Accor plans to open 100 hotels in the UK by 2015 and introduce two new brands into the country. Pullman and M Gallery will join the existing brands of Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis, All Seasons and Etap Hotel.
The French company currently has 144 hotels in the UK and expects much of its growth here over the next five years will be via the mid-scale Mercure brand (there are currently 34) and the non-standardised budget brand All Seasons. There is currently just one All Seasons hotel in the UK, near London Bridge, with a further two being developed in Croydon and Leyton.
The first Pullman, a five-star brand with a strong business and conference offer, will be announced for the UK next year, with the first M Gallery, which is a collection of upscale, individual hotels set within historical properties, being launched soon after. Both brands were launched by Accor two years ago and there are now 50 Pullman and 34 M Gallery hotels worldwide.
"We expect more than 80% of the new hotels will be franchised or managed properties," said Frederic Josenhans, senior vice-president of marketing and brands development for Accor.
Accor's plan for growth in the UK is part of the company's aggressive global expansion, which will see a total of 5,900 hotels with 720,000 bedrooms worldwide. The company currently has an annual turnover of nearly £5b.
By Janet Harmer
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