In budget battle, Accor CEO says “Economy is smart”

Upgrade comes to Accor’s Ibis chain in effort to regain market share

Accor Chief Executive Denis Hennequin, who joined the hotel giant earlier this year from a previous post at McDonald’s Corp, insists that budget hotels don’t have to feel cheap. Accor has lost a greater value on its shares in 2011 than rivals IHG and Whitbread plc, but it is fighting back in terms of market share and brand recognition. The company’s Ibis chain will now get an upgrade with new mattresses, pillows and internet access. “You might wear a Prada jacket with Uniqlo jeans,” Hennequin says. “It’s a different approach. Economy is smart.”
Around half of Accor’s revenues come from economy accommodation. The company is now taking a €150 million gamble, investing this sum in a 70% expansion of the Ibis network. These days, experts say, it’s no longer true that economy hotels are simply for poorer guests who demand fewer amenities.
[pictured: Ibis Hotel Karlstad-City]

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