- Published on Monday, 11 February 2013 11:42
- Published by Isaac Twumasi-Quantus
- Hits: 219
Africa’s largest hotel operator, Accor, is stepping up its expansion on the continent and aims to open another 5,000 rooms by 2016.
It plans to expand through its economy and mid-scale brands, ibis and Novotel, but it will also expand through its Mercure and Pullman brands as and when opportunities arise in the most important cities.
The group plans to create denser networks in countries where it already operates, and open hotels in new markets.
The next establishment to open in sub-Saharan Africa is the ibis Lagos, Ikeja, in Nigeria this year.
“After operating for many years in Africa, we have high hopes for this continent and are now stepping up our expansion here. By launching our sustainable development programme, PLANET 21, in Africa we are asserting our commitment to responsible growth,” said Denis Hennequin, Accor’s Chairman.
PLANET 21 is a new sustainable development programme that involves all Accor’s hotels and customers.
The programme is structured into seven pillars -- health, nature, carbon, innovation, local development, employment and dialogue -- which in turn comprise 21 commitments backed by ambitious, quantifiable objectives that the hotels must meet by 2015.
PLANET 21 includes an innovative programme that uses an array of educational messages to inform and encourage customers to contribute actively to the hotels’ actions through a few simple gestures.
Accor’s approach to sustainable development places emphasis on local problems. For example, over the last few years the efforts of the group’s sub-Saharan hotels have focused on four flagship projects: tree-planting in the Lompoul Kebemer region, employee health and well-being, careers and training, and responsible fishing.
Ever since 2009, Senegal has been home to one of the 14 plantations supported by Accor as part of the “Plant for the Planet” project, which finances reforestation around the world thanks to the hotel bathroom formula: “5 reused towels = 1 tree planted”.
To date, 590 hotels, including 14 in Africa and two in Senegal, are taking part in this reforestation funding project which is carried out in partnership with the NGO SOS Sahel.
A total of 1,251,000 trees have been planted on the site, and significant benefits are being felt both environmentally and socially.
Accor is behind the creation of 11,000 jobs in Africa, including 3,000 in sub-Saharan Africa, and believes that employees’ and future employees’ careers and training are of vital importance.
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