Article by Trent Munday
AccorHotels CEO Sebastien Bazin recently revealed some details of a pilot program his group has been working on to transform their hotels into more than just a place for people from out of town to stay. ‘Accor Local’ was conceived as a way to make Accor a key player in the daily lives of the communities in which they operate.
While specific details of the programme have been limited, Bazin has revealed a number of scenarios in which Accor could provide a service to non-hotel guests. For example, having a courier package delivered to the hotel in your neighbourhood during the day if you can’t be at home, dropping off your rental car for collection or picking up your laundry, etc.
The discussion so far has been all about engaging with the community by assisting and enhancing local businesses via the 24/7 accessibility that a hotel can provide. However, my guess would be that it won’t be long before the hotels start providing some of these services themselves, at least the ones that they either have a competitive advantage in and/or the ones with the best profit margins.
It was only a few weeks ago that Hyatt Hotels announced the acquisition of Miraval, a leader in the destination wellness space. At that time I wrote a piece outlining why I felt this could be much more than Hyatt simply enhancing the wellness offering in their hotels. In Hyatt and Miraval – The Long Game I suggested that the big opportunity for Hyatt is to play a bigger role in the lives of their guests when they’re not in the hotel. The idea was that if hotels can find ways to embed themselves into their guest’s daily lives, they can become the ultimate ubiquitous lifestyle brands of tomorrow.
It’s apparent from this initiative by Accor that they have no intention of sitting back and waiting for Hyatt to win.
The Hotel Wars are certainly heating up. Looks like we’re in for a very interesting few years.