Accor, a French hotel operator, has plans to develop a third of its 100 new hotels near mainland tourist attractions in China. The company, which already has 128 locations globally, is quick on the heels of the growing and changing tourism industry.
Michael Issenberg, the Asia-Pacific chairman of Accor, told Bloomberg “If people acquire wealth, they want to travel. That’s been the big change. Even five years ago, it was all cities.” The move from urban vacations to tourist destinations has been on the rise and tourism companies are looking to capitalize on the trend.
Accor has already opened hotels in more tourist populated areas and is being proactive in choosing their next locations. They currently have a hotel on the North Korean border, one on Hainan Island, and one in the central Chinese forest park. New locations in mainland China will help the company to serve Chinese tourists which will be key as domestic trips are predicted to increase by 11 percent between 2013 and 2018.
While Chinese domestic travel is expanding, so is international travel. The United Nations World Tourism Organization reports that China outdid Germany in 2012 rising to take the title of most outbound tourists. The organization also revealed that China’s tourists doled out $129 billion last year while traveling internationally, rising 26 percent in their spending.
Accor is also venturing into Myanmar and plans to open six hotels there. The first will be opened this month in Naypidaw, followed by locations in Yangon and Inle Lake. Myanmar is just developing its tourism industry therefore offering Accor a jump on the market.
The only problem that Accor and other hotel operators are currently facing is an oversupply of hotels. Issenberg doesn’t seem too distressed by this though and has a rather positive outlook for the industry’s future. “The oversupply can be chronic if things keep getting built, but if the supply even starts to moderate, demand will catch up. If you ask anybody, ‘‘If you had more time or money what would you do?’’ almost everybody says travel.”
image credit: accor hotels