French hotel giant Accor, operator of the Ibis and Novotel brands, aims to become the largest franchiser in Europe.
Setting out its goals at an investor day for Accor Hospitality, as the hotel business of the demerged Accor Group will be known, the company revealed plans to adopt the ‘asset light’ model of many of its rivals.
The move will effectively see Accor sell off its hotels and spend the cash generated on sales and marketing, as it moves into a period of growth driven by franchising and management contracts.
Accor believes by targeting Europe and high growth areas internationally, such as Asia, it will be able to open between 35,000 and 40,000 new rooms a year.
To reach this objective, 450 of the 1,600 hotels owned or operated under fixed leases at the end of 2009 will undergo a change of ownership structure. Accor expects disposals this year to add €450m (£384m).