Accor Buys FHRI (Fairmont, Raffles & Swissotel)

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The consolidation in the hotel industry continues. Accor has purchased FHRI that consists of Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel brands for $2.56 billion from Qatar Investment Authority and Kindom Holdings.

FHRI Fairmont Swissotel Raffles Sold To Accor

FHRI currently has 115 hotels open and another 40 under development. Accor claims that this purchase will create “worldwide leader in luxury segment”.

Here’s the press release from Accor:

Download (PDF, 335KB)

The press release states that:

Significant improvements will also be made in terms of customer data, thanks to the integration of a customer base including 3 million loyalty members, of which 75% are North Americans.

While FHRI sent the following info:

Furthermore, our guest loyalty programs – Fairmont President’s Club, Swissôtel Circle and Raffles Ambassadors – remain the same, including all associated benefits and services.

Conclusion

While Accor boasts to have close to 500 luxury/upscale properties after this deal, their strength are the budget properties (ibis, ibis Budget, ibis Styles) and middle of the road Mercure and Novotels mainly in home market of France, Europe and Asia.

Accor has had very small footprint in North America where these budget brands simply wouldn’t work. The purchase of FHRI gives the chain 42 additional properties, although many of them in Canada.

I have long criticized FHRI for having three separate loyalty programs for its Faimont, Swissotel and Raffles brands, although with some linked benefits.

Difficult to see how these programs would integrate to Le Club AccorHotels keeping their current members happy. FHRI loyalty programs are more guest recognition ones where you won’t earn points, although you can earn free nights, upgrade and F&B certificates after set number of stays.

It is also interesting to see what happens to those of us who are Fairmont President’s Club Platinum members that get the all the certs including free night and upgrade ones every year without having to meet the qualification requirements.

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