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Quest Means Business
E.U. Struggles To Reach Agreement On Russian Oil; Ukrainian Military: Donbas Battles Reach Maximum Intensity; France Blames Stadium Chaos On Wide-Scale Ticket Fraud; International Business Travel On Decline Post-Pandemic; AccorHotels CEO: Pandemic Has Changed Hotel Business For Better; China Eases Restrictions, Asian Markets Soar. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired May 30, 2022 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: U.S. markets are closed for the Memorial Day holiday, but in Europe, stocks were higher across the board.
In France, the CAC 40 saw the best of the day up, well along with the Xetra Dax, up quite sharply.
The markets as they traded without the U.S. and the main events that we follow today. E.U. Ministers have failed to reach an agreement on oil
sanctions against Russia.
President Zelenskyy is blasting Europe's lack of progress.
The French interior minister regrets chaos at the Champions League final here in Paris and blames industrial scale ticket scam.
And on tonight's program the Chief Executive of Accor Hotels tells me addressing labor shortages is his top priorities with some surprising
results in priorities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN BAZIN, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, ACCOR: If you want to have fun, he wants to have a better quality of life. He wants to actually have the
choices, so don?t -- this is -- this is sentiment of the past, my dear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Live from Paris, it is Monday, it is May the 30th. I'm Richard Quest and in the French capital, absolutely, I'm in business.
Good evening. It is a glorious spring evening here in Paris. The sun is unhelpfully just literally above the Arc de Triomphe where it will be for
the next few moments or so, but it does give us a splendid view of the French capital and we're delighted to be here tonight.
We're here as we're talking about the E.U. appropriate that we're in Paris, the E.U. cannot agree sanctions and the unity of the union is at stake.
Some say it is already fraying.
The leaders met today in Brussels, there were no decisions. That was perhaps not surprising. The highest stakes for the day will be on
tomorrow's meeting. The Chairman and Vice Chancellor warned on Sunday, E.U. unity is starting to crumble.
Meanwhile, the European Parliament President says, "Don't back down."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTA METSOLA, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: I really hope that there will be an agreement. We cannot afford there -- and our aim needs to remain
to disentangle ourselves from Russian energy. In essence, we should not be the ones to blink.
However, and while I understand the realities facing different countries, there is equally a limit to how much flexibility we can allow without
losing credibility, vis-a-vis our populations and the rest of the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: President Zelenskyy expressed his frustration with the European indecision, and while saying he understood there were difficulties, he
reminded the E.U. Council in a virtual address that the E.U. was funding Russia to billions of euros.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I'm very grateful for those who are trying to advance this sixth sanction
package, but unfortunately, for some reason, it is still not in place, and for some reason you are dependent on the Russian pressure, and it should be
Russia should depend on you. Why is Russia still able to earn $1 billion per day selling oil?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Clare Sebastian is in London. We shouldn't be surprised about this, Clare. This was inevitable. In fact, from the very start, the difficulty of
Russia -- of the E.U. agreeing oil sanctions was always going to be there.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and Richard, and I think some in Europe are questioning the wisdom of announcing this package about
a month ago with all that fanfare. And frankly, it wasn't clear how they were going to get to an agreement.
Having said that, though, like they're not going to get a deal at this Summit. That is what Ursula von der Leyen said today. She doesn't think
they're going to come to an agreement in the next 48 hours, so complicated. There are other technical issues, but we are still seeing some movement.
There is some sign of progress and E.U. officials speaking to us after the E.U. Ambassadors meeting this morning which preceded the Leaders' Summit,
Richard, said there are a couple of things on the table, which could advance this.
One being, temporary exemptions for certain countries; and two, being only banning oil that is transported from Russia via sea -- seaborne oil. That
would be an exemption for pipeline oil, which tackles the issue facing landlocked countries, and only amounts to about a third of the oil that the
E.U. traditionally imports from Russia.
So those are things on the table. Of course, the risk when you water this down, is that you give Russia time to sort of work around it and you end up
sort of undoing some of the hard work and potentially harming Europe, more than you harm Russia.
So that is the balancing act that they are trying to sort of undertake right now -- Richard.
QUEST: Right. But Clare, you're our Russia specialist.
