December 19, 2012 // Franchising.com // By the end of this year, all of Accor's 3,500 hotels will have replaced the portrait of co-founders Paul Dubrule and Gérard Pélisson gracing their lobbies since 1996 with one of a series of six new portraits. Representative of the world's cultural and geographical diversity, the six portraits are a strong symbol of the alliance between Accor's pioneering spirit and the resolutely artistic contemporary inspiration driving work on the Group's brands, from economy, with the ibis family, to luxury, with Sofitel.
Accor commissioned well-known artist François Cadière to handle artistic creation of these portraits. He uses a combination of techniques (photography, drawing and collage) and had already produced works on the theme of travel and cultural plurality, which corresponded perfectly to what the Group wanted.
"We gave contemporary artist François Cadière the brief to bring a fresh new look to the portrait of the co-founders, grounded in a strong artistic approach. The result is daring and original," comments Denis Hennequin, Accor Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "This series of new portraits is both faithful to our roots and firmly focused on the future. They help unite the teams working in all our hotels around the shared values symbolized by the ‘Esprit Accor’ and offer our customers a pledge of quality and affiliation with the Accor family."
The series of six portraits reflects the six major world regions in which the Group is active: Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Asia, Africa/Middle East, Latin America and the Pacific. Each of them is an invitation to travel, highlighting strong cultural symbols representing the different regions and their approach to hospitality.
The "Esprit Accor" text signed by the co-founders and accompanying each portrait is identical to the one on the previous portrait. Drafted 15 years ago, while the co-founders were leaving their executive position, it embodies the Group's shared, universal and timeless values. Each portrait also factures the iconic Accor bernache goose.
"I took inspiration from the Accor Group's philosophy of tradition of service - a very French know-how and spirit with a touch of artistic modernity," explains François Cadière. "The main symbolic codes I used in creating the different visual elements are bridges and arches, which to my way of thinking stand for links between different cultures. The bernache goose, the Group's emblem, is a symbol of perpetual movement and unity."
Each hotel is free to choose which of the six geographical versions of the portrait it will use. Each version is available in eight languages (Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese/Brazilian and Spanish). Sign of their strong interest, 95% of the Group’s hotels have already ordered the new portrait, available since September 2012.
Accor, the world's leading hotel operator and market leader in Europe, is present in 92 countries with nearly 3,500 hotels and 440,000 rooms. Accor's broad portfolio of hotel brands - Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Suite Novotel, Mercure, Adagio, ibis, ibis Styles, ibis budget and hotelF1 - provide an extensive offer from luxury to budget. With more than 160,000 employees in Accor brand hotels worldwide, the Group offers its clients and partners 45 years of know-how and expertise. www.accor.com | www.accorhotels.com
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