AccorHotels ramps up its digital drive by transforming its AccorHotels.com distribution platform into a marketplace open to a selection of independent hotels. This service will gradually become available to hoteliers in the first target markets starting at the end of June 2015, and guests will be able to access it from July 2015. In time, the objective is to offer more than 10,000 hotels in 300 key cities worldwide, or a three-fold increase in the number of hotels on AccorHotels.com, according to a press release recently issued by the hotel operator.
This initiative is part of the Group’s transformation which kicked off in 2013.
The independent hotels distributed on the AccorHotels.com platform alongside the Group’s brand hotels will be selected on the basis of hotel criteria with guest reviews taken into account. AccorHotels.com is already the leading online hotel booking platform in several markets, including France, Brazil, Australia and Germany. It will therefore provide independent hoteliers with a powerful alternative and qualitative distribution channel that meets their specific needs. This new offer guarantees them transparent display rules, access to their customer data and competitive commission rates.
This initiative will supplement the services developed by Fastbooking, a company taken over by the Group last April, within a new BtoB digital services activity. AccorHotels now offers a wider range of digital and technical solutions, to all its partners, as well as more support, guaranteeing them a better visibility as well as an increase in their direct web booking volumes.
Over the first two years of its roll-out, this initiative will represent an additional investment worth about 10% of the cost of the digital plan unveiled in October 2014. It will have an accretive effect from the third year.
«Transforming our distribution platform into an open marketplace is a major initiative for the Group and the result of a new approach to our profession and business model. AccorHotels is placing its powerful digital tools at the service of independent hoteliers and increasing the choice available to its customers by adding more hotels and more destinations. We are becoming a trustworthy, selective and transparent third party and we are once again amplifying the in-depth transformation undertaken within the Group since 2013. These initiatives and the launch of the new AccorHotels application are designed to enrich the content of our digital ecosystem and reinforce our position as a hospitality industry pioneer and trailblazer,» Sébastien Bazin, AccorHotels Chairman and CEO, explains.
Vivek Badrinath, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Marketing, Digital, Distribution and Information Systems adds: «With our digital plan, which is in the midst of its roll-out, the take over of Fastbooking, which allows us to deploy a range of cutting-edge services for hoteliers, and now the opening of a marketplace, AccorHotels is taking the initiative to ensure that the combination of digital experience and hotelier know-how is increasingly effective.»
Tuesday the Group also launched the new version of its mobile application AccorHotels. All the brand applications are now united in this single app which features all the Group’s hotels and as of this summer will also include all the independent establishments offered on the booking platform. The AccorHotels app aims at being one of the mobile device users’ top three travel apps and offers an enriched experience at every stage of the customer journey, with for example:
– Pre-stay and to assist trip preparation: storage of information like flights, train tickets, an e-check-in/fast check-out Welcome by Le Club Accorhotels service and a recap of current bookings.
– During stay: access to the digital press, city guides (available from early July), and other services which will be gradually introduced, notably taxi booking and room service ordering.
– Post-stay: loyalty program management
Updates every three weeks will ensure that the AccorHotels app is constantly improved and enriched at a sustained pace.