Accor gets to grips with social media in Asia Pacific

Low Lai Chow

Accor, the hotel operator, wanted to understand how social media impacts consumer behaviour in the travel sector across Asia Pacific. The company's initial research, however, revealed there was little existing information available to help it achieve this task.

"We came up with more questions than we had answers," Emilie Couton, Accor's director of hotel solutions for Asia Pacific, told delegates at the Web in Travel 2013 conference, held in Singapore in October 2013.

"There's a lot about social media out there, but not anything specific when it comes to travel and how people behave on social media when they travel. How do they interact with hotels? What do they do on social media before, during and after the trip? And how is that different from one country to the other?"

Accor runs 3,500 hotels in 92 countries under its portfolio of luxury-to-economy brands, a list including Sofitel, Pullman, Grand Mercure, Novotel and ibis. In a bid to understand changing demands in a vital and growing market, the firm launched the Accor Asia Pacific Social Media Monitor, an exercise it plans to repeat annually.