Accor CEO Sébastien Bazin said his company is embracing the new era of aspirational, experiential and service-centric culture with a new lifestyle loyalty program, partnerships, marketing and experiences that puts the French hotel chain foremost in the minds of consumers.
BERLIN—Accor is continuing on its mission to change how the hotel industry interacts with its guests, communities and the locals of those communities who are unlikely to stay in a hotel in their own cities and towns, Chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin said.
At the International Hotel Investment Forum, Bazin sat with HNN to share his vision for the company. To realize that new “universe,” Bazin and his team have over the last few years amassed brands—traditional, new and alternative—but also entered into joint ventures, invested in technology platforms and bought startups and concierge, home-sharing and other businesses intended to have the French firm top of mind for consumers, whatever their needs.
During Accor’s recent conference call to share full-year 2018 results, the company announced it dropped the “Hotels” part of its name. This was not because Accor wished to distance itself from its hotel business, which will remain its core endeavor, but to underline an expanded world of services, experiences and partnerships.
“We are addressing you anywhere, anytime … so whether you stay with me or you don’t stay with me, you are going to be able to use your points … whatever we have built up over the last five years will be made available to you,” Bazin said in the interview.
Bazin said the industry is changing dramatically.
“The new expectations are experiential, aspirational, emotional,” he said. “You are no longer product-driven, you are still destination-driven location-wise, but you want to remember where you stayed, you want to remember who you had dinner with and remember the kind of food you had. You want to remember that you went to a museum, that you went away from the hotel; it happens to be part of the same group. So we are getting into something that is much larger and much deeper and getting closer to you as a person.
“Whether you are working, living or playing, I will be there with you,” he added.
Part and parcel of this is the recently announced relaunch of Accor’s loyalty program into what it calls “a fully integrated global platform integrating rewards, services and experiences across our entire ecosystem to bring value everyday life whether you work, live or play.”
Renamed ALL—Accor Live Limitless—the program, among other new partnerships, also will sponsor French soccer giants Paris Saint-Germain for the 2019/2020 season that begins this summer.
Brands still coming
During IHIF, Accor also announced two new brands, which increases its total brand count to 36.
The first is The House of Originals, a partnership with U.S. hotel company SBE, which Accor bought a 50% stake in last October. The collection brand will sit in the luxury space and include the Sanderson and St. Martins Lane hotels in London, 10 Karaköy, Istanbul, and the Shore Club, Miami Beach. The House of Originals has a pipeline of five new developments.
The second launch is midscale lifestyle brand Tribe, which hails from Australia. It currently has one hotel in Perth, Australia, with 126 rooms, and 10 hotels in development due to open by 2022, with Europe and Asia/Pacific being the first target markets. The next Tribe property to open will be a 290-room hotel in Glasgow, Scotland.