Jo & Joe brand plans hostel debut in Bangkok in 2020

Jo & Joe brand plans hostel debut in Bangkok in 2020

French chain AccorHotels plans to launch its Jo & Joe brand in Bangkok by 2020, targeting travellers 18-35 years old and challenging the rising number of hostels and rental accommodations from online marketplace Airbnb.

Sebastien Bazin, global chairman and chief executive of AccorHotels, said Jo & Joe will serve increasing demand from younger adults, or Millennials, with high spending power.

The chain is confident its strong global network will make the Jo & Joe label successful in Thailand. It is not concerned about small players in this field, he said.

However, hostels have traditionally been popular here and rental accommodations and vacation homes are gaining in popularity on Airbnb, a room reservation website.

"Accor is moving ahead of the game in the industry, and I believe no one has ever seen this hotel segment for youngsters," Mr Bazin said during a Bangkok visit last Friday.

AccorHotels sees Bangkok as having the highest potential in Asia-Pacific because it had the most visitors in the world based on a poll in the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index 2016.

Mr Bazin said Thailand is expected to welcome more than 30 million foreign visitors this year, a major reason it will open the first Jo & Joe hotel in the region in Bangkok.

AccorHotels aims to have 50 properties under the Jo & Joe label by 2020, with locations including Paris and Bordeaux as well as Warsaw, Budapest, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

The brand was launched recently, with hotels meant to be in urban surroundings with good public transport. Room rates will start from 25 euros a night.

The Jo & Joe properties will comprise renovated buildings and new construction.

Patrick Basset, chief operating officer for Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia for AccorHotels, said the Jo & Joe brand is expected to open by 2020 or sooner.

The company wants to locate Jo & Joe hotels in areas where several young tourists stay such as Khao San, Charoen Krung and Ratchadaphisek roads.

"Younger tourists nowadays need something more than just resting at the hotel. They want fun activities such as hanging at bars and restaurants or meeting international peers to make new friends or form a new travel community," Mr Basset said.

As Bangkok luxury hotels face intense competition from new rivals, hoteliers have to refine their services and products to cater to customers' needs, he said.

AccorHotels operates 68 hotels and 16,877 rooms in its portfolio in Thailand. Of the total, 27 are luxury hotels and resorts including Sofitel, SO Sofitel, MGallery by Sofitel, Swissotel and Pullman.

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