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Accor disappointments, CEE flows, Tech wishes

Dear Insiders,
AccorHotels will in future again exclude independent hotels from its distribution platform. For Sébastien Bazin's idea, the group was only able to win over 2,200 hotels instead of the planned 10,000. This means a wasted expenditure of some EUR 22 million. In Paris, the CEO has let heads roll. This is his first defeat on a very ambitious path to turning the hotel chain into a world-leading travel & lifestyle group and digital innovator. On the other hand, the statements made by disappointed individual hoteliers who describe their experiences with AccorHotels'  distribution as a "nightmare" don't really fit with this hyper-confident formulation. Sarah Douag brings us the background.
By contrast, the mood was excellent at the CEE-focused IHIDFC conference in Vienna last week: The Eastern European markets are flourishing and are even driving development for the whole of Europe. Today, initial figures. We'll provide more detailed information shortly.
The mood is mixed when it comes to the issue of cancellation. In contrast to come US chains, Europe-sensitive groups are not prepared to introduce stricter rules. They fear losing valuable corporate clients. And rightly so. Managers at BestWestern, AccorHotels, Louvre and Choice explain their approaches.
The experience recently announced by Marriott sounds very interesting. It wants to test out the Internet of Things in a room. Its experience will help the market to find its feet in the prevailing tech chaos. Four Seasons is also doing its bit here. It chats with its guests via many channels and can already report initial positive results on acceptance. The digital service is now being introduced worldwide.
In the personnel section today, some sad news: Henk R. Oosterhuis has died. During the pre-opening phase of the Estrel Hotel Berlin, he was Managing Partner of the 1,125-room property which is today an event and convention giant.


Yours, Maria Puetz-Willems, Editor in Chief

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