Since moving its Asia Pacific headquarters from Sydney to Singapore in 2008, AccorHotels has grown to become the largest hotel operator in the country and today begins a new chapter with the launch of subsidiary John Paul, a leading concierge and customer loyalty business. In under a decade the group has gone from fewer than 500 employees in Singapore to more than 3,300 and in coming months will add a further 540 new jobs, around 70% of which will be for Singaporeans.
AccorHotels currently operates 12 hotels in Singapore, representing 5400 rooms and this year will add another 1000 rooms to the city's tourism infrastructure. August will see the opening of the 223-room luxury Sofitel Singapore City Centre in Tanjong Pagar, while a combined Novotel and Mercure complex on Stevens Road will boost the city's rooms by a further 772 in October.
Last year the group notably acquired the FRHI portfolio of hotels worldwide, including four landmark hotels in Singapore: the iconic Raffles Hotel, Fairmont Singapore, Swissotel The Stamford and Swissotel Merchant Court, which catapulted AccorHotels into an enviable position in the luxury and upscale sector not only within Singapore, but globally.
AccorHotels is now the second largest operator of luxury hotels in the world, with a network that spans over 200 luxury addresses worldwide including such prestigious properties as The Savoy, London; Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris; The Plaza New York; the Fairmont Banff Springs; Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi and So Sofitel Bangkok. Adding upscale hotels takes the group's luxe/upscale portfolio to more than 525 hotels and resorts globally.
The Raffles Hotel Singapore is currently undergoing a significant restoration, which will be completed mid-2018 and renovations also recently began at the 1261-room Swissotel The Stamford.
"We are proud to have such landmark hotels within our network in Singapore and we will ensure we maintain or even improve the standards which Singaporeans and travelers to this city expect," said Michael Issenberg, Chairman & CEO AccorHotels Asia Pacific. "We are committed to expanding our presence in Singapore and are pleased to be providing more employment opportunities for Singaporeans in the booming hospitality sector."
AccorHotels recently joined its three offices in Singapore together, all now residing within Guoco Tower, the tallest building in the city. In addition to its regional headquarters, the group has separate offices for AccorPlus, its dining, hotel and lifestyle membership program and the new John Paul office, which will oversee customer experience for its hotels. John Paul is the worldwide leader in concierge services and continually invests in new technology to improve customer service. They will help AccorHotels to take the guest experience to new levels. In addition, AccorHotels manages the Singapore Qantas Lounge for Australia's national airline, along with the Qantas Lounges in Australia, Hong Kong, London and Los Angeles.
Mr Issenberg said the group's enormous growth since launching its corporate headquarters in Singapore is testament to the dynamic Development team in place, but also thanks to Singapore's ability as a country to foster business growth.
"We had several options when selecting our new regional headquarters, but we chose Singapore because it provides a safe environment, world-class infrastructure and a business-friendly climate," he said. "We do not yet have all our brands present in Singapore but we have been able to scale our business very rapidly here and I think Singapore is the perfect city in which to innovate new brands and ideas, so we will continue to look for new opportunities here."
The Singapore hotel market had a slow start to 2017, with revenue per available room (revpar) across the city down by 5.5%, the only key ASEAN city to have negative revpar growth this year. However, AccorHotels properties have outperformed the market and Issenberg is confident of future growth, citing a predicted 3.4% increase in visitor arrivals for this year.