date of creation
number of employees
280,000 (as of end of 2018)
Accor is a multinational French hotel group, with corporate operations in 92 countries across 5 continents, involving 3,500 hotels ranging from budget to 5-star luxury.
In the 1960s Paul Dubrule and Gérard Pélisson were both working for major computer firms and living in the United States. In France, the travel industry was booming. They observed that new hotels were opening only in major urban areas such as Paris. Having seen the success of American lodging properties in suburban areas and along major highways, they went into business together, and in 1967, founded the SIEH (Société d’investissement et d’exploitation hôteliers) hotel group and opened their first American-style Novotel hotel outside of Lille in northern France. In 1974, the ibis brand was launched, with its first hotel opening in Bordeaux. The following year, the expanding company acquired the Courtepaille and Mercure brands. In 1980 SIEH acquired the luxury Sofitel hotel brand, which at that time consisted of 43 hotels.
In 1983, the Group changed its name to the Accor Group. Having already acquired a luxury brand name, in 1985 the company targeted the opposite end of the market by launching the Hotel Formule 1 brand, which offered very basic accommodation at very low prices. By 1986 Accor’s revenues had reached around $2 billion, with net profits of $32 million. The Novotel brand remained the most profitable while Sofitel faced stiff competition in the luxury hotel market, particularly from American properties. Accor’s European operations contributed three-quarters of its global revenue, with more than half coming from hotels and the remainder from its food service operations.
In 1990, Accor entered the North American market by acquiring the Westin Hotels and Red Roof Inn chains.
By 2001 Accor took its Sofitel brand to Asia. The group purchased a minority stake in the Hong Kong based Century International Hotels, and used its Sofitel brand to open deluxe establishments in China and Vietnam. Since then Accor has also expanded its operations in Latin America, across the Middle East and also into Australia.
The group continued to expand and diversify over the coming years, including acquiring employee assistance and human resource companies. 2008 was another benchmark year, with the creation of MGallery (a range of high end hotels with character), the launch of their global loyalty program (A|Club), and the opening of their 800th Ibis hotel in Shanghai.
2010 was another busy year with the opening of its 400th hotel in the Asia Pacific region, the acquisition of Suitehotel, its 100th hotel in China, and the opening of the first Sofitel in Saudi Arabia.
In 2012, Accor launched its international women’s network, opened its 150th Brazilian location and reached the 500 mark in Asia Pacific.
With the appointment of Bazin as Chairman and CEO in 2013, the group entered a new phase of expansion and development. More recently, the have committed to eliminating single use plastics by 2022 and have joined the United Nations Environment Program’s Global Tourism Plastics Initiative led by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).