and upscale hotel in Asia Pacific every month for the next five years.

“With Sofitel celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Accor has a long history in luxury and upscale hotels and our credentials in this segment continue to grow with our expanding pipeline in this sector, including more than 30 Pullman hotels in China alone,” he said.

The move of the Luxury and Upscale Global Marketing team to Asia follows a restructuring of Accor’s business model around geographical lines, with all its brands now divided into three segments: Luxury and Upscale; Midscale; and Economy/Budget. The Luxury and Upscale segments include Accor’s Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Grand Mercure and The Sebel brands. China hosts 19 Sofitel and 15 Pullman hotels, making it the number one market for these brands outside of Europe.

With its central location, excellent infrastructure and business-friendly climate, Singapore is an ideal hub from which to manage Accor’s growth in the region, and brings the company’s leadership closer to more of Accor’s core luxury and upscale markets.
Source: Accor. Artist's rendition of the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour.

As one of the world’s largest and oldest operators of luxury hotels, Accor aims to make its Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Grand Mercure and The Sebel brands the reference point for discerning travellers throughout the Asia Pacific region and globally. In recent months Accor has celebrated the successful launch of several high-end hotels across Asia Pacific, including Sofitel So Singapore, Pullman Shanghai South, and the signing of Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour at the Sydney International Convention Centre.