Fairmont Port Douglas will feature multiple swimming pools, a day spa and a treetop walk attraction.

Accor is growing its presence in the fast-growing all-inclusive market with the launch of a multi-branded All-Inclusive Collection.

Through this platform, Accor aims to take advantage of the renewed desire for leisure stays post COVID by providing memorable experiences globally through its luxury and premium brands Fairmont, Sofitel, Pullman, Swissôtel and Mövenpick.

The new All-Inclusive Collection will build on the success of the Rixos brand following Accor’s joint venture with Founder Fettah Tamince in 2016.

“Accor’s strategic decision to double down on the all-inclusive segment, the fastest growing sector in this market and build upon its success with Rixos, capitalises on this opportunity,” said Accor Lifestyle and Entertainment CEO and Co-CEO of Ennismore, Gaurav Bhushan.

“The new luxury and premium All-Inclusive Collection, reinforces our business model while increasing our exposure and value proposition for hotel owners.”

Rixos has over 20 years of experience in the luxury-all-inclusive market and is a leading global player in the segment. It’s the current market leader in Turkey, the Middle East and Central Asia with 24 hotels and over 10,000 rooms in operation and a further 26 hotels with over 14,000 rooms in the pipeline.

Since partnering with Accor, Rixos has tripled its network.

“I am incredibly proud of the success Rixos has achieved in the five years as part of the Accor portfolio,” said Tamince.

“Together, Accor and Rixos complement each other’s market-leading expertise, and the All-Inclusive Collection is the next step in accelerating their positions in the sector.

“This new initiative comes at a time when the demand for all-inclusive stays could not be stronger and now is the right time to leverage this positive trajectory. I am excited and pleased to continue my partnership with Accor with this expanded brand portfolio.”

The Collection aims to more than double Rixos’ footprint of 50 properties to over 100 all-inclusive resorts in the next five years. International expansion of the all-inclusive business will focus on areas that show promising growth potential for this segment including Europe, Middle East Africa, Turkey, Asia and Central America and the Caribbean.

Openings will include Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha and Rixos Qetaifan Doha – which will both open ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar this November. Meanwhile, the Swissôtel Sharm el Sheikh, the first non-Rixos branded property in the collection, will open later this year. This will feature 1,350 rooms, a water park, multiple dining, beach club and entertainment facilities.

The All-Inclusive platform will feature curated entertainment programmes, sporting activities including watersports, children’s clubs, fitness as well as outdoor activities and MICE. The program will be inspired and led by Carte Blanched, Ennismore’s F&B Concept Lab with each venue providing diverse and culturally relevant cuisines and culinary experiences. Ennismore is the leading lifestyle platform established by Accor in a joint venture with Sharan Pasricha.

AHICE exclusive

Speaking via video call at AHICE last week, Accor’s global CEO Sébastien Bazin described it as a “fabulous model”

“It’s probably the highest market of any hotel space,” he said.

Speaking about delivering on loyalty for guests, Bazin said it’s essential that the experience extends beyond the hotel.

“Of course, people want to want to have an upgrade … but you need to assist people when they leave the hotel, before they enter, and during their stay,” he said.

“Make sure they understand the local economy, local architectural, local culture, go to the museum, go to the cinema, go to the stadium … During the seven days they’re going to be staying with you, only a third will be experienced in the hotel, the other two thirds will be outside the hotel.”

Accor recovery

Bazin also spoke about the challenges the hotel group has faced in various markets as they emerge from the pandemic.  

“We’ve been getting our necks out of the water for the last three months,” he said.

“It’s certainly getting better and better in America, better in the western world, in Europe, certainly very strong in the Middle East; it’s still very challenging in Eastern Europe and challenging in Africa. And of course, we have a lot of questions about the Pacific and Southeast Asia.”

While he said the future was uncertain late last year, when he last spoke with HM’s James Wilkinson, now he is more confident of recovery.  

“Accor will perform better and better every month,” he said.

Late last year, Accor observed a trend of late bookings, around 72 hours before arrival, but Bazin said the group is now seeing bookings coming in earlier due to “fear of missing out” on the best rooms and deals.  

“Now we have more than 50% of our bookings are [made] one to nine days [out],” he said.