Skift Take

Non-room revenue continues to be a big play for the French group, as it looks to up the range of experiences it can offer guests.

French hospitality giant Accor plans to grow its business through offering more experiences, as well as “surprising” its guests.

Having invested in its lifestyle division over recent years, the hotel group is well positioned to take advantage of guests who are willing to spend more on memorable moments.

And demand is staying strong, according to Jean-Jacques Morin, group deputy CEO, group chief financial officer; and premium, midscale and economy division CEO, at Accor.

“It was incredibly strong in January and February,” he said at Skift Future of Lodging Forum on Wednesday. “I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. But what’s amazing is it’s strong across the board.”

He believes the “only rational explanation” is because of lingering pent-up demand, combined with the fact that people have been putting money aside. China, in particular, was set for huge growth.

Speaking live on stage during the “Building Scale and a Competitive Edge for Brands” session, Morin highlighted how its lifestyle brands, such as those in its Ennismore division, were able to take advantage of guests wanting more than just a room to sleep in.

“The share of wallet is much more geared to spending time in hotels and on experiences,” he told moderator Sean O’Neill, Skift’s senior hospitality editor.

These hotels were “different animals,” and owners like them because they offer higher margins, with food and beverage contributing significantly to the bottom line.

“We’ve got Ennismore, this business has been doing amazing well. Some people are not just looking for a bed, but mixing it up with local people,” he added, citing its latest Delano hotel in Paris as an example.

Morin also said Accor was poised to grow faster by surprising guests and by being ready to “accompany” guests on their journey.

Surprises include launching a yacht-style cruise line, Orient Express Silenseas, in the coming years. “On the sea, it’s another way to continue that journey, to offer things they may not have even dreamt of. We’re basically surprising them,” he said.

Orient Express rail journeys were another example. “It’s a journey you can’t even imagine, you’re going into another world,” he added.

And taking a dig at his rivals, the French exec concluded with: “We don’t want to be the standard U.S. company.”

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Tags: accor, ennismore, fol2023, future of lodging, lifestyle brands, orient express, skift future of lodging forum, skift live

Photo credit: Jean-Jacques Morin, group deputy CEO, group chief financial officer; and premium, midscale and economy division CEO, at Accor, speaking at Skift future of Lodging, March 29, 2023. Russell Harper / Skift

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