Asia still the powerhouse of Accor’s growth: Andrew Langdon [Video]

by | May 19, 2019 | Experts

Out of Accor’s 38-odd brands, Mövenpick, Tribe, Orient Express and Fairmount show particular promise in Asia, says company Senior Vice President Development Asia Andrew Langdon

Andrew Langdon’s resume is as impressive as they come.  

He was directly responsible for the near fourfold increase in the hotel development pipeline of  Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, before it was acquired by Accor in September 2018.

Langdon joined Accor in early 2019 as Senior Vice President Development Asia, supervising development for the 38-odd Accor hotel brands throughout the region.

In his over 25 years of diverse property experience, the Australian native specialises in the hospitality sector, particularly in hotel management, franchise and lease agreements, asset management, capital markets, and so on.

On the sidelines of TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Singapore, Langdon spoke to TOPHOTELNEWS on why Asia remains a powerhouse for Accor’s global growth, which brands show promise there, and whether the region can catch up to the rest of the world in sustainability.

Why Asia is central to Accor’s global plans?

Langdon: Last year, Accor globally signed about 450 new hotels of which about 55% were signed in Asia. So Asia is still the powerhouse of the growth. Looking forward, we see we will be achieving the same sort of mix at 55%. Although, personally, I’d like to see that increase a little bit more.

In terms of our growth strategy, the focus is very much China, which we see as still very, very strong. Japan is quite active at the moment, so is Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. And in Australia, we’re the dominant player there. So, we’re looking forward to another strong year.

Which Accor brands show promise in Asia?

Langdon: That’s a very good thing to ask. People might not know, we’re now at approximately 38 brands. Brands which I feel very strongly about in terms of growth in the Asian region is Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts, which I’ve previously worked at. Now it’s a good, solid, up-scale hotel brand.

Our U.S. brand, Tribe, is basically an economy positioned brand but achieves a mid-scale position price. It’s a 18 to 20 square meter room, creating a great return for owners. We’ve already got one open, we’ve got about 10 in the pipeline, and 50 contracts already signed. We see where the markets where land prices are very high and owners really want to maximize their returns. We see that has a very bright future.

Moving right up into the top end, we purchased the Orient Express brand. And the very first Orient Express deal was signed in Bangkok right at the end of last year. We’re very excited that we’ll be opening probably in about September or October of this year.

To finish with, the Fairmont brand. Very, very strong brand, especially in North America. And we’re seeing a lot of demand from developers who want that brand. So we think that we will have a very good year under that brand as well.

Can Asia catch up on sustainability in hospitality?

Langdon: We have our own internal program called Planet 21. It’s very much one of the pillars of Accor. We recognize that it’s up us to lead that charge. And a lot of it is educating our owners of the benefits of it. Sometimes there is an up-front cost, but the long-term savings far outweigh the costs.

I do agree, with Asia, as a region it has been a little bit [on sustainability] behind but I feel very confident that the change is beginning to happen. Watch out: Asia will very quickly catch up on that front. There’s no doubt about that.

Thoughts on the TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR

Langdon: What I love about TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR is that it’s small, very intimate. So you get to meet everyone. It’s a very chilled out sort of actual environment where you can do real networking in a very relaxed sort of environment. I thank you for having me and I will certainly be here again next year.

Andrew Langdon was a delegate at TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Singapore 2019. To attend, address or sponsor future TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR events around the world, contact TOPHOTELPROJECTS Head of Global Events & Conferences Kayley van der Velde.

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