Home' Hotel Management : HM AUGUST 2016 Contents Those characteristics have been instrumental to the group's evolution in Australia.
Innovation has always been at the heart of our progress, whether it be pioneering new
areas such as Sydney Olympic Park, introducing new brands, launching optimum service
standards for the Chinese inbound market or being the first hotel group to prioritise
Indigenous employment, we are constantly looking at ways to grow the company, grow
our people and grow the industry.
Back in 1991, Accor made its mark in the mid-market with Novotel and Mercure,
and in the economy sector with ibis. It provided great consistency to a market sector that
was known for its inconsistency.
It wasn't till 1996, that the first Sofitel was launched, with Accor stunning the
industry by being awarded the management of the then Regent Hotel in Melbourne.
It was undoubtedly a risk for the owners to replace an iconic name in the luxury hotel
stakes with an unknown brand, but twenty years later, Sofitel is regarded as one of
Australia's most prestigious -- and best performing -- brands.
This year sees the 50th anniversary of the Wentworth hotel in Sydney, which became
a Sofitel in 2003, and re-established the hotel as one of the city's landmark addresses.
It's a fitting time to celebrate the impact of Sofitel in Australia, because it has led a
massive expansion of AccorHotels' luxury and upscale portfolio over the past decade.
The addition of the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort (formerly the Sheraton) and new-
build Pullman Sydney Airport in June has cemented the group's dominance in the
top-end of the market. The luxury and upscale network in the Pacific region currently
consists of 35 hotels including nine Sofitel luxury hotels and resorts, 15 Pullman hotels
and resorts and 11 boutique hotels in the MGallery by Sofitel collection. A further six
luxury/upscale hotels are currently under construction.
Globally, AccorHotels' luxury focus is set to grow even faster with the completion of its
acquisition of FRHI and its three emblematic brands -- Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel.
We now have 80% of our Pacific development pipeline in the top end of the
market, and 60% of these new developments are with existing partners, including
what will be the most significant hotel opening in Sydney this decade -- the Sofitel
Sydney Darling Harbour.
Just as much as the opening of the Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour combined with
the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre to make Sydney one of the world's great
convention and events cities, the new combination of the International Convention
Centre and Sofitel will re-establish the city as a premier destination for world-standard
conferences and exhibitions.
We are certainly proud of the Australian hotel network that we have built, but the
'hardware' is only part of the story. I believe that the greatest contribution to the growth of
the network has come from within: our people.
Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour
From the earliest days of the group's operation in
Australia when 'Academie Accor' was established to
ensure that we both retained and grew the careers of our
staff to newer programs such as the Strategic Leaders
Development Program to develop our female leaders,
we have shown that we have been at the forefront of
career development. Across the business we comfortably
sit with an equal gender balance and look to further
increase our female general managers from 38% today
to 50% by 2018.
Our challenge now is to grow staff numbers and skills
even faster because of the dramatic growth in new and
acquired hotels that are in the pipeline over the next
five years. We have introduced innovative home-grown
programs such as Peopleology to ensure that all our team
members are as guest-focused as they can be, and I've
been proud to see the results over the past five years.
The industry is facing as much change in 2016 as
it did in 1991, though fortunately for far more positive
reasons. The power of the internet and digital marketing
is changing the face of the industry constantly.
Between 2008 and 2014 we grew our loyalty Le Club
AccorHotels membership to one million in Australia,
but it will take less than half the time to increase the
numbers to two million.
Our growth has been significantly aided by the
partnerships we've developed with owners, investors, the
tourism industry, airlines, sporting and events groups,
and the Australian travelling public. We have over 200
hotels but only around half that in owners as many of our
partners have a portfolio of properties across our brands
and continue to benefit from AccorHotels for their own
property development and expansion. We continue to
look for ways to grow with our partners and find new
opportunities for our people to grow their careers with us.
It's been a remarkable journey, but if the past 25 years
are anything to judge by, watch out because the best is yet
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