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Carlson, Radisson To Expand Global Brands

March 4, 2010 By: George Dooley

As part of its Ambition 2015 plan, Carlson unveiled a comprehensive $1.5 billion investment strategy for its Radisson brand. As one of the world’s leading brands, Radisson is being positioned to deliver “vibrant, contemporary and engaging hospitality characterized by the Yes I Can! service philosophy,” Carlson said.

The positioning includes new room concepts, new restaurant concepts and a series of new service concepts focused on the guest experience, Carlson said. The strategy for Radisson will entail an investment program of up to $1.5 billion in North America, focused on establishing flagship hotels in key U.S. cities and on upgrading the existing portfolio.

As part of this strategy, Carlson announced the global roll out of five new room concepts - And Relax, Naturally Cool, New York Mansion, Ocean and Urban. All of the concepts share a vibrant and contemporary design, the use of bold colors and lighting, and a comfortable feeling.

The global strategy also includes two new restaurant concepts. Filini will offer an upscale, sophisticated Italian cuisine, while rbg is a bar-and-grill concept in an inviting, contemporary setting.

The strategy also introduces a range of service concepts covering the key touch points of the guest experience including, for example, Business Class and three-hour laundry. Business Class will offer customers the best available room, breakfast, turn-down service, upgraded bathroom amenities, a daily newspaper and other amenities depending on the market.

As part of this strategy, the Radisson brand will be tiered across the upper upscale and upscale segments. Radisson Blu will be applied to the upper upscale segment and Radisson “Green” will be applied to the upscale segment. Both will share the same brand essence - vibrant, contemporary and engaging - the same style and many of the service concepts. The differentiation will primarily be location based - key location in a primary city versus a secondary market. It will typically be reflected in the level of investment that goes into the property.

The strategy will include the implementation of the brand’s new global standard operating procedures, a new quality assurance program and intensive training programs. The strategy will be supported by investments in marketing, sales and distribution as part of the overall Carlson Ambition 2015 plan.

“We have seen the power of the brand internationally and the very attractive return from renovating to the new standards,” Joly said. “The brand is poised for significant growth around the world and we expect to grow the portfolio to at least 600 hotels by 2015.”


In related news, Carlson Hotels announced Ambition 2015, its global growth strategy. y, The company wants to be known for its innovative and vibrant spirit reflected in the quality of its segment leading brands around the world. It aspires to be the number one hotel company to work for and to invest with. It aims to expand its portfolio by at least 50 percent by 2015 to more than 1,500 hotels in operation.

“We believe this is a great time to invest in the hotel business," said Carlson CEO Hubert Joly. "With Ambition 2015, we have a comprehensive and compelling strategy to build the business.”

Ambition 2015 will focus on four priority growth initiatives including:

1. Expanding Radisson as a powerful, globally consistent first-class brand.

2. Accelerating the growth of Country Inns & Suites By Carlson in four key markets: United States, Canada, India and Mexico.

3. Growing Park Inn as a winning mid-scale brand across theaters in key countries.

4. Continuing to grow in key emerging markets, with greater emphasis on mid-scale.

With 422 hotels in operation globally and 90 hotels currently in the pipeline, the brand is poised for significant growth around the world. Carlson plans to grow the portfolio to at least 600 hotels by 2015.

As part of its Ambition 2015 strategy, Carlson Hotels expects to increase the contribution from brand websites to 30 percent of revenue and to double the number of members in its goldpointsplus loyalty program. 



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