AccorHotels has revealed plans to discontinue an online service which allows independent hotels to offer rooms on its booking website due to unmet expectations.
In a statement to Reuters, a spokesperson for the brand confirmed that it would stop marketing independent hotels on its website by end-2017 due mixed results. The report added that continuing to give smaller independent hoteliers more visibility would have also needed an increase in marketing investments.
The Reuters report added that the initiative for independent hotels, an online marketplace, reportedly cost an estimate of 22 million euros. This was on top of the 225 million euros AccorHotels said it would spend to bolster its digital business between 2014 and 2018.
Marketing has reached out to AccorHotels for comment.
The online marketplace was launched following AccorHotel’s acquisition of Fastbooking in 2015. The hotel brand later acquired software provider Availpro in April 2017, in a bid to bolster digital services for independent hotels. AccorHotels also allowed hotel guests to accumulate points via its free loyalty program, Le Club AccorHotels. This is even when staying at independent addresses as long as the booking was made through Accorhotels.com.
However, the service had failed to meet its aim to grow to 10,000 hotels offered on the marketplace by 2018, with only 2,000 independent hoteliers coming on board the programme, Reuters added. The report added that guests were more likely to go for better-known AccorHotel brands such as Ibis, Mercure or Pullman as opposed to lesser-known hoteliers. Moving forward, AccorHotels will focus on incorporating and building its brand portfolio.
In July this year, AccorHotels consolidated its Travel Keys, Squarebreak brands under its onefinestay brand, a move which will take effect before the end of the year. This was to allow guest access to over 10,000 rental homes worldwide, combined with hospitality and concierge services. It was also done with the aim to place the brand in a renewed position to combat disruptors of the hospitality industry such as Airbnb.
In Singapore, AccorHotels made an initial investment of SG$24 million into Banyan Tree which will see both hospitality brands collaborating to develop and manage Banyan Tree’s branded hotels globally. The deal gave AccorHotels a 5% stake in Banyan Tree. The hotel group also appointed performance agency iProspect as its global media agency for a period of three years to manage its brand and performance campaigns.
In Malaysia, the hotel group also revealed plans to launch three hotels in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah this year, according Bernama. In a statement to news outlet, Garth Simmons, COO, Malaysia-Indonesia-Singapore at AccorHotels explained that the new hotels would be located in Kota Kinabalu, Taiping and Kuala Lumpur.