Accor has never been as strong as it is today, according to chairman and CEO Sebastien Bazin in a keynote speech at MIPIM yesterday on the future of hospitality. However, he said there was much more to be done. “It’s good to be strong but it’s not good enough,” he said.
Instead Accor has to have continual focus on its direct competitors as well as digital disruptors, he said.
Bazin said the market was split into three ‘buckets’ of players. The first, digital disruptors such as Kayak and Airbnb, are growing at an average of 50% a year. The second contained eight ‘gorillas’ that include Accor and are growing at around 8%-15% a year. The third was everyone else, he said, around 5%-10% of whom die each year because they can’t cope with bucket one. “They don’t have the tech, data and brand awareness and so don’t have time.”
Bazin said he and his closest competitors could grow share from absorbing bucket three players but that Accor also had to better understand the “unstoppable” players in bucket one. “They are so powerful because they have something that is unique. They have a frequency of interaction with their guests which is astronomical. We see our clients at best around 10 but on average two or three times a year,” he said.
The trick is to work on increasing the data points and interaction with guests, which has led to Accor buying, investing in and creating businesses that could help achieve this, he said.
However, Bazin warned that one of his biggest potential threats comes from Amazon. “Amazon is the only sizeable company totally independent of Google Search. Amazon has still not interfered with the tourism and travel space but it will,” he said.
This article was first featured in the MIPIM News issue 4, read it in full here…!