* Cedric Gobilliard to head up new division
* Boutique hotels seen as popular with millennials
PARIS, Jan 9 (Reuters) - AccorHotels, Europe’s largest hotel group, is creating a new lifestyle division to pool its fast-growing “boutique” hotel brands, the company said on Monday.
From Feb. 1, Cedric Gobilliard will head the division, which comprises the Jo&Joe youth hostel brand and AccorHotels’ stakes in Germany’s 25hours Hotels and France’s MamaShelter brands.
Boutique hotels are usually small, stylishly-designed, upmarket hotels that have proved particularly popular with so-called “millennials” - a term used for the tech-savvy generation born after 1980.
Leading hotel operators such as AccorHotels and rivals Marriott, Hilton and InterContinental are focusing increasingly on millennials, whom they expect to be the biggest single group of hotel customers by 2020.
Gobilliard, who joined AccorHotels in 2009 after 10 years at French holiday group Club Med, was responsible for the operations of Accor’s mainstream Mercure and Novotel brands for the French provinces. In the last two years, he also managed relations with the MamnaShelter teams.
AccorHotels cut back the upper end of its 2016 profit target range in October after its French and Belgian operations were hit by security fears in the third quarter. (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)