The CEO of AccorHotels Asia-Pacific, Michael Issenberg, believes the Australian market could be a suitable fit for the group’s upscale brand with Swiss heritage, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, as part of its continued growth in the region. AccorHotels acquired Mövenpick and its portfolio of over 80 hotels and resorts earlier this year. Currently the brand is present in 24 countries, but has not spread its wings Down Under.
“I believe the Mövenpick brand would have strong appeal in the Australian market,” Issenberg exclusively revealed to LATTE.
Likewise, Australia is under consideration for expansion of AccorHotels’ FRS (Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel) brands, after the French hotelier bought FHRI three years ago.
“We still believe there is room for more brands in the Australian market but ultimately it will be for our owners and partners to decide which brand they want. The more brands we have, the more likely we can win any hotel pitch because we can find the right brand for more hotel projects.”
AccorHotels is now the second largest operator of luxury hotels in the world, with over 720 luxury and premium hotels globally. Issenberg said the company was “increasingly focused on growing in the luxury and lifestyle sectors” in the Asia Pacific region, and currently has a luxe/premium pipeline of close to 200 more properties to add by 2021.
“With 24 brands across the luxury/premium sector, we now can offer our owners greater choice in this segment than ever before.”
In LATTE‘s wide-ranging interview, Issengberg confirmed that AccorHotels currently has no plans to phase out any of the brands it adopted as part of the acquisition of the Australian-based hotelier, Mantra, earlier this year. Neither is there plans to roll some of the existing AccorHotels brands into the Mantra stable.
“We are more focused on ensuring we can clearly differentiate each of the brands in our network,” he said, adding that the next “big step” with Mantra will be the integration of the Peppers, Mantra, BreakFree and Art Series brands into its loyalty program, Le Club AccorHotels.
A stake in US lifestyle brand, SBE, mid-way through 2018 also offers the opportunity for AccorHotels to develop new brands under the Delano, Mondrian and SLS brands.
Speaking of partnerships, Issenberg said an agreement to work with Eurostar’s loyalty program seemed like an “obvious” choice, to benefit Le Club AccorHotels’ members.
“This is another example of us expanding the offers and benefits for members,” he said.
Questioned by LATTE if there were more acquisitions in the immediate future for AccorHotels, Issenberg said: “We are always looking for new opportunities and when the right acquisition comes along, we are lucky to be in a position where we have money to spend. For the past two years, we have been in a major acquisition phase, and while I don’t think you will see anything as big as the Mantra deal coming along in the immediate future, we will continue to explore opportunities that can continue our transformation journey.”
Read our full interview with Michael Issenberg here.
Lead image: A recent addition to the Mövenpick collection – Mövenpick Resort Kuredivaru Maldives