Recently, Accor (hotel group) hosted a Carnival themed networking event for meeting and event agencies at Sofitel Brussels Europe. Eventonline was present and CEO Erik Wood and Sales Manager Daisy Lens had a chat with Dana Lewis, Accor Director of Global Sales, MICE & Leisure, Northern Europe, about the changes within Accor which have come with the launch of its new loyalty program ‘ALL’, which stands for ‘Accor Live Limitless’.
“The idea behind the rebranding is to align our brands, ensuring that both digital and loyalty are under one platform. We are now not only a hotel group, but we offer services and solutions across wellness, experiences, entertainment, as well as hotel stays. This is all part of our policy of augmented hospitality,” Dana Lewis explains. “We now have 39 brands in the group and with our new platform we can offer an enhanced loyalty program for both the business traveller and the meeting planner. The rewards program enables bookers to earn points for every business group or meeting they book with us. These points can be converted into stays at our hotels, discounts on their next meetings or even on some amazing experiences and events.”
The recent development of the portfolio of brands continues in 2020. “We are now incorporating luxury brands such as Fairmont and Mövenpick into the ALL meeting planner program – enabling the planner to earn and burn in more hotels around the world. We have developed the program extensively over the years and now obviously we’re getting the brands to become more part of the program,” the Sales Director adds.
Accor reorganised its number of regions across the whole of Europe. “From ten regions we went to five main regions plus a luxury division. Northern Europe currently encompasses Scandinavia, Benelux and also the UK. This means we can now work together on a lot more synergies and share best practices across the region, working together as a team in a more cohesive way.”
The portfolio keeps expanding as Dana Lewis confirms. “Across Accor Northern Europe there is a target to launch up to 40 new hotels over the next two years in the region. At the end of 2019 we launched a new Mercure in Antwerp and next month Mama Shelter opens in Luxembourg. We are also introducing new brands including Tribe – one of our lifestyle brands – in Glasgow Scotland, as well as Jo&Jo in the UK, this is a brand specially designed for millenials and travellers. The growth plan will continue across our Luxury division with the forthcoming opening of the Fairmont hotel in Windsor near London.”
At the event in Sofitel Brussels Europe, some 21 hotels from across Europe were present, primarily from the Northern European region, but also from Barcelona and France. “The whole idea is to introduce our meeting and events agencies to these hotels. You can easily send out the information to clients, but when they are actually face-to-face, they can start building relationships. It’s all about networking really and educating them about our hotels,” Dana Lewis says.
“We also wanted to create a fun party atmosphere, and the Carnival theme really enhances that, tied in with our recent opening of the Fairmont in Rio itself. This reflects and showcases our global presence and along with our co-sponsors KLM/Air France, the highlight of the evening was the star prize for one lucky meeting planner, who won a holiday for two at the Fairmont including flights,” the Director of Sales ends.