|A staff member at Raffles Hotel in Singapore, wearing a face mask and gloves, is ready to receive guests. / Courtesy of Accor|
By Jun Ji-hye
Accor, a global hospitality operator based in France, has formed a strategic partnership with insurance firm AXA, in a bid to provide unique medical assistance to guests across 5,000 Accor hotels worldwide.
Accor, which runs brands such as Raffles, Sofitel, Rixos, Novotel and Ibis, said the partnership will enable its guests to benefit from the expert medical support systems of AXA Partners, the insurance firm's international entity specializing in assistance services, travel insurance and credit protection, by the end of July this year.
Among others, Accor guests will be able to benefit from AXA's most recent advances in telemedicine through free access to medical teleconsultations.
Guests will also have access to AXA's extensive medical networks with tens of thousands of vetted medical professionals, which will allow hotels to make the most relevant referrals, for example language and specialization, to their guests in Accor's 110 destinations.
Accor has been one of many in the tourism and hospitality sectors to have been hit hard by the COVID-19 global pandemic.
As the hotel company now prepares for a post COVID-19 rebound, the medical service complements its overall global recovery plan, it said, noting that the new service is included in the enhanced health and prevention protocols that Accor has put in place through its ALLSAFE Cleanliness label in preparation for reopening its hotels across different regions.
From AXA's point of view, the partnership will give an opportunity to strengthen its "payer-to-partner" strategy which aims to provide innovative services to its customers.
"Welcoming, safeguarding and taking care of others is at the very heart of what we do and who we are as hoteliers," Accor Chairman and CEO Sebastien Bazin said.
"This distinctive partnership with AXA, which we have been working on for several months, makes even more sense in today's context. In an increasingly complex environment, our team members on the ground will be able to assist our guests and ensure their safety during their stays, turning our hotels into shelters."
AXA CEO Thomas Buberl said partnering with Accor was a unique opportunity to enlarge people's access to his firm's healthcare expertise and systems.
"AXA's ambition is to move from a payer to a partner with its customers, notably by providing them with innovative systems in health. This is why AXA has become over the last year a world leader in telemedicine systems," Buberl said. "As we are facing an unprecedented health crisis with COVID-19, this ambition has never been more relevant."