Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group announced year-end development successes and overall positive momentum from the Radisson® and Radisson Blu® Americas annual business conference taking place at Radisson Blu Mall of America this week. The company announced a strong increase in new hotel signings versus the previous year making 2013 the most successful year for development globally since 2008. Additionally, system-wide revenue increased 4 percent to $7.5 billion in 2013.
“We saw a surge in signings and revenue gains, thanks to the efforts and continued progress against our Ambition 2015 goals,” said Trudy Rautio, president and chief executive officer, Carlson. “We continue to invest in and improve our brands, and we strive to exceed guest expectations. The success is evident in our 2013 results.”
- The group’s overall signings increased by 43 percent from 2012, including an increase of more than 111 percent in the Americas and 71 percent in Asia Pacific.
- In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the group signed 33 new hotels adding more than 6,400 rooms; 35 percent of those rooms will open in the next 18 months.
- 66 percent of new hotel signings and 44 percent of all new hotel openings were in emerging markets in countries including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Russia.
- The group continues to expand with openings in new and exciting destinations including Barbados, Grenada, Mozambique and Zambia.
- Launched Experience Meetings, a global program developed to improve the effectiveness of meetings. Brain Food, the culinary component of the program, offers an elevated catering menu that increases concentration and reduces fatigue through food. Brain Box, the environmental component, boosts creativity and inspires active engagement based on different learning styles. The program has been recognized and certified by the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC) and features the Meetings Minus Carbon Program, which provides automatic CO2 offset benefits.
- Opened the highly anticipated Radisson Blu Mall of America and the Radisson Blu Resort & Congress Centre Sochi, a host hotel of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Unveiled the conversion of Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel Philadelphia to the Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel, Philadelphia. The group also opened Radisson Blu Hotel, Kuwait and Radisson Blu Hotel, Maputo / Mozambique.
- A major property improvement, renovation and investment strategy, as well as overall brand positioning for hotels in the U.S. and Canada, is nearing completion with 75 percent of hotels renovated since 2010 and the remaining 25 percent on track for completion by the end of 2014.
- Received the most improved J.D. Power’s ranking in the upscale hotel segment, gaining 34 points in overall guest satisfaction.
- In the 2013 Business Travel News Hotel Chain Survey, Radisson saw the biggest increase in the upscale tier and led in the Meetings Facility category.
- $22 million has been allocated to improve and renovate the following hotels: Park Plaza Amsterdam Airport; Park Plaza Eindhoven; Park Plaza Riverbank London; Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes London; Park Plaza Utrecht; Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam; Park Plaza Vondelpark, Amsterdam.
- The brand is growing its footprint significantly in Asia with 10 hotels under development. Five of those hotels are in India and five are in China. Three are slated to open in 2014.
- Park Inn by Radisson opened its first hotel in the Philippines and was the first to feature its “next generation” design in Asia Pacific.
- The brand launched Smart Meeting & Events, a concept designed to deliver smart food, drinks, event spaces and technology to support our guests' life and work styles.
- Miroslav Forjtek of Park Inn Hotel Prague was honored as General Manager of the Year at the Worldwide Hospitality Awards.
- The brand launched, with great success, a new brand identity and hotel prototype.
- The newest hotel prototype, featuring a modern interior and exterior design, was unveiled in Springfield, Ill., in November, and a number of new hotels are already under development in markets like Asheville, N.C.; Bozeman, Mont; Katy, Texas; and Minneapolis, Minn.
- In the 2013 Business Travel News Hotel Chain Survey, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson moved from the number eight ranking up to fourth in the midprice category.
- The group led the industry by announcing a partnership with Google to launch pilot programs for its full portfolio of travel applications, including Google Hotel Finder, Google Business Photos, Google Wallet, Google Indoor Maps and Google Mobile Click-to-Call.
- Launched a program to add customer reviews to its hotels web pages. The initiative will place a TripAdvisor widget on hotel pages that display the site’s “Traveler Rating.”
- Global web revenue increased 4 percent over 2013, and 26 percent since the launch of the online strategy four years ago.
- Mobile revenue continues its strong trajectory with 68 percent growth in 2013 year-over-year.
- In 2013, the Club CarlsonSM hotel rewards program grew to nearly 12 million members, more than doubling in size in the last four years.
- The Club Carlson mobile app saw a 171 percent increase in traffic and a 62 percent growth in revenue year-over-year.
- Carlson Rezidor drove 65 percent of room revenue to its brands via direct booking, digital channels and the Global Distribution System (GDS), an increase of 4 percent over 2012.
- 2013 marked the 10th Anniversary of Responsible Business Action Month, which takes place in September and encourages team members across the company to take action in their hotels and communities by organizing social and environmental service activities. During this milestone anniversary, among other activities, Carlson Rezidor employees raised $200,000 to benefit World Childhood Foundation, and hotels across the globe participated in World Clean-up Day.
- In 2013, Club Carlson launched Meetings