President Putin is watching this indecision, and although he understands the underlying machinations, he must be rubbing his hands with glee.
SEBASTIAN: Well, this is why, Richard, you see all these calls from Europe to try to reach unity on this. They don't want to give the appearance that
the unity that has been so steadfast throughout this conflict so far, is in any way being undermined by this.
I think that's why the calculation is look, let's water it down a little bit, at least then we can achieve unity because on the other side in the
gas market, Richard, we see Russian leverage still at play today. They are cutting off the gas from tomorrow to the Dutch energy company, Gas Terra.
It's possible they'll do the same to a Danish energy company, they have both said that they're not going to pay in rubles.
And meanwhile, we have Serbia, saying it will sign another three-year deal with Russia. Such is the power of Russia's sort of hold on this energy
market, and that is why it is so difficult for Europe, Richard, because this is why they are still paying a billion euros to Russia a day. They are
struggling to redraw this energy map that they've created over the past decades. It's simply, you know, proving to be intensely difficult to do
that in the space of a few months.
QUEST: And have we any clarity on what the E.U. position is? I mean, now Ursula von der Leyen said that, you know, it was against sanctions to go
through the ruble fiction of the Putin and Gazprombank set up, but countries are doing it like Hungary. So, I'm guessing there is some get-
out-of jail free card that they're using.
SEBASTIAN: So the fudge I guess you could call it that, that the E.U. has indicated that it might be willing to countenance that wouldn't be a breach
of sanctions is that if E.U. countries, you know, set up those two accounts, but essentially get it in writing, that after they've put the
money in the euro account, the transaction is complete, then that might be acceptable.
And I think it's telling, Richard, that the countries where the energy companies have said, you know, we're not going to pay in rubles still
account for a relatively small -- they are the ones that are less reliant, essentially on Russian gas. Today, for example, the Netherlands, Russian
gas accounts for about two percent of its overall energy imports; with Denmark, it's about four percent of its overall energy mix there.
So you're not seeing major importers of Russian energy come out and do this just yet. Again, that speaks to the leverage that Russia still has here.
QUEST: Clare Sebastian in London. Clare, thank you.
The bite of those sanctions that we're talking about would appear to be growing not stronger, but actually weaker. For example, the amount of
Russian crude -- excuse me -- being shipped freely to Asia.
Now according to Bloomberg, 34 tankers loaded last week. There were 25 million barrels, which is up four percent from the week before, and Europe
faces those consequences.
The foods and energy prices are soaring. German inflation is the highest in nearly 50 years. France, Spain, Italy are in danger of following.
Arancha Gonzalez Laya is the former Spanish Foreign Minister, now is the Dean of Sciences at the Post School of International Affairs. She is with
me now. Good to see you.
ARANCHA GONZALEZ LAYA, FORMER SPANISH FOREIGN MINISTER: Good to see you, Richard.
QUEST: You're not going to try and tell me that unity is still there. It is fraying.
LAYA: Well look, for Europe, Russia is existential. The war is in European soil. Ukraine is a European country. Russia is a European country. And
frankly, if you look at with whom Russia trades, it trades with Europe versus why what Europe does matters and this is why Europe has been doing
it the hard way, taking tough sanctions and doing it in unity.
QUEST: But the big sanction was always going to be oil or gas and they can't get agreement. I understand the reasons why. But you've got Viktor
Orban being stubborn, you've got other countries saying that they can't afford to and you've got Germany somewhere in the middle.
LAYA: No, what do you have is Europe moving forward with the de- carbonization of its economy.
Europe being more ambitious today than he was just 20 days ago or two months ago to decarbonize its economy and reduce its dependencies from
Now, granted, we are not there yet. But yes, we are moving faster, and we have to do this carefully bringing all European citizens alone, and plus
the debate that is taking place in Brussels.
QUEST: As a former Foreign Minister, now sort of Dean of a prestigious school. There was a lot of talk at Davos last week.
QUEST: The Henry Kissinger comment, it is now -- and over the weekend, just talking to people around and about, it is starting to become
prevalent, this idea of what is the price of peace? Suing for peace? How worried are you?
