Accor to expand in South Caucasus and Central Asia
Accor, a world leading hospitality group, plans to grow its presence in the South Caucasus and Central Asia in 2023 by more than 60% following a series of strategic signings.
In 2022 the Group signed 15 new projects under six hotel brands adding more than 2,100 rooms to its existing portfolio of 24 hotels in these regions. Accor will open nine properties in this area in 2023, five of which were signed in 2022.
New Accor hotels will open in the well-known capitals – Baku, Azerbaijan; Tashkent, Uzbekistan; and Tbilisi, Georgia. The Group’s brands will also debut in picturesque resorts such as Kobuleti in Georgia, Charvak Lake in Uzbekistan, Tsaghkadzor in Armenia. The growth in the region is dominated by Accor’s globally renowned ‘glocal’ midscale brand Mercure, with six signings across the region in 2022.
Mercure combines the strength of an international network of nearly 1000 hotels, with genuine and local hospitality experiences. A third of signings in 2022 was for the Group’s leading premium brands Mövenpick and Swissôtel, bringing a further five properties to the region in the coming years. This year alone, Accor will open three Mövenpick hotels and two Swissôtel’s in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, introducing the legendary brands with Swiss heritage in the new destinations and offering services according to the highest international hospitality standards.
In 2022, Accor opened five hotels in the South Caucasus and Central Asia, with a total of 619 rooms, ranging from economy to premium brands – ibis budget, Mercure, Novotel Living and Pullman – solidifying Accor’s presence and commitment to development in these regions and delivering great locations, designs and exclusive opportunities to guests.
“The past year has been successful for us in expanding our portfolio in the countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia. We have entered the Uzbekistan market and signed seven landmark projects over the year with two hotels already open and welcoming their first guests. Accor has actively developed business in Georgia by opening flagship hotels in the capital and adding new projects to the opening pipeline. In addition, Accor has continued to expand our presence in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Armenia,” said Alexis Delaroff, COO of Accor New East Europe.
“In 2023, we continue to drive growth in those countries and expect to sign more than 20 new projects, confirming and strengthening our leading positioning in the hospitality industry in the region.
“We expect international travels to fully recover in 2023, with tourist flows going above the pre-pandemic levels in the region. I am sure that the opening of new hotels under the world-famous Accor brands will make a significant contribution to the development of the tourism industry, while our guests from all over the world will discover unique places and experiences in the South Caucasus and Central Asia.”
In 2022, the Group reaffirmed its commitment to support the tourism industry in Georgia and strengthen its positioning in the country. Accor opened two hotels in Tbilisi last summer: the affordable ibis budget Tbilisi Center and the premium Pullman Tbilisi Axis Towers. The Group will introduce new properties in Georgia: in particular, Novotel Tbilisi Center and Swissôtel Tbilisi are among the planned openings for 2023. Following the 2022 signing, the first hotel in the Kakheti region – Mercure Telavi Resort – will open in 2025.
Paying tribute to the most popular resorts in Georgia, in 2026 Accor in partnership with leading Georgian development company Archi will open Mövenpick Kobuleti in the second largest city in Adjara and one of the most popular resorts in the country – Kobuleti. Offering 120 rooms, the hotel will be located in a new high-rise building on the Black Sea coast within walking distance from the beach. Thanks to the Mövenpick Family program, adults and children will truly enjoy spending time together. Guests will be able to try one of Mövenpick’s signature experiences – “Chocolate Hour” featuring a variety of chocolate desserts every day.
Kazakhstan remains one of the priority markets for Accor. Kazakhstan recorded almost 200,000 international tourists visiting the country last year. Accor is strengthening its presence in Kazakhstan and expanding its offer in the region in line with the post-pandemic long-stay travel trend. In March 2022, Accor’s new Novotel Living brand debuted in the region – Novotel Living Almaty Jetisu opened in Almaty on the site of one of the oldest hotels in Kazakhstan following a large-scale reconstruction of the building. Accor has ambition to introduce new projects in Kazakhstan in coming years.
Uzbekistan has become a new country of presence on the Accor map. In December, the first Accor hotels opened in the country: Mercure Tashkent and Mercure Bukhara Old Town. Uzbekistan will be even more important for Accor in 2023. At the beginning of the year, the Group's collection will expand with the opening of Mövenpick Samarkand, while another hotel under the Swissôtel brand will debut in Tashkent in the summer. Swissôtel in Charvak, Mercure in Khiva, ibis in Tashkent will open in the next years. In addition, the Group is negotiating new signings in the country, including a luxury hotel in the capital, as well as new projects in various regions, including Ferghana Valley, Nukus and other major cities.
The strength of Accor’s network across Armenia continues to grow with the upcoming opening of the first Mercure in Tsaghkadzor, one of the country's most popular ski and wellness resorts. Scheduled to open in 2023, it will be the first of many new projects in Armenia in the coming years.
Accor will open two new hotels in Azerbaijan in 2023. Mercure Baku City, combining modern design with the national flavour, will be located in the city centre just a few steps away from the main attractions. Later in the year, Accor will introduce the premium Mövenpick Winter Park Baku, which will be located on the territory of Winter Park in close proximity to the large pedestrian and shopping street – Nizami Street. In accordance with the current development plan, in 2023 the Group will continue to explore opportunities for new openings in the sea, health and ski resorts of Azerbaijan. – TradeArabia News Service