Accor Resorts, Gogo Team Up to Offer Three-Island Package

NEW YORK -- In an effort to raise the profile of its resorts in the French West Indies, Accor Resorts put together a three-island package in cooperation with Gogo Worldwide Vacations, marking the first time the two companies have worked together.

Accor Resorts is a division of Accor, a French hotel company that operates properties under the Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis and Marine names.

Coralia is a division of Accor that operates resorts under several of those brand names.

At a press luncheon here, Didier Rouge Biscay, vice president of sales and marketing for Coralia, said the French Caribbean Trio package would seek to broaden the market for Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Barts beyond the firm's traditional French base.

The nine-night vacation features stays at three properties: the Auberge de la Vieille Tour on Guadeloupe, the Bakoua on Martinique and the Christopher Hotel on St. Barts, all managed by Sofitel, the upscale division of Accor.

The package includes three nights at each resort, full American breakfast, one dinner at each hotel, transfers, hotel taxes and service charges.

Available from April 1 through Aug. 31 and again from Oct. 15 through Dec. 20, the package is priced at $1,099 per person, double, land.

Air transportation can be booked separately through Gogo, with fares depending on the gateway and other factors; travelers can choose the order in which they visit each hotel.

"These islands have not been American-oriented," said Biscay, who added, "We will have an employee exchange program, bringing down employees of the seven Sofitel hotels in the U.S. to lend a more American flavor to these properties."

Accor Resorts is the largest hotel group operating in the French West Indies, managing resorts under the Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Marine brands.

Turning to another major region for his company, Biscay elaborated on a contract signed late last year with the government of Morocco under which Accor will build or acquire 7,000 hotel rooms in that country as part of the government's continuing efforts to privatize the lodging industry.

Biscay said that Accor had organized the raising of a $100 million fund toward that effort and had itself contributed $15 million.

He said Accor will take over about 10 hotels and spend substantial money on some before rebranding them; others will simply be given an Accor brand name.

After eight years, the company will have 30 to 35 hotels in Morocco.

Accor is also moving into Israel for the first time this year, taking over properties in Jerusalem, Eilat, Netanya and Tiberius.

Finally, Accor will promote its thallasotherapy-oriented properties to the North America market for the first time.

These properties offer seawater-based therapies.

Working through the trade, the company will promote its eight thalassa centers in France and one in Japan; many other projects are planned.

Accor has a subsidiary called Thalassa International that manages all thallasotherapy activities.

All told, said Biscay, Accor hopes to double the number of its resorts to about 200 by the year 2000.

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