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Despite stalled growth in China, Brazil and Russia, a wave of newly middle-class travelers from the BRICs and beyond will start visiting international destinations in the coming decades — dwarfing the numbers we’ve seen thus far.
Global hotel groups are more aware of cultural nuances in new countries than ever before and Accor’s ambitious efforts to create an entirely new experience based on location is one that others will quickly follow.
The Majlis Grand Mercure sub-brand is designed to fit the cultural needs of regional guests as well as give foreign visitors better insight into local customs.
The first hotel of its kind is now operating in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, with another 20 properties planned for the region.
The company’s goal is to have one Majlis Grand Mercure in each of the Middle East capital cities.
“We try to have a traditional welcome, the Arabic coffee, the dates, the uniform as well will be much more traditional,” Accor Middle East managing director Christophe Landais told HotelierMiddleEast.com. “In the F&B, the offer will be much more regional, Lebanese, Arab, from Egypt, a mixture of three local [cuisines].”
The hotel plans to develop wellness services, an important part of the Arab tradition, and plan to pick properties in culturally significant sections of each host city.
Culturally Distinct Brands
This is not the first time that Accor has developed a distinct hotel brand around a single culture.
The hotel group started developing similar concepts in Asia three years ago with the Grand Mercure Mei Jue in China, Grand Mercure Maha Cipta in Indonesia, Grand Mercure Manee Pura in Thailand and Grand Mercure Samsara in India.
Each pairs international 5-star services and an experienced aligned with local culture.
“The easiest way to explain what we’re doing is to say that we try to be globally consistent, locally relevant,” Accor’s chief marketing officer Grégoire Champetier told us earlier this year.
“What we try to do, in general, is adjust the hotel to the environment. Sometimes we can create products for specific countries.”
Champetier says Accor is also planning to bring the concept to South America.