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Ibis plans franchise model to expand

IBIS, the economy hotel brand under Accor SA, said yesterday that it will tap the franchise model to expand its China network next year to accelerate its growth in the country.

"The first franchised Ibis hotel is scheduled to be unveiled in Beijing in 2010 while Accor, in the meantime, will continue to invest in its own Ibis hotels across the country," said Gilles Larrive, vice president for Ibis' Asia Pacific operations. "Under our plan, between 15 and 20 new hotels, including those owned by Accor and franchised ones, will be added in China each year from now on."

Entering the China market in 2004, Ibis now has a total of 26 hotels, or 5,348 guest rooms, in 22 cities on the Chinese mainland. In addition, 10 new hotels have just been added over the past month, boosting the company's presence in the northern areas.

Although it is aggressively increasing its China presence, the French hotelier has also made great efforts to improve its service quality. The company intends to be a leader in the country's economy hotel market as it competes against domestic rivals.

The company announced yesterday that three Ibis hotels in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuxi have just obtained the ISO 9001 certification, making Ibis the first economy hotel brand in the country to be recognized as such. By the end of this year, 17 Ibis hotels in the country are expected to be certified.


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