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Ibis restructure paying dividends

IBIS_IBIS STYLES_ENSEIGNE COMBO

Two years after Accor restructured its economy hotels under the three-tier Ibis megabrand, the hotelier says it has seen a significant increase in revenue growth and consumer satisfaction is up over 100% across the Ibis portfolio.

In 2011 Accor’s Paris head office decided to put Ibis at the core of its economy strategy, rebranding Formule1 hotels to Ibis Budget and All Seasons to Ibis Styles, with the existing Ibis brand retained. The result gave the three-tiered Ibis brand “better visibility in the market while introducing greater clarity, consistency and strength to the network”, according to the company.

More than just a name-change, the strategy centred around a massive modernising of the brands, says Accor, with new bedding, newly configured common areas, new food and beverage offerings, and an even stronger focus on customer service.

Thanks to a fast-growing middle class of travellers from developing countries and an influx of low-cost airlines entering Australia, Accor says the Ibis strategy has proven successful, “keeping pace with the evolution of travel by meeting the expectations of the modern, value-conscious traveller”.

Revenue growth for Accor’s Ibis Budget portfolio has seen 5% RevPAR growth against relatively flat competitor and market conditions, while consumer satisfaction has “exceeded all expectations”, the company says.

Using the measure of Net Promoter Scores (NPS) to calculate consumer satisfaction, Ibis Budget’s NPS scores have increased 240%. The Ibis family has seen an overall NPS increase of 140% which can be attributed to Accor’s investment in upgrading its hotels, its ongoing commitment to improving customer service standards and continued staff training, says the company’s Chief Operating Officer the Pacific, Simon McGrath.

“Accor’s confidence in strengthening its economy portfolio has resulted in overwhelmingly positive results in revenue growth and consumer satisfaction,” McGrath said.

“The NPS scores we are seeing across our Ibis hotels have exceeded all expectations, which proves that our strategy in consolidating our economy brands has been a key driver of brand recognition and consumer engagement in the Australian market.

“This strategy of increasing our Ibis megabrand footprint to over 60 hotels in Australia could not have been executed without an obsessive focus on the customer, which remains Accor’s highest priority.”

Accor has this year invested close to $10 million transforming its Ibis portfolio, with AUD$3.2 million alone being spent on renovating Ibis Styles Kalgoorlie. Close to AUD$1 million is being spent on upgrading Ibis Budget Melbourne Airport, which is set for completion in November 2013, and Ibis Styles Geraldton will show off a AUD$1.3 million renovation in 2014.

The strategy has also paid off with owners and investors, with the group expecting four new Ibis hotels to be under construction in 2014.

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