How hospitality giant Accor plans to dominate the European co-working market

Paris-based firm bringing 1,000-plus Wojo spaces to its properties

WOJO CEO Stephane Bensimon (Credit: WOJO)
WOJO CEO Stephane Bensimon (Credit: WOJO)

Paris-based hospitality behemoth Accor has picked Airbnb’s pocket with its luxury upstart brand onefinestay. And now it’s looking to make money in co-working.

Accor announced last week that it was bringing co-working elements to 1,200 of its hospitality spaces over the next three years. If it succeeds, the play would represent the largest co-working venture in the continent.

In 2017, Accor invested in Wojo (previously named Nextdoor) through the French company’s joint venture with Bouygues Immobilier, a real estate development company.

The partnership plans to roll out Wojo spots — mostly designed for nomadic workers — in 1,000 spots across Europe by 2022, largely in Accor properties.

In an interview with Skift, executives of Accor said the investment in Wojo is part of their company’s intensified focus on guest experiences as it designs next-generation hotels.

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“A few years ago, we recognized that our customers were looking for more than just a hotel room – they were looking to create new experiences,” said Franck Gervais, Accor’s CEO Europe.

Gevais said the investment in Wojo would add experiential potential of a stay at an Accor hotel: “This was the first time an international hospitality group partnered with a recognized co-working brand to create vibrant hubs where both the local community and our visitors can work and network.”

Wojo CEO Stephane Bensimon said Wojo is launching two new products that Accor hotels can incorporate. One, called Wojo Spot, provides space in under-used common areas in hotel. Wojo Corners provides greater privacy in larger spaces starting at 100 square meters.

“While we’re launching Wojo Corners inside hotels for now, there’s a ton of potential, and they can eventually be built inside railway stations, airports, and more,” Bensimon said. [Skift]Mike Seemuth