What Does AccorHotel’s Acquisition Mean For Fairmont Hotels & Resorts?

by Chris Ryall
What Does AccorHotel’s Acquisition Mean For Fairmont Hotels & Resorts?

The Fairmont Empress hotel in Victoria, BC. Photo: Bobak Ha'Eri.

On July 12, 2016, France-based AccorHotels acquired FRHI Hotels & Resorts and its luxury brands Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel.  In Canada especially there was much discussion and concern that iconic hotels like Fairmont Banff Springs, Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, Fairmont Royal York and others would lose their distinct Canadian identity and its rich history dating back to the late 1800s with Canadians and visitors alike. 

TMR asked Kevin Frid, recently appointed as AccorHotels chief operating officer for North America and Central America, what changes if any will be happening to these hotels under the new ownership and what challenges are ahead with promoting the lesser known AccorHotels brand to North American consumers and travel agents.

The Fairmont brand’s Canadian hotels (originally Canadian Pacific Hotels) have a long and rich history with Canadians and visitors.  Do the owners of AccorHotels understand how deep that relationship is and are there plans to retain this?
As proud stewards of many of the world’s most historic and iconic hotels, we feel privileged to share this rich heritage with the local and global communities who have graced the halls of our many Canadian heritage properties. 

The warm, engaging service provided by Fairmont colleagues is a hallmark of our brand, and our excellent guest services and hotel management teams across the country have a deep commitment to the hotels, local communities and preservation of the Canadian narrative.  We will continue to look to these talented colleagues to maintain and foster the relationship these iconic properties have with our nation’s history. 

In fact, as we head into Canada’s 150th birthday next year, we expect coast-to-coast celebrations, along with the many activities and exclusive events our hotels have planned, to only deepen that connection with Canadians and travelers from around the globe.   

Preserving and leveraging the brand’s special association with Canada is very much taken into account by AccorHotels.

The AccorHotels brand is not well-known in the North American marketplace. What are some of the ways you plan to raise the profile to North American consumers and travel agents?
While Fairmont is very well-known in this market, some other AccorHotels brands already have some presence in North America, such as Sofitel and Novotel, and for many international travelers they have already likely experienced an AccorHotels brand. It is more reminding them that we are here and with much more choice and selection. Our objective is to continue to support the brands and hotels that exist in North America today. 

For travel agents, we’ve already started this. For example we had a large presence at the recent Virtuoso in Las Vegas. Expect to see more of this in the coming months as we start to create integrated programming in support of travel advisors. We believe that a well-informed travel advisor is an amazing resource and partner, but all around, it is important to acknowledge that we live in a world where people have information literally at their fingertips. We anticipate that as the travel industry evolves our team will continue to help lead these changes. But we don’t foresee any immediate changes to the way we currently do business. 

What are the benefits to Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel in becoming part of the AccorHotels family?
This integration established a new market leader in the global luxury hotel market and aligns with AccorHotels’ strategic vision to increase our brand portfolio and global footprint. For Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel they will start to see the benefits of a larger parent group that provides new innovation and investments in robust digital platforms, and runs one of the largest guest loyalty programs in the world.

Tip of the Day
Daily Top List

Travel Tricks Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know

1. Have a System for TSA Security.

2. Prepare Electronics for Continuous Work.

3. Pack for Success.

4. Plane Etiquette.

5. The Best Credit Cards for Travel.

Source: Forbes


How Travel Agents Can Stay Relevant When the World Thinks They're Not

Sponsored by Travel Planners International

Stop trying to change consumers' perceptions of what a travel agent is or does. Instead, focus on changing the perspective of who you are.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Tour Operators: Hawaii Is Still Open for Business
Tour Operators: Hawaii Is Still Open for Business

USTOA echoes The Hawaii Tourism Authority in stressing that the volcanic activity is happening on a remote part of the island, a great distance from popular tourist areas.

U.S. Theme Parks Show Record-Setting Growth
U.S. Theme Parks Show Record-Setting Growth

Orlando leads the world in theme park attendance, with Asia just a step behind in the quest to attract the highest market share.

Where to Stay in South Africa
Where to Stay in South Africa

A look at four different hotels, providing a sampling of the diversity of the country, its people, cultures, landscapes and its accommodations.

Six Ways to Chill in the Warmth of Northern Cuba
Six Ways to Chill in the Warmth of Northern Cuba

Many of the myths about Cuba — the food, the tourism infrastructure, the attitude of locals toward tourism, and even the availability of WiFi — have been turned on their head over the last few years.

Puerto Rico’s Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Officially Sets Reopening Date
Puerto Rico’s Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Officially Sets Reopening Date

Dorado Beach joins two other high-end properties, the El San Juan Hotel and St. Regis Bahia Beach, welcoming guests again in October.

Destination Wedding Couples Are Happier
Destination Wedding Couples Are Happier

New research says couples who have a destination wedding are more satisfied with their happy day than those who have a close-to-home wedding.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Norwegian Cruise Line