LAYA: Well, I think we have to be very clear about this, because the price we will put is the price we put to our freedom, our liberty, and our
democracy. And frankly speaking, it has a very high price. You just look around.
So European citizens, I know -- I know, the negatives would say, oh, you know, European citizens are getting tired and it is costing a lot and this
is going to fray.
The European unity for 22 years, we've been hearing this lesson and the four big crisis that Europe has faced in the 24 years of -- 22 years of
this century has simply made Europe stronger.
Yes, sometimes debates in Europe are agonizing, Richard. It's 27 E.U. member states, it is tough, but we end up taking the difficult decisions.
QUEST: Fine. On the sanctions, maybe you will, but I'm talking about the big architecture, the big end game, if you will.
Zelenskyy is terrified that Europe is -- it says that they will -- you know, it's up to Ukraine. But eventually, if Europe says, if the view
percolates in Europe, that he should give territory. Do you think he should eventually?
LAYA: I think Europeans should let Zelenskyy make that call. Europeans should not be the ones making that call. This is Ukraine's war. This is
Ukraine men and women, fighting.
QUEST: But you're a realist. You're a realist. You know --
LAYA: I am just simply saying that if we want democracy and freedom in Europe, we have to be behind Zelenskyy in this fight. It's as simple as
QUEST: So, but what happens? I'm trying to just get the point of what happens when Zelenskyy -- when Europe comes back from its vacations.
Inflation is very high, unemployment starting to rise, and people start to put pressure and say, look, we're not continuing to provide money on arms
and things just so you can prosecute a war, start giving up territory.
I'm not saying he should. I'm not saying he shouldn't. I'm saying what happens when it happens.
LAYA: Well, what I would say is that Europe is not sitting still today waiting for the summer and for the after summer. We are taking measures
today. We are pumping the E.U.'s economy today. We are fighting inflation today. We are making sure that food that Vladimir Putin is holding in
Ukraine can get to hungry people.
We are making the necessary decisions to decarbonize our economy, and we are doing it now. We are not waiting for the autumn, because we know this
is going to be a hard fight and we need to be prepared.
So the measures are being taken yesterday, today, and they will continue to be taken tomorrow.
QUEST: You just said something in our discussion there, is this the worst crisis Europe has faced, do you think -- the Union has failed? I mean,
Brexit was one thing. That crisis was existential and another thing, but in terms of a crisis of wars, is this the worst do you think?
LAYA: I think it is the worst because it goes to the hardcore of what the European Union is. The European Union is a response to the war that we saw
on our territory, First World War, Second World War, and this is what we built the European Union for, as a response to that, because we did not
want that, we did not want power base relations. We wanted the rule of law.
And that's what's at stake today. It's not the West against the rest. It's those that love a rules-based international order versus those who just
want the law of the jungle and the strongest wins. We don't want that.
QUEST: It is good to say, ma'am.
LAYA: Thank you so much, Richard.
QUEST: Thank you so much. Good to see you.
LAYA: Good to see you.
QUEST: We'll talk more.
QUEST: Thank you very much.
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS tonight from Paris.
The fierce fighting continues. This time, of course, it's in the Donbas where new attacks on Severodonetsk, the largest Ukraine held city in
Donbas. Now, it's a key Russian target. You can see it on the map there, heavy shelling along the frontline.
President Biden says no rockets in Ukraine that could reach Russia, and as for Ukraine, long range archery they're saying is essential.
Nick Paton Walsh is in Kyiv tonight.
Nick, we'll do some politics at the end of it. Let's just do firstly, the question of the military side and the current situation.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Look, it means, Severodonetsk is important because it, along with the city on the other
side of the river that it's next to Lisichansk essentially mark the two last population centers that are controlled by Ukraine, I should say,
partially controlled by Ukraine now that are in the Luhansk region.
Luhansk and Donetsk were part of Vladimir Putin's reduced second wave of goals for this unprovoked invasion. He said he'd take both of them and that
was going to be his priority.
If they do indeed take Severodonetsk and Lisichansk, the kind of future entwined quite heavily because of the geography there whether he could
possibly declare at least partial victory there.
