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French hotel group accelerates expansion in Poland


B&B Hotels, the third-biggest hospitality group in France, plans to build a network of 10 budget hotels in Poland’s biggest cities within the next three to four years, Krzysztof Potocki, CEO of B&B Polska, told Rzeczpospolita. The value of the expansion drive is estimated at around PLN 300m (approx. €76m), and the number of direct jobs to be created as a result is 80.

B&B Hotels, which at present has one hotel in the country (in Torun), on 26 May started the construction of its first hotel in Warsaw, with a similar project scheduled to get underway in Wroclaw later this year or next. B&B has also already bought a land plot in Lodz, and is in talks about acquiring properties in other major cities, including Poznan, Krakow, Katowice, the Tricity, as well as in Warsaw (the group wants to have three-four hotels in the capital city). In 2012 the company expects to have five projects under construction in the country.

In an interview with Puls Biznesu, Mr. Potocki added that the group’s expansion would continue beyond the medium-term plan of 10 hotels, and that it was setting itself no upper limit for its Polish network. It might well grow to 30 to 50 hotels in Poland within 10 years, as long as the market supported it, he said.

B&B’s hotels in Poland will be relatively inexpensive (less than PLN 200 or €50 per night) but comfortable with air-conditioning, wireless internet access, satellite TV etc.

B&B Hotels is the latest from a growing list of international hotel groups announcing investments in Poland’s budget hotel market (see the news item ‘Hilton to open Hampton by Hilton hotels in Warsaw, Gdansk’). According to industry observers quoted by Rzeczpospolita, in 2011 investments in Poland’s budget hotel market could reach a record PLN 1bn (€254m).

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