Formule 1 Goes High-Rise With Sydney City Debut In 2003

Formule 1 in Australia is set to reach new heights with the construction in 2003 of its first high rise city hotel.

The Formule 1 is to be built on William Street at the Kings Cross end of the city.

The new development will reverse a trend that has seen over 3,000 hotel rooms closed or converted into apartments in Sydney over the past two years, with Kings Cross the most affected area.

The 115 room Formule 1 will be the 14th hotel in the Australian network,.and the first in a prime city district. While most Formule 1 hotels are located in suburban and regional centres, there are many Formule 1 hotels situated in CBD areas in European cities, close to major transport hubs.

The Formule 1 in Sydney will be within a short walk of Kings Cross station, an airport bus terminus and a wide variety of car rental firms.

Commenting on the new Formule 1 for Sydney, Accor Asia Pacific Chairman, Mr David Baffsky, said that the William Street Formule 1 signalled a new and exciting phase for the brand.

The success of Formule 1 in Australia has made this an inevitable progression, and we are actively looking for other city locations elsewhere in Australia, said Mr Baffsky.

While the upper-end of the hotel market in Australia has suffered as a result of the Ansett Airlines collapse, economic recession and September 11, the economy sector has been very resilient, with occupancies for Formule 1 and our 3-star Ibis hotels consistently exceeding the 80% mark across the country.

To be able to get quality hotel accommodation in such strategic areas at affordable rates is the formula for the brand's success, and we're confident that the new Formule 1 will create an even larger market for the brand because of its extremely visible location.

With the proposed conversion of the Millennium hotel next year there will be only one or two internationally-branded hotels remaining in the Kings Cross area and there will be a shortage of quality budget accommodation. The arrival of the Formule 1 will be a major impetus for Sydney's tourism.

The Formule 1 concept is based on providing a highly affordable and standardised product in key commercial areas that are close to major transport arteries. The brand has been likened to the McDonalds of hotel accommodation, with all rooms identical (offering a queen-size bed and overhead bunk bed plus en suite bathroom) and a uniform tariff. Formule 1s also offer a breakfast room and vending machines for snacks.

The Australian Formule 1 network comprises hotels in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo and Canberra. The network is set for major expansion with a number of new development sites currently under consideration.

Globally, there are 630 Formule 1 and related-ETAP hotels in 12 countries, including France, Germany, South Africa, Brazil and the United Kingdom.

Accor is the worldwide leader in hotels, tourism and corporate services, employing 147,000 people in 140 countries, with two major international
activities:
* hotels: 3,700 hotels (423,000 rooms) in 90 countries (including over
110 hotels and resorts in Australia and New Zealand under the brands Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, All Seasons, Ibis and Formule 1) as well as travel agencies, restaurants and casinos;
* services to corporate clients and public institutions: each day, 13
million people in 31 countries use a broad range of services (employee assistance programs, people care and services, incentive, loyalty programs,
events, food vouchers) engineered and managed by Accor.

For further information:

Peter Hook (61-2) 93670860 email: hook_peter@accor-hotels.com