Hotel giant Accor plans Asia-Pacific expansion

December 11, 2013 - 1:32:05 pm

JAKARTA: Hotel giant Accor said Wednesday it plans to open more than 200 hotels in the Asia-Pacific in the coming years, highlighting continued confidence in the region despite slowing growth in key markets.

A total of 227 hotels should open "in the next three to four years", meaning more than 49,000 extra rooms, Michael Issenberg, Asia-Pacific chief operating officer for the French group, told AFP. 

"It's the fastest growing part of the world", he added during an interview in Jakarta.

Accor is the top hotel group in Asia-Pacific with 560 hotels and 107,000 rooms.

China, the group's top market in the region with 135 hotels currently, will have the bulk of the new developments with 90 hotels, he said.

Indonesia, Southeast Asia's biggest economy, is the group's second-fastest growing market in the region and 71 of the new hotels are planned for the sprawling archipelago. 

Accor, the sixth biggest hotel group in the world with brands including Novotel, Sofitel and Pullman, already has 73 hotels in Indonesia. 

Issenberg downplayed fears slowing growth in China, the world's second-biggest economy, could affect Accor's plans. 

China's economic growth has slowed in recent years but still came in at a strong 7.8 percent on year in the July-September quarter.

"In China, there's been a bit of an oversupply but that will change." 

"The next couple of years will be challenging but in the medium term, we think we'll be OK," he said. 

He also expressed confidence in the Indonesian market despite expectations economic growth will come in below six percent in 2013 for the first time in four years.

"After China, the biggest market for development is Indonesia. The hotel market in Indonesia has a very, very bright future," he said. 

Gerard Guillouet, senior vice president for Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, added Accor was on track to have 100 hotels in Indonesia by 2015. (AFP)