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TourInvest 2015: Do technology and hybrid concepts meet new customer expectations?

The change in consumer habits and the desire to plan for the future means proposing new forms of accommodation, introducing new technologies, marking the difference to consolidate the differentiation.This new edition of the TourInvest Forum welcomed representatives of innovative concepts to share their experiences and thoughts.

Nicolas Capelle, Head of Development Europe, Meininger Hotels

Our properties host a high volume of travelers such as backpackers, but also families. Meininger hotels are thus hybrid products, both as far as concerns their adaptability to the destinations where they are located and the buildings themselves, which facilitates conversions of properties. When we try to develop at anew location, we try to develop the profile of the hotel's future clientèle future in order to design the product for them without necessarily losing the spirit of our brand. Thus, no two of our addresses are alike, although their organization is globally identical. The organization of our properties centers on common areas, which are far larger at our properties than at classic hotels. We are thus able to offer a more welcoming product that encourages interaction, and our clients generally have good memories from their experience with us.

Gaël Le Lay, Deputy ceo Foncière des Murs

It is very important for us to accompany new products to support the evolution of the hotel industry. We are thus partners with Meininger Hotels, to accompany brand development in major European cities by allocating 500 million euros. Meininger Hotel is a hotel product with a real capacity to adapt and that does not have strict standards, allowing real flexibility for development. The decision accompany the brand through a partnership was not difficult to make, as hotels were already operating where the concept worked and was appreciated by clients.

Meyer Co-founder Zoku

At Zoku (which means family in Japanese), we have begun by looking for people before designing a concept around them. The question we asked ourselves was how can we create the most value at the lowest cost. We thus sought to use smaller spaces in the most efficient way possible. The Zoku loft was designed for private life and public life in order to allow guests to work while having intimacy in 21 sq.m. Our first property should open in the city of Amsterdam by March 2016, with 33 lofts. For our future development our concept may be adjusted to other destinations and we are working on smaller more flexible models. As far as concerns financing, now that the industry has seen that innovative products can generate revenues, it is becoming easier to find investors.

Julien Routil, Director and Co-Founder Slo Living Hostel

When we launched the Slo Living Hostel adventure, we started from the observation that young travelers were turning toward concepts such as AirBnB because the economy supply available to them was insufficient. This is particularly true in the city of Lyon, where we decided to open our first property . Nonetheless, we refer more to an urban hostel than youth hostel because our product is broad enough to accommodate people of all ages. In particular it allows us to optimize our occupancy. in order to create the concept, we took our own experiences as urban travelers and attempted to transcribe the values of slow travel, highlighting the arrival in the locale by bringing them onto the property. For the moment we are 100% independents in terms of capital but we are raising funds and will invest in a development strategy on French territory over the next five years.

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