Accor has shifted its global luxury and upscale marketing operations from Paris to Singapore. This comes as Accor launches several high-end hotels across Asia Pacific such as Sofitel So Singapore, Pullman Shanghai South and Sofitel Sydney.
According to the company, the “move signals the growing importance of Asia Pacific in these [luxury] segments with Asian consumers now accounting for almost half of global luxury sales.” Through the move, the group hopes to gain new insights into luxury and upscale hotels and place the "nerve centre of its marketing operations" closer to where its customer base is growing fastest.
The move of the luxury and upscale global marketing team to Asia follows a restructuring of Accor’s business model around geographical lines. All its brands now are also divided into three segments: Luxury and Upscale; Midscale; and Economy/Budget. The Luxury and Upscale segments in Singapore include Accor’s Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Grand Mercure and The Sebel brands. Meanwhile, China alone already has 19 Sofitel and 15 Pullman hotels, making it the number one market for these brands outside of Europe.
“Over the past decade Asia Pacific’s economic development has been remarkable and as travelers become more affluent, their desire to travel and explore the world grows, making this region the fastest growing luxury market in the world,” Michael Issenberg, chairman and CEO Accor Asia Pacific said.
He added that Accor currently has more than 170 luxury / upscale hotels with over 37,000 rooms in the region, plus over 70 luxury and upscale hotels under development. This means that Accor will open, on average, a new luxury and upscale hotel in Asia Pacific every month for the next five years.
“Asian travellers are very demanding and the standard of hotels in this region is very high. We believe that Asia right now is a hub of creativity, innovation and transformation and that this environment provides the perfect breeding ground for us to take our luxury and upscale brands to the next level,“ Rick Harvey Lam, senior vice president global marketing, Accor Luxury and Upscale Brands said.
The company also added that it believes that Asia will soon replace North-America and Europe as the key market for travel, especially in the upmarket and luxury segments. While China and India are leading the way, other markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines also have a growing affluent middle class with increasing disposable incomes, and a real thirst for travel.