June 06, 2018

What Accor’s interest in Air France-KLM means for the travel industry

AccorHotels, Airbnb, and everyone else in travel are clearly thinking about what it’ll take to be the “super brand of travel” before other mega brands like Amazon and Google deepen their own investments in the travel space.

Nothing is official yet, far from it. Or as AccorHotels CEO Sebastien Bazin said Monday: “A bit too early” to speculate. But the possibility of Accor buying up the French government’s 14.3 percent stake in troubled airline group Air France-KLM is garnering plenty of industry interest.

This potential investment, first reported on Sunday, suggests that travel brands are increasingly looking to complementary businesses - either to invest in directly or to partner with - to increase the engagement they have with travelers and to become experience platforms, and not just travel brands.

For a hospitality company such as AccorHotels, that means branching out beyond just hotels or even homesharing and, potentially, getting into aviation, or working with airline partners more closely than ever before.

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