Accor Hotel Group readies for Ibis Ikeja opening

Posted: February 7, 2013 in travel & tourism

ibis hotel ikeja lagosAfrica’s largest hotel operator Accor, which has 17,000 rooms representing 116 hotels in 18 countries has formally kicked off its expansion plans on the continent as it prepares to open the new Ibis Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, this quarter.

The hotel chain which aims to open another 5,000 rooms in Africa by 2016, used the occasion of the ibis Dakar inauguration ceremony, to unveil its expansion objectives in sub-Saharan Africa as it also launched the PLANET 21, its sustainable development strategy, on the continent.

Sub-Saharan Africa, where Accor has 54 hotels from economy to upscale in 14 countries, is a key area for the group, which aims to open 35 hotels there by 2020.

Accor sees opportunity in the area’s economic growth, the urbanization of its large cities, and the growing demand for hotels as it strategizes on plans to expand principally through its economy and midscale brands ibis and Novotel.

According to the hotel chain, it also plans to expand through its Mercure and Pullman brands as and when opportunities arise in the most important cities. The group plans to create denser networks in countries where it already operates and open hotels in new markets.

PLANET 21 is the new sustainable development programme that involves all Accor’s hotels and customers.  The program is structured into seven pillars – health, nature, carbon, innovation, local development, employment and dialogue, which in turn comprise 21 commitments backed by ambitious quantifiable objectives that the hotels must meet by 2015.

PLANET 21 includes an innovative programme that uses an array of educational messages to inform and encourage customers to contribute actively to the hotels’ actions through a few simple gestures.

Accor’s approach to sustainable development places particular emphasis on local problems. For example, over the last few years, the efforts of the group’s sub-Saharan hotels have focused on four flagship projects: tree planting in the Lompoul Kebemer region, employee health and well-being, careers and training and responsible fishing.

Ever since 2009, Senegal has been home to one of the 14 plantations supported by Accor as part of the Plant for the Planet project which finances reforestation around the world thanks to the hotel bathroom formula “5 reused towels = 1 tree planted”. To date, 590 hotels, including 14 in Africa and two in Senegal, are taking part in this reforestation funding project, which is carried out in partnership with the NGO SOS SAHEL. A total of 1,251,000 trees have been planted on the site and significant benefits are being felt both environmentally (less erosion, villages and fields shielded from the sand) and socially (creation of new revenue-generating activities for the communities involved and organization of a timber exploitation business).

Accor has made the health and well-being of its teams a priority with E-care, a website available to all the hotels in the region that aims to help prevent illnesses (HIV/Aids, malaria, diabetes, etc.) and psycho-social risks (high blood pressure, stress, and others).

Accor is behind the creation of 11,000 jobs in Africa, including 3,000 in sub-Saharan Africa, and believes that employees’ and future employees’ careers and training are of vital importance.  In 2012, Accor Africa welcomed 1,846 trainees in 14 countries, and provided 517 days of training to employees in sub-Saharan Africa.

The group’s African hotels are also committed to supporting local development. 82% of them purchase local products and promote them on their menus.  In Senegal, a guide to sustainable seafood procurement, produced in collaboration with expert NGO Nebeday, has been used in all the group’s hotels since 2012.

With PLANET 21, Accor’s African hotels, which already boasted encouraging results in all these areas, are now taking another step towards sustainable hospitality.


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