The operator, which also announced plans to open 40,000 rooms a year from next year, will create three brands under the Ibis ‘mega brand’. Ibis will remain Ibis while All Seasons will be known as Ibis Styles and Etap as Ibis Budget.
Announcing the move today, Accor chairman and chief executive Denis Hennequin said he was challenging the basics of the company’s business model because change was ‘not an option, but a necessity’.
“Consumer expectations have evolved significantly. The vertical segmentation of economy to upscale brands is a thing of the past. Now, all brands must be able to project a self-enhancing image to their customers and offer modern, contemporary, stylish services,” he said.
“Our objective is to offer a new, unique hotel experience with repositioned brands and modern, innovative services.
“With our international leadership, we will revolutionise our economy brand portfolio around the Ibis brand, which benefits from unrivalled worldwide recognition.”
The operator, which also revealed its new company statement ‘Open New Frontiers in Hospitality’, will aim to have its re-brand completed by 2013.
Accor’s UK estate currently comprises 158 hotels under the Sofitel, MGallery, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis, All Seasons and Etap brands. Of those, 56 are Ibis, 17 Etap and two All Seasons.
The operator plans to almost double its UK estate in the next four years, increasing its portfolio to 300 by 2015, 80 per cent of which will be through management contracts and franchise.
Accor today also said that half of its programme to dispose of 450 hotels by 2013 has been completed and it is working hard to reduce adjusted net debt by £1.2bn Euros this year.
It plans to dispose of 175 hotels and reduce adjusted net debt by £1bn Euros in between 2013 and 2015.