Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.


Accor Names New CEOs for Luxury Hotel Brands Orient Express and Fairmont

5 months ago

Accor said on Thursday it would appoint Gilda Perez-Alvarado as CEO of Orient Express, its luxury hotel brand, effective January 1.

Just last month, Perez-Alvarado became the chief strategy officer for the Paris-based hotel giant group, a role she’ll retain. Previously, she was global CEO of the hotel brokerage firm JLL Hotels & Hospitality. 

Accor added that Omer Acar would, on January 1, become the CEO of Fairmont while remaining CEO of Raffles as well.

Acar replaces Mark Willis, who will become an advisor to Sébastien Bazin, the group’s chairman and CEO. Skift profiled Fairmont’s luxury hotel strategy earlier this year.

Acar spoke on-stage at Skift Global Forum in New York in September about Raffles’ evolution.


IDEAS: Tribe Nation to Debut in China with Urban Inspired Hotel

5 months ago

Accor has announced the signing of the first Tribe Nation hotel in China, in partnership with Guiyang Chengnan Investment and Development Company Ltd.

Credit: Accor

Located in in Huaxi District, a National All-For-One Tourism Zone in the southern part of Guiyang, the 136-room hotel is set to open in January 2025, and will offer a ‘new urban lifestyle hospitality experience to modern and Gen Z Chinese travelers.’

Credit: Accor

According to a release from Accor, Tribe Nation Guiyang South will be designed to provide guests with ‘a creative hub to relax among a like-minded community of locals and travelers’ and ‘surprise travelers with an original and creative type of hospitality that redefines the hotel experience and amplifies style.’

Credit: Accor

The hotel will also feature eco-friendly amenities, two restaurants, a gym, swimming pool, and meetings and function spaces available for celebrations or conferences. 

Tribe Nation Guiyang South is one of 50 new Tribe hotels that are being built globally, with the brand expecting up to 100 new addresses to open over the next five years.

Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.


Accor’s Hotel Owner-Operator May Get More Indebted to Hedge Fund Sculptor

5 months ago

AccorInvest, a hotel owner-operator company that global hotel group Accor created in 2017, is seeing a rising share of its outstanding debt owned by one player, the hedge fund Sculptor, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.

Sculptor “bought about half of the €270 million ($290 million) of loans previously owned by UniCredit SpA in recent weeks,” Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

AccorInvest wants to sell more than $2 billion of hotels in Europe and Latin America and extend the maturity of more than $4 billion of debt.

AccorInvest is a hotel owner and operator that, as of September, runs about 750 hotels. Accor, on the other hand, creates and manages brands and a loyalty program while also offering technology and other services.

Hedge Fund Sculptor Buys More Loans From Sofitel Hotels Owner Ahead of Refinancing


Accor CEO Advises Young Hotel Entrepreneurs on Scaling Up: WTTC Summit Video

6 months ago

If you want to enter the hospitality sector, start small and get financial support. But be aware that scaling up beyond a certain threshold can be tremendously hard.

That was the advice from the head of one of the world’s largest hotel groups, Accor chairman and group CEO Sébastien Bazin.

“If it’s your dream or passion, just do it and make sure somebody actually helps you financially to do it, Bazin said. “Start with three, four, or five six bedrooms. Be authentic, be sincere, be warm, and welcoming.”

Bazin was speaking on Thursday on a panel at The World Travel & Tourism Council’s Global Summit in Rwanda.

“The difficulty is not to start but to scale,” Bazin said. “To go from one hotel to 12 hotels.”

Accor’s leader said that it’s quite difficult for entrepreneurs to scale up hotel businesses above a certain level, partly because they need to rely on third-party middlemen for distribution to fill their rooms.

“They don’t have the size, and the tendency is to go to the online travel agencies, and they’re going to be eating your lunch,” Bazin said. “Then you have the big gorillas like me knocking on the door, and you’re going to end up working for Accor.”

“Many people have [created regional hotel groups] but could not grow them further,” Bazin said. “It’s a tough business in which you have some tough big guys who really don’t like you to grow that much.”

