The Accor has relaunched its Pullman brand of hotels this week with the opening of 12 new properties worldwide.

The upscale, non-standardised hotels opened in seven locations in France, two in Germany and one each in Belgium, Thailand and China.

Accor says by the end of 2008, 50 Sofitel and Mercure hotels will be rebranded as Pullman properties in 23 countries, with a total capacity of 13,000 rooms.

Accor has a target of 300 hotels by 2015, at a rate of 25 new properties a year.

Accor acquired the Pullman brand in 1991 but closed down all of the hotels in 1993.

Accor will upgrade its Sofitel brand to luxury status as part of the changes and any Sofitels that cannot be upgraded will be rebranded as four-and-a-half star Pullman hotels.

By staff writer