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“Colorful Stories” or historical insight? A review of the auto/biographies of Charles Forte, Conrad Hilton, J.W. Marriott and Kemmons Wilson

Nickson, Dennis (1997) “Colorful Stories” or historical insight? A review of the auto/biographies of Charles Forte, Conrad Hilton, J.W. Marriott and Kemmons Wilson. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, 21 (1). pp. 180-192.

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Abstract

This paper suggests that the Iack of a comprehensive, systematic, or rigorous historical study of the growth of the corporate hospitality sector can be partia/ly rectified by a review of fhe autobiographies of several leading huspitalify enirepreneurs. With recognition of both the advantages and clear limits of such an approach the paper argues that, nevertheless, continuities can be observed within devetopments in the contemporalyhospitalityindusfly. The analysis of these autohiographical accounts provides us with some insight into current key debates surrounding issues such as: strategies for internationalization, standardization versus differentiation and fhe lack of frade unions in the hospitality industry. The paper concludes by offering some tenfative suggestions for furthering a more searching historical analysis.