The fighting itself, certainly Severodonetsk is surrounded. That was the case according to three soldiers have said, I spoke to who emerged from it
two days ago, but more Ukrainian officials are now saying the Russians have moved into the city center itself.
I think it's fairly clear which direction that fight is going. And then there's a degree of inevitability that Lisichansk on a hill overlooking,
but now bombarded by the Russians may also feel Russian pressure quite fast.
That would be significant. Certainly, there may be a debate in Kyiv here as to whether they should withdraw and not risk putting forces exposed in that
battle. But certainly, this could be a moment where Putin finally looks like he is seizing the narrative and focusing his forces somewhere, and
maybe even be able to declare a partial victory -- Richard.
QUEST: All right, so Nick, on this wider question of Europe's inability to agree, or at least appear to disagree, how serious is this?
PATON WALSH: This is exactly where the Kremlin wants to find the European Union. It's played on its divisions. It's supported people like Viktor
Orban in Hungary for a long time knowing that the more it can exacerbate the tensions already, in that massive sprawling union of countries of so
many different political ideologies and histories, the easier it is, for them to not get that unanimity they need to pass basic things like the
sixth wave of sanctions. That's what they're playing on here.
And the longer this war goes on, Richard, the important point to remember here is how fleeting Western attention spans are in this and that's what
the Kremlin plays upon. They know fully well that in the opening months in which frankly, the Russian campaign blundered repeatedly, the West was
going to be united, shocked, and assisting Ukraine, but they also knew possibly as months dragged on, they've seen this in 2014-2015, that the
West would slowly begin to worry more about inflation and gas prices and grain accessibility and all the other things that this war is impacting
less than necessarily the fate of certain small towns in Ukraine.
That's what Vladimir Putin is resting on now. That's what he is hoping will be exacerbated when he talks to Turkish President Erdogan about grain
supplies, about the possibility of diplomacy as well. He senses that there are some European countries, France and Germany who'd like to see this
resolved perhaps with Ukraine giving up territory and everyone declaring peace. You know, fully well, Russia will rearm, regroup, and have another
go. And then there are others who see this potentially as the beginning of something longer, unless there's a more forceful approach now.
But you know, essentially Putin has been like this for years. He knows the longer game, he doesn't have to worry about elections and he knows that the
E.U. and the West have an attention span that often lasts at times, hours - - Richard.
QUEST: Nick Paton Walsh, thank you. We are in Paris tonight. It is a glorious evening. The Eiffel Tower is looking spectacular.
When we come back, we're going to talk about the football match and the tickets, the number of scam tickets that eventually led to large numbers of
Liverpool fans being teargassed, in a moment.
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
QUEST: France's Interior Minister says he regrets the chaos at the Champions League Final that took place. It is the talk of the town here in
Paris at the moment. Apparently, while the French government is blaming industrial scale ticket fraud.
Police teargassed crowds outside -- mostly Liverpool fans -- some tried storming the Stadium. The match started 30 minutes late, of course, Real
Madrid beat Liverpool one nil.
Don Riddell is in Atlanta. So where does this industrial scale ticket scam? Was this large numbers of fans turning up without tickets and then couldn't
DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORT CORRESPONDENT: Richard, this is the narrative. This is the official version of events that has been put forward by the French
government, the French Sports Minister, and Interior Minister have spoken today. And this is the version of events they are putting forward.
They are saying, as you say, organized fraud on an industrial scale, some 30,000 to 40,000 people arriving without tickets, or with forged tickets,
essentially seven out of 10, seventy percent of the fans trying to get into the stadium didn't have the correct ticket. That is the story that the
French government are putting forward.
I can tell you that the Liverpool fans, the Merseyside Police, the British government, they're not buying it. Within the last few minutes, UEFA, which
is European football's governing body has commissioned an independent inquiry to try to get to the bottom of what really happened.
QUEST: Well, it seems slightly unusual. I mean, we've never seen anything like this before, on this sort of scale before, which begs the question,
why would it happen now?
RIDDELL: Well, I'm not sure if you're referring to why there was this much fraud on the scale of the tickets, or just why there were these kinds of
problems around this game. I mean, the fans who were involved in this crush outside this Stadium are greatly concerned. And you have to remember that
this is the Liverpool Football Club, which was involved in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which left 97 fans crushed to death inside a Stadium
in Sheffield, England.
