The group signed 47 properties near the continental borders in 2022, including South Caucasus countries Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, as well as Central Asia, notably in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Romania saw the most signings for Accor in these regions during the year with eight new properties, followed by seven in Uzbekistan, six in Hungary, five in Poland and four in Georgia, with total signings across these regions accounting for a total of 5,476 rooms.
Accor drove a 60% growth in the South Caucasus and Central Asia area, signing 15 new projects under six hotel brands adding more than 2,100 rooms to its existing portfolio of 24 hotels in these regions.
The region proved fertile ground for Accor’s premium brands, with 17 signings including seven Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts and four Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts. Mercure also performed well in the midscale segment, with 12 signings; and ibis Styles was reportedly the fastest growing economy brand in the East, with seven new signings.
Conversion opportunities continued to be a growth driver, with an equal number of new build and conversion projects signed, underpinning the company’s strong focus on environmental, social and governance.
Accor says its strong growth in these countries is indicative of their burgeoning tourism markets and the popularity of international brands in the region.
Camil Yazbeck, global chief development officer, premium, midscale and economy at Accor, commented: “Countries in Eastern Europe and those on the threshold of Europe and Asia continue to provide a fast-growth market for hotel development. They are seeing a rise in tourist numbers, with strong domestic and intra-regional travel demand, and provide value for money alternatives for those travelling from further afield.
“For partners in the region seeking to optimise their return on investment, Accor offers the best of both worlds – strong local expertise and support, coupled with the global power of our sales, distribution and loyalty platforms. There is high demand for globally-recognised branded properties here, and we continue to see the region as fertile ground for our brands as we take considerable growth momentum into 2023.”
Key development highlights in the region include: Pullman Drymades Beach, bringing 132 keys to Albania in autumn 2024; while Azerbaijani capital Baku has just welcomed the 140-room Mercure Baku City, with Mövenpick Winter Park Baku adding a further 212 keys in Q3 2023.
Bulgaria will be boosted by the 171-key Swissôtel Sapareva Banya Thermal Resort, Spa and Health Center in Q4 2024, while Accor’s Estonian footprint will be furthered by 55 keys with Oru Hub Hotel Tallinn Handwritten Collection in Q2 2023.
Hungary’s 109-key Mövenpick BalaLand Resort Lake Balaton will open in March, joining Serbia’s 201-room Mövenpick Resort & Spa Fruske Terme, which opened at the end of last year. Georgia will see the 124-key Mercure Telavi Resort open in 2024.
Countries with multiple forthcoming Accor hotel additions include Romania, with Mercure Portile de Fier Riviera Hotel & Resort, adding 70 keys in Q3 2023; the 68-room ibis Styles Fagaras Citadel arriving in Q3 2024; and Mercure Bacau, delivering 80 keys in 2025.