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When you want to create you must not position yourself with respect to today’s customer

Paul Dubrule, co-founder of the AccorHotels group, came to share his vision of the hospitality industry and its recommendations with the sector’s future entrepreneurs at the closing ceremony of the Global Lodging Forum’s 21st edition.

With more than 50 years of experience in the hotel business and perpetually looking towards the future, Paul Dubrule spoke about the evolutions in the sector during the closing ceremony of the Global Lodging Forum 2017. More specifically, what advice did he have for younger generations wishing to embark on the world of tourism and hospitality, today?

"The arrival of digital is a new revolution, perhaps even more important than the one that happened in the hotel industry 50 years ago with the arrival of the chains; it is a revolution full of opportunities, a tremendous chance for all those who want to create.

"So, how not to be afraid to start? We have to think, to project ourselves 10 years into the future. When you want to create, you must not position yourself with respect to today's client, because he does not know what he wants in 10 years. It is necessary to anticipate their needs and wishes in light of the evolution of all forms of communication and education. We need to understand how young people today will evolve because they are the customers of the future.

"It is very difficult to anticipate because we can be wrong. You have to be curious about what happens to develop innovative concepts. China and the United States can tell us a lot because these countries are ahead of us by a few years. Old Europe must move, and because of its geographical situation it stands every chance of achieving it. With a little talent and a lot of sweat, we should be able to get there. There is room for innovation now more than ever."

Paul Dubrule created the hotel chain Novotel in France in 1967 with his partner Gérard Pélisson, after graduating from the Institute of Higher Business Studies of the University of Geneva. He co-chaired the Accor Group (Novotel-SIEH until 1983) from 1971 to 1996 and has also created the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Paul Dubrule has been mayor of Fontainebleau as well as senator. In 2012, he teamed up with Olivier Devys to launch the hotel chains Okko and Eklo. He is currently Chairman of the Supervisory Committee of AccorHotels Group.

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