And some of the fans who were in this crush also experienced that. Some of them saying on social media today, the most afraid they have been in a
football crowd in their life was that day in 1989, and again, on Saturday. This could have been very, very, very serious.
Clearly, something went wrong. A crush developed. People were very, very fearful. As you can see from these images, the police seemed to be
indiscriminately pepper spraying and teargassing those supporters and this could easily have gone very badly wrong.
People are saying that when you're on the edge of a disaster, the margins are very, very fine and I think a lot of these supporters, frankly, are
lucky that it didn't become any more dangerous.
But the truth as to what really happened, Richard and what caused this remains to be seen. But I can tell you that the Liverpool fans and their
club with the support, I would imagine of the British government are going to be keen to find out exactly what happened.
And Richard, you may remember the Hillsborough disaster, the narrative there for decades was that Liverpool supporters arrived late, drunk, and
without tickets, and that caused all the problems and it took decades to overturn that narrative.
Professor Phil Scraton was a researcher who helped overturn that narrative and today, he is compiling his own timeline of what happened on Saturday to
try and figure out what happened.
QUEST: And we could have no better person than yourself, Don Riddell who has done so much reporting on Hillsborough, and the later investigation, so
thank you, sir, for putting that into perfect understanding for us.
Don Riddell joining us from Atlanta.
China has been easing various COVID restrictions and that means more businesses are now starting to open up in key places like Shanghai. It's
still got a long way to go, but as Selina Wang now reports, the great reopening is underway.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Shanghai is finally cracking open the seal on a brutal two-month lockdown. According to the Shanghai government, life
will start to return to normal on June 1st. That means people in COVID-free communities can go in and out of their homes freely, businesses will be
able to restart without following the extremely harsh COVID control measures.
However, people in Shanghai remain skeptical on what this return to normalcy is actually going to look like? People are feeling a mix of
relief, joy, and trepidation. When the lockdown was originally announced, it was only supposed to last for a few days. Instead, people have been
locked in for months, some people literally barricaded in their homes or forcibly sent to quarantine centers in poor condition.
This is China's richest, most cosmopolitan city, and this lockdown has eroded many people's trust in the local Shanghai government.
In recent weeks, some COVID-free communities have already been allowed outside, but that freedom has come with a litany of restrictions only
allowing people out of their homes for a few hours each day. That is supposed to go away starting June 1st, but it could vary neighborhood by
It's also unclear what this reopening will look like in practice since communities with COVID cases will still remain locked down and any new case
found in a neighborhood will lead to lockdown again.
While the government has announced new measures to try and support businesses, it won't be nearly enough to offset the devastating damage from
these months of lockdowns.
Shanghai is China's financial and manufacturing hub. Major carmakers like Tesla were forced to suspend production temporarily, while electronics
makers like Apple reported severe supply chain disruptions. It's not just the economic damage that's going to last, the desperation and hopelessness
that people faced for months will likely leave permanent scars.
Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.
QUEST: One of the things I've been doing while I've been here in Paris is keeping promises. Remember, of course, during the crisis, during the
pandemic, I spoke to a lot of people and I promised them I would visit their business after things were reopened when I was next in their city.
Well, I was in Paris today. Later in the week, you'll see exactly what happened. We were visiting the tailor and we were visiting one of our
voices of the crisis and you'll see what he chose for me to wear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIERRE MAHEO, DESIGNER AND FOUNDER, OFFICINE GENERALE: What if I give you --
QUEST: Just put them away.
MAHEO: So we're going to start with a purple shirt. I'm kidding. I'm kidding.
QUEST: I don't want to be funny, but a seersucker is the most traditional of summer cloths.
Something tells me the tie is not going to survive.
MAHEO: We can do better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: See what the CEO of Officine Generale chose for me to wear as part of our "Voice of the Crisis." You'll see the whole interview on tomorrow
night, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Now, it's the U.S. turn to have flight cancellations and delays because of a shortage of staff. Europe had it and over the east of the U.S., it has
got it now. We'll look forward to a summer of delays at the same time as we hear from the CEO of Accor Hotels.