Advice to Hoteliers, Too

Bazin was also asked about what was something he “hates” about the hotel industry from the personal perspective of being a traveler. He said it was the trouble the hotel sector had in giving its young employees the resources, training, and support they need to thrive in their front-line and behind-the-scenes jobs.

“I was staying at a hotel, and this morning I went to check out, and there was a very young, nice gentleman,” Bazin said. “He must have been 22 or 23 years old — impeccably dressed. And he was in a total panic.”

“He just didn’t have the proper training,” Bazin said. “I don’t like it when people in front of you lose their self-esteem because they cannot operate the way they should operate, and it’s not their fault.”

“We as industry leaders should be better equipping and training our people and giving them what expertise they need,” Bazin said. “Our industry will be stronger if we have hundreds of thousands of different young people who probably never went to college, and we give them chances in life.”


AccorInvest to Sell More Than $2 Billion in Hotel Assets: Report

6 months ago

Accor has signaled over several years that it plans to become more asset-light. Bloomberg News reports that the Paris-based hotel giant is about to take more steps as its owner-operator arm sells hotels.

AccorInvest, a hotel owner-operator company created in 2017, wants to sell more than $2 billion (about €2 billion) of hotels in Europe and Latin America, sources told Bloomberg.

AccorInvest is a hotel owner and operator that, as of September, runs 753 hotels. Accor creates and manages brands and a loyalty program while offering technology and other services.

Sources told Bloomberg that AccorInvest has properties under the Sofitel brand in Paris for sale, along with five Ibis hotels in Britain, a hotel in the Netherlands, a Sofitel in central Europe, and some other properties.

The money will at least partly be used to pay off debts, Bloomberg said.

The companies didn’t comment on the report.

Earlier this month, Accor moved to help manage its debt by issuing a 5.5-year hybrid bond priced to yield 7.3%, Bloomberg noted.

UPDATE: This post has been updated to make clearer how Accor and AccorInvest are two separate companies.

AccorInvest Seeks to Sell €2 Billion in Hotels to Slash Debt


Accor Names Gilda Perez-Alvarado as Group Chief Strategy Officer

8 months ago

Accor said on Monday that it had named Gilda Perez-Alvarado as its group chief strategy officer in charge of overseeing global strategy, relations with hotel owners, and strategic partnerships.

Since 2004, Perez-Alvarado has been at the hotel brokerage firm JLL Hotels & Hospitality, working her way up to become its Global CEO. She’s intimately familiar with the sector’s biggest owners and investors, such as sovereign wealth funds, private equity, global brands, family offices, and ultra-high-net-worth individuals.

Perez-Alvarado has spoken about real estate and capital markets at multiple industry events, including at Skift’s Future of Lodging Forum. She will start her new role on October 1, becoming a member of Accor’s management board.


Accor Adjusts Its Outlook Upward

10 months ago

Accor, Europe’s biggest hotel group, raised its outlook at its capital markets day on Tuesday and forecast its 2023 revenue per room (RevPAR) to grow within a range of 15% to 20% amid reorganisation plans.

The hotel industry has benefited from higher prices and a rebound in travel demand in the wake of the pandemic, with consumers rushing to travel even as rising interest rates stoke fears of a recession and inflation continues to erode household purchasing power.

Accor now expects its full-year earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to come in the range of 920 million euros to 960 million euros ($1.01 billion – $1.05 billion).

The French-listed group aims to grow its EBITDA by 9-12% annually from 2023 until 2027.

($1 = 0.9153 euros)

(Reporting by Tristan Veyet and Gaëlle Sheehan in Gdansk; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

This article was from Reuters and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

Tags: accor


Ennismore to Tap Investment Firm Cain to Fuel Delano Hotels Growth

1 year ago

Ennismore, the lifestyle hospitality group, said on Thursday it’s in exclusive talks for “a long-term partnership” with Cain, a privately held investment firm, to scale the hotel brand Delano worldwide.

The companies didn’t disclose the terms of the proposed deal. French giant Accor has a majority shareholding in Ennismore.

