Quality Over Quantity Reviewed by Momizat on . While Jean-Michel Cassé, COO, India and South Asia of AccorHotels is bullish about growing the company’s footprint in the country, he is very selective about th While Jean-Michel Cassé, COO, India and South Asia of AccorHotels is bullish about growing the company’s footprint in the country, he is very selective about th Rating: 0
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Quality Over Quantity

While Jean-Michel Cassé, COO, India and South Asia of AccorHotels is bullish about growing the company’s footprint in the country, he is very selective about the brands that can be introduced. He tells Vinita Bhatia that growth cannot come at the cost of undermining a brand’s unique ethos.

Is AccorHotels planning to bring German-based 25 Hours brand in India?
25hours is a unique hotel concept that is designed to present contemporary stay solution for an urban, cosmopolitan traveller through service with an upbeat personality and charm. The brand focuses on individuality, authenticity and personality. 25hours is already present in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Berlin, Zurich and Vienna and will soon make its arrival in Munich, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Paris. It will be an interesting fit for any culture.

What plans does AccorHotels have for the Banyan Tree brand in India, which will mark its entry in the luxury resort business?
We are actively seeking opportunities to introduce some of our international brands. Currently, we are engaged in some very active discussions to bring the Banyan Tree brand to India.

Are you also looking to develop more Fairmont and Sofitel hotels in the country, your luxury properties, since this segment is seeing an uptick?
AccorHotels has a growing network of 48 hotels in India spanning across nine internationally celebrated brands present in 22 cities and 2018 will continue to see significant growth momentum for us. India’s growth as the number three market globally for domestic air traffic and fourth in terms of combined international and domestic air travel (according to CAPA) is indicative enough of the increasing demand for leisure (and business) stays. We are particularly excited about the opportunities luxury and upscale segments present and we are looking forward to either introducing or increasing the presence of some of AccorHotels’ iconic and internationally acclaimed brands such as Raffles, Banyan Tree, Fairmont and Sofitel among others. Locations such as Rajasthan, Goa, Kerala and destinations in south India such as Coorg and Chikmangloor along with hill stations in the Northern & Eastern part of the country offer great opportunities for development.

Is it true that AccorHotels will be opening a new Raffles hotel in Udaipur?
India offers some of the finest luxury hotels in the world and unique destinations and heritage, which appeal to the luxury traveller, both domestic and international. While we don’t have specific announcements to make from a development perspective at the moment, we are in advanced discussions for a Raffles in Udaipur.

If AccorHotels is indeed opening more Fairmont and Sofitel properties in India, does it mean that it is graduating to the upper-midscale segment significantly in the country and looking at it as a future growth vehicle?
At AccorHotels, we believe in quality over quantity. The next big wave of growth for us is going to come from luxury and emerging markets. From an economy, mid-scale and upscale player with the addition of these iconic and internationally acclaimed brands in luxury, we have now become a major luxury brand globally as well.

It is true that AccorHotels is in advanced stage of discussion with a real estate developer in Gurugram to launch its first 100-apartment hotel brand, Novotel Suites, Gurugram within the next few months. Why did the company decide to get into the non-hotel lodging space?
According to industry reports, up to 15% of online travellers in India are using non-hotel accommodations, including home rentals and services apartments. The upward trend highlights the growing interest. We believe in growing along with our customers and their demands hence, we are working on some serviced apartment projects. Currently, we are in early stages of discussions and will soon be able to share more details on the same.

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