It is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS live from Paris.
QUEST: It's Memorial Day in the United States. It's the unofficial start of the summer. You know, they say you can now wear white shoes in the
Hamptons, or something like that. Anyway, American travelers are now discovering the sorts of travel misery that those in Europe discovered over
the Easter break as a shortage of workers and resources that are overstretched lead to horrendous delays for those ports and airports.
Labor shortages causing mass disruption. In the U.S., 2100 flights canceled over the weekend. Millions saw misery almost as high as pre-pandemic. Our
aviation correspondent is Pete Muntean. He's at Reagan National Airport. What actually is the problem here, Pete?
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, airlines are facing this really big test, Richard. You know, there's this huge shortage of workers,
as you mentioned, and we know from Bureau of Labor Statistics data that airlines got a lot smaller over the pandemic. They incentivize people to
retire. They didn't furlough people, but many people left the business and now airlines are simply having a hard time ramping back up.
That is leading to these flight cancellations. 393 so far in the United States today, 2200 in total since Friday. This is all coming as so many
people are rushing back at travel. 2.1 million people screened at airports across the country just yesterday. The Transportation Security
Administration tells me it anticipates screening 2.2 million people today. To put this into a bit of context. We have seen these numbers, not since
In fact, we're up 90 percent of the way there. And the TSA says as summer travel really starts to get going, we could see numbers higher than pre-
pandemic levels. I took this question to transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg. I want you to listen to him now when I asked him whether or not
airlines are really up to this huge summer travel season challenge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETE BUTTIGIEG, U.S. SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION: We saw a lot of airlines during the pandemic thinning out their schedules and thinning out their
workforce, not knowing when demand was going to return. Now faster than expected the demand has come roaring back and they are struggling to keep
up. That's true whether we're talking about flight attendant crews, whether we're talking about pilots. And so, we've got to make sure that we have
short term and long-term approaches.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MUNTEAN: One of those short-term solutions, Richard, airlines proactively canceling flights. Delta Airlines is the latest to make that announcement
saying that it will cancel about 100 flights a day in the month of July.
Airlines want to ramp up but they want to make sure their schedules are predictable and they're not leaving people in the lurch especially their
flight crews who are so critical to keeping the operation moving.
QUEST: Pete Muntean, our aviation correspondent at Washington National. Is this glass half full or half empty? Now, there's the question for you.
Because according to the Accor CEO, business is absolutely booming, powerful. But he's also having difficulty finding staff as you've been
hearing from Muntean and others. So, an industry, that travel industry, which is on the brink of a bumper, holiday summer, I met the Accor CEO here
SEBASTIEN BAZIN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ACCORHOTELS: (INAUDIBLE) actually very good. Things are good. We have tailwind, we have a lot of demand. We
have great tourists. We have a lot of Americans back. So Paris is -- Paris is on fire.
QUEST: As a company, Accor?
BAZIN: Much better. We've been going -- we've been going through hell for the last couple years. But for the last six months, it's -- no, it's
actually exceeding my expectations.
QUEST: So what for you is the priority? 12 months, 12, 24 months, what is your number one -- that has been profitable, obviously. What's your number
BAZIN: Getting people back. We're being labor shortage. We've been having great demand, great traffic, great customers, great pricing. I need people
to service those customers. I need to make sure they have the best experience that they're going to come back to my brand. So what we're
missing today, probably 15 percent of the labor force. We had pre-pandemic as not being back.
For a lot of good legitimate reason, on the paid, too many sacrifices on working patterns. Probably not enough mobility. I need people back in this
QUEST: How are you aiming to solve the fact that people don't want to work every weekend?
BAZIN: By accepting something that working loads legislation is going to have to adapt to is I'm telling you, you're going to see people working for
the company on every Monday or Tuesday then they may actually be their own self employed on Wednesday, Thursday and then in work for another industry
on Friday and Saturday. Accept that people's going to work for you only three days a week and that's probably OK.
QUEST: You said that's OK, that doesn't build careers, that just sort of gives people --
BAZIN: They don't want a young guy, doesn't want you to actually build his own carrier. He wants to have fun, he wants to have a better quality of
life. He wants to actually have choices. So don't -- this is -- this is sentiment of the past my dear. Don't give somebody 20 years career because
he simply does not want it.
