According to the group, Ashton brings with her “extensive” experience in the hospitality and real estate industries, the majority of which were in senior leadership roles.
She reportedly has a “strong” international background that was gained through hotel development, feasibility and asset management. This includes experience in North America, LATAM, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, which has led to a “strong” track record of acquisition and portfolio growth with global brands.
She joins Accor from Oakwood Hospitality where she was vice president of Business Development. Prior to this, she spent 13 years in feasibility and senior development roles with Hyatt Hotels throughout the UK, Switzerland and the US.
On her appointment, Ashton said: “I am delighted to be joining Accor bringing my years of strategic business development experience to my new role as vice president in the Northern European market. This is a critical time for our industry and Accor is a strong partner with an unrivalled brand portfolio.
“Accor continues to be the European market leader with an enviable pipeline and fantastic momentum. Throughout the pandemic the business has never once taken its eye off the future, building the brand portfolio and opportunities for our partners across the region. As we look to 2022 and beyond Accor is well placed to strengthen its portfolio with some spectacular projects planned.”
Camil Yazbeck senior VP, head of Development, Accor Northern Europe, said: “Accor Northern Europe has signed more hotels and rooms than any other hotel group during 2020 & Q1 2021, ranking #1 against all competitors in signings with 40% market share.
“We achieve this success with great brands and great people and so I am thrilled to welcome Maria to further strengthen our development team in the region. Luxury remains a key priority for the group globally and in Europe as we look to enhance our already strong portfolio.”
Accor has a “prominent presence” in luxury with a worldwide portfolio of over 270 hotels and 130 hotels in the development pipeline. The group’s expertise in the segment is underpinned by a dedicated luxury organisation covering all aspects of luxury brand services.
Recent and planned luxury projects in Northern Europe include: