2018 has been a year of expansion in AccorHotels
The French firm closes a positive season, to know all the details we interviewed Franck Pruvost, COO Midscale & Economy Brands for Hispanic countries
This was a year of outstanding openings in Argentina, with the return of Sofitel to the City of Buenos Aires, among other milestones. Are you planning to continue growing?
Yes, today in Argentina we have 11 hotels in operation and 2 more that are in the process of being implemented. This year the Sofitel brand returned to the City of Buenos Aires with the Sofitel Buenos Aires Recoleta, great news. In addition, Palladio Hotel opened Buenos Aires, MGallery by Sofitel, in the lifestyle segment. Soon we will have news since ibis Styles will arrive in Corrientes Avenue and Mercure Salta.
The company has a long history in the hospitality market in South America. How do they see their role in the region?
In 2017, AccorHotels celebrated its 40th anniversary in the region, making it a market that we know well. In 2017 the company opened 52 hotels in South America. Brazil was the second country that opened more hotels in the world, considering the more than 100 countries in which the Group operates. This trajectory in the region positions us as a reference actor. AccorHotels knows South America as a whole and also the particularities of each country in which it operates. With a global vision, AccorHotels works in creating experiences of hospitality thought for each city and guest. We have great expectations in the region for the coming years and continue with our expansion plan there: the AccorHotels Master Plan is to be consolidated as the No. 1 chain nationwide in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Uruguay and Colombia.
Also brands like Mama Shelter and Jo & Joe arrived. Was it a decision to approach new audiences?
Yes, as part of the expansion in the region, AccorHotels brings the brands Mama Shelter and Jo & Joe, of the lifestyle segment for the region. The Group creates experiences designed for each audience. For example, in the case of Jo & Joe, which will open in Rio de Janeiro, is focused on the young traveler, combines the best of private accommodation formats, such as hostels and hotels in an innovative experience and totally reinvented in terms of service, food and design approach.
The expansion in Argentina occurs within the framework of growth throughout the region, with Chile as a prominent place. How was the activity there?
During 2018 the transaction was closed with the Chilean group Algeciras, for which AccorHotels acquired 100% of the management company that operates 13 Atton hotels in Chile, Peru, Colombia and Florida, USA, and that are now part of our portfolio With this purchase, Chile became the largest operating country of AccorHotels after Brazil in South America, which led the company to open its regional Hispanic office in the city of Santiago to strengthen the region. We have a very interesting opportunity to continue growing.
Any news for 2019?
As for the upscale segment, we are very happy because we will inaugurate the first Fairmont brand hotel in South America in Rio de Janeiro. The hotel will have 400 rooms and its opening is planned for the first half of 2019. Fairmont Hotels & Resort is a luxury brand with establishments that offer architecture and a unique structure in decoration and style, hotels located in imposing places.