Accor CEO is no stranger to hotels, acquisitions and tourism. So it perhaps no surprise that this hospitality expert has some decisive thoughts on the tourism industry in India. We have a look at his plans for Accor on the subcontinent.
Accor acquisitions and growth
French hotel goliath Accor has had a busy few years, purchasing companies at a rate of knots to secure footholds in a number of diverse industries, making its portfolio one of the most interesting in the hospitality landscape. In recent months, Accor has secured footholds in the African, Australian and Middle Eastern markets, and if Micheal Issenberg has anything to say about it, India will not be far down the line in Accor’s expansion plans. According to the Accor CEO, India is an untapped resource as far as tourism is concerned, with local tourism a popular yet not very lucrative economic source, but considering the size and scale of the subcontinent, global travel to the region doesn’t have a huge impact.
Potential for growth in India
One of the main reasons that the Accor CEO thinks that India has failed to become a hotbed of tourism is because of the legistlative blocks that there are in the way of hotel development. He says, “If you ask me what’s most specific, it is that when it comes to the development phase, India is more challenging than the rest of the world. The number of approvals that you need to open a hotel here are more than anywhere else. Though it is getting better, it still is the single biggest difference between India and the rest of the world.” However, Issenberg believes that it is only a matter of time before India’s gestation period in terms of tourism is over, and he says that when that happens, there will be an unprecedented boom in Indian tourism, opening the market up for swathes of hotel development. Issenberg explains, “As crazy as it may sound, India is a barely discovered country in terms of true tourism. When that inflection point comes, and it will—I can’t say when, but when it does come—you’ll see exponential growth in the industry. That will bring in more opportunities for everyone. So, in many terms, I see more potential in this market than many other markets because of the low base and what the country has to offer. So it is a great time for India.”
India vs China for Accor
While India’s timeline for Accor expansion might not be coming up in the immediate future, Accor can focus on its Chinese investments and portfolio. talks about Accor’s portfolio in the Asia Pacific region, saying, “Let’s put it this way. We have about 1,000 hotels in the Asia-Pacific. In China alone, we have more than 250, in Indonesia, above 100. And in India, we have about 50 hotels. But India is becoming increasingly important. The economy continues to do well. The aviation industry continues to grow. Outbound travel numbers, though not great, are also growing steadily. But will it ever beat China? The answer is no. It won’t be able to catch up.” Accor’s main brands in India are ibis and Novotel, but they will be transferring some Raffles names over the India in a bid to cultivate a market for leisure travel.
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DOUBLETREE BY HILTON AHMEDABAD
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