QUEST: But you need people who have 20-year careers to invest in the brand to be part of the brand.
BAZIN: Not true at all. Absolutely not true. A lot of the guys working in his hotel here have never had any prior hospitality experience. They look
exactly like you -- they may have tattoos, earring and they are damn good. So, no. Don't forget. Just question is, who are they? Do they resemble the
guest? Come as you are which is what we say now, as a -- as a person even though you have no experience, come as you are, you can do a perfect job.
QUEST: We know and you and I've talked before, there's an element of business travel that's not coming back. But are you able yet to quantify
BAZIN: I -- yes. I said couple years ago, we're likely to miss 20 to 25 percent of international business travelers not coming back forever. So,
the guy coming from Korea to Japan from Seattle to London. Why? Digital tools, WebEx Team, it works, it's functioning. I will probably still use
the exact same number today. I think those people won't be back however, it's going to be upsetted by a much better stronger leisure domestic travel
which is far more flamboyant than it ever been pre-pandemic.
So what I'm going to be missing an international business, I'm going to be undergoing probably better loyal more repeat customers five hours from
QUEST: But you're -- the traditional -- the traditional model, the formulas, the algorithms is all based on the yield management, it's all
based on --
BAZIN: Forget traditional model. We live in a different world. Forget about it. Whatever -- anybody who's been thinking about what is my rate and I
want a 90 percent occupancy and it has to be a traveler. Those days are gone forever, which is -- which is a blessing. What you have to cater for
now is local community. What matters the most, what is -- what is it you're doing for your local neighborhood?
Are you a place of choice for the guy who lives next door? Sunday night has been an empty night for the last 50 years. My Sunday night is fully booked
for the last nine months. Why? Because people leave their home on a Wednesday night, on Thursday night. They work remotely on Friday. They work
remotely on Monday and they come back to the home on Tuesday morning.
And it's only a couple hours, three hours driving by train from the home. It's called workstation. That is the best ever thing happening to me. It's
-- finally, I have those guys, local customers coming in and mixing called leisure. Leisure and actually business affairs.
QUEST: At the end of the day a hotel G.M. once said to me. Mr. Quest if I haven't given you a good night's sleep, I failed. Because that's your first
goal, isn't it? A good night's sleep?
BAZIN: I think it is indispensable. But this is not what I want you -- you can have a good night sleep in any hotels on this planet. I want to give
you something extra, which is -- oh, I like the people I've met. I want to go back to that place. It was something extra. Indefinable. I like the way
they're going to say there's something I like about that place. I don't know yet what that is. But there is something. If that is -- if that
crosses your mind. I want you.
QUEST: If you look at hotel traditionally, hotel, restaurants, you go through the original. That's the last place you want to go to. Then you go
to the celebrity chefs who are within a hotel and they become destination places in their own right. Then where are we now?
BAZIN: You are. You went from necessary evil which never worked. You made it captive for your -- the -- it was bad food, it was not a good service.
It was not a great concept. It was actually very boring. And do you feel people would be kidnapped and now they have an app, they have an iPhone,
they have a map and they know where to go to the best restaurant in town. They're never going to stay with you anymore.
So make your restaurant the best hotel in town. And you will be if you have the local community decided to go to your restaurant. Then the (INAUDIBLE)
had the room upstairs. Tell him that, so sorry, it's booked. And then when he's going to be booked, he knows it's actually a good place.
QUEST: The CEO of AccorHotels with some extremely interesting views and thoughts. New ways, new models. Together, you and I -- well, there's no
dash to the bell per se because there's no trading in New York today. But certainly, I'll update you with the news headlines and the business
headlines at the top of the hour. This is CNN.
QUEST: Dash to the bell tonight except there is no bell because no trading on Wall Street. Have a look at what happened in Europe where shares were
higher, the highest level in almost a month across the European bosses. Though in Asia markets were up as well as China is easing restrictions and
various different COVID rules.
And so that's where things are looking. I'm Richard Quest tonight in Paris. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. I'm back
in London tomorrow.