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Accor introduces second Novotel in Japan

The Hotel Yokohama, in Yokohama, Japan is to be flagged a Novotel according to a management agreement signed…

The Hotel Yokohama, in Yokohama, Japan is to be flagged a Novotel according to a management agreement signed between the owner and Accor Asia Pacific (Accor). The rebranding is scheduled for fourth quarter 2003.

The S&E Institute of Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd. and Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels jointly acted as advisers to the owner in the process of operator selection and contract negotiation.

Located in front of the renowned Yamashita Park, the four star, 166-room property has been self managed since its establishment in 1979. A proposed refurbishment prompted the owner to consider rebranding the hotel to an international flag.

Accor`s stylish French image was selected with the expectation that it would appeal to the domestic market, as well as capture increased inbound demand as a result of Accor`s worldwide hotel and reservations network. Accor will also bring a new organisational structure and business procedures to the hotel, changes that are also expected to enhance the hotel`s financial performance, notwithstanding the payment of a management fee.

The Hotel Yokohama contract follows the branding of the Novotel Koshien, Osaka West in September 2002. Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels also acted as adviser to owner K.K. Koshien Real Estate on this franchise agreement.

Given the outstanding success of the Novotel Koshien case, we are confident that properly arranged hotel rebranding can not only generate international demand growth, mainly from Asia and the Pacific in this instance, but also increase domestic demand. This includes improved food & beverage and banquet business demand which typically comprises more than half of total gross revenue in Japan`s market said Mr. Tom Sawayanagi, Senior Vice

President of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, who acted on behalf of The Hotel Yokohama.

In addition, the deal marks Accor`s first management contract in Japan, therefore the operator is even more committed to making this partnership a success said Mr. Sawayanagi. The senior management of The Hotel Yokohama has a clear goal to enhance cash flow and value through this reflagging`.

Strategically located close to the main tourist attraction sites in Yokohama, including Japan`s largest Chinatown and the newly re-developed redbrick warehouse area, the hotel also comprises restaurants and banquet rooms. According to Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, Yokohama remains a highly prized hotel market due to its large business community and its urban resort positioning, boasting wide range of tourist attractions. The city`s proximity to Tokyo will be further improved in 2004 with the commencement of a new subway service from this area to Yokohama CBD, directly connecting into the existing train service between Yokohama CBD and Tokyo. These improvements are expected to create increased leisure demand.

We expect this agreement to set a precedent in Japan, whereby an independent self-managed hotel separates its management from ownership. The owner will keep asset-managing the hotel under a management contract with an international operator explained Mr Sawayanagi.

It is an agreement that is ideal for both parties: it allows the operator to enter a desired market and the owner to enhance the financial performance of their property.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.