Under the plan, Cain — which has $15 billion assets under management — would get a minority stake in the Delano brand and give unspecified help to Ennismore in its development pipeline, which includes planned Delano openings in Seoul, Istanbul, and Cartagena. Cain’s capital would also fuel the renovation of the original, flagship Delano property in the Art Deco district of Miami’s South Beach, and also fuel the growth of the sister brand Maison Delano.

Cain has a history with the Delano. In November 2020, it took over the strategic repositioning of 1685 Collins Avenue, formerly known as The Delano South Beach, to eventually bring it back as a 194-room Delano.

It has a history with Accor, too. Between 2016 and 2018, Cain International helped SBE Entertainment Group finance and institutionalize their business and acquire Morgans Hotel Group. Then Cain sold its stake in the $1 billion of assets (including brands like SLS Hotel & Residences, Delano, Mondrian) to Accor.

Cain is best known for last year joining Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in a $900 million in Aman Group, the ultra-luxury resort brand. Other past investments have included the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the Raffles in Boston.

Cain — led by CEO and co-founder Jonathan Goldstein — has also done hotel deal and development work involving brands such as Raffles, Six Senses, and the Rosewood Hotel Group and has a host of other leisure businesses, such as the Swingers Crazy Golf chain.


Accor Signs 10-Year Pact With China’s Jin Jiang Hotels

1 year ago

France’s Accor is to work with Jin Jiang International Hotels on developing sustainable practices that cover construction, operations and even financing.

An agreement was formalized this week in Beijing, during the Council of China-France Entrepreneurs.

The memorandum of understanding signing coincided with French president Emmanuel Macron’s visit this week. The leader was also joined by Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury.

The strategic partnership with Jin Jiang is expected to last until 2033, with the “primary ambition” to promote and drive sustainable transformations across the hospitality industry, and reduce the sector’s carbon emissions. They want to reduce utility costs such as water and electricity by 10 percent, and food waste by 30 percent, across both groups by 2030.

The new partnership will also look at potential business cooperation opportunities in “green financing.”

Jin Jiang also holds about 12 percent in Accor, and is one of its biggest individual shareholders. It’s also tried to up its stake in the past.

Both groups have expressed their intention to peak carbon emissions by 2030, and become carbon neutral by 2060, Accor said.

The Chinese group will also launch Accor’s School for Change training program.

Skift Research recently published a report on how hotel companies are showing progress on greener emissions accountability.


Ennismore’s Mondrian Singapore to Open by June 2023

1 year ago

Mondrian Singapore Duxton, a 302-room luxury hotel, has seen its opening delayed by a couple of months. The Straits Times has a fun profile by Louisa Lim of all the frenzy behind-the-scenes in how the joint venture by hotel group Accor and lifestyle brand builder Ennismore aims to get the five-star hotel just right.

An interview with Robert Hauck, the hotel’s general manager, explains how the brand — founded in 1996 by Ian Schrager and featured in the TV series Entourage and songs by rapper 50 Cent — needed to be customized for the local market, such as by obtaining art from Singaporean artists like illustrator Andre Wee.

To make the property a local hit, the manager has hired celebrated talents to lead the house restaurants Christina’s and Canyon Club. These include the 39-year-old Jacquelyn Yvonne Chan, a former Olympian for Malaysia, and the 59-year-old Lim Tow Seng, a tattoed ex-convict whose life has been documented on TV. A fun detail:

“Mr Hauck had vowed to track down “Ah Seng” after spotting him on German television. It took him three months to locate the 59-year-old at his workplace, a bak kut teh shop, and offer him a job.”
He reminisces about the moment: “Ah Seng was very shy and very reluctant. I asked why and he said, ‘I’m afraid… You know, I’m afraid people will look down on me.'”
Today, Ah Seng is the manager for Bistro 126, the hotel’s staff restaurant, and a walking poster child for Mondrian Singapore. “He practically ignited the whole campaign for us,” says Mr Hauck.

Louisa Lim, for The Straits Times

The article echos themes about how lifestyle and luxury hotels need to emphasize locally-relevant and distinctive offerings and create experiences to talk about that were discussed in this video by Ennismore Founder Sharan Pasricha at Skift Global Forum 2022.

Subscribers can read the Straits Times article on Mondrian Singapore Duxton here.