BERLIN - The hotel industry is on the bleeding edge of business innovation and tech adoption, but panelists speaking during the International Hospitality Investment Forum said the pandemic has changed that, at least somewhat.

Talking during the "Can the Hospitality Industry Drive Innovation" panel, Brian Kaufman, managing director for The Blackstone Group and leader of its U.S. hospitality portfolio, said the COVID-19 pandemic was an "accelerant of innovation and an accelerant of our willingness and receptivity to embrace innovation and technology" because it changed the industry from almost every perspective.

"It changed the way that all of our operators had to work," he said. "It changed the consumer preferences. It changed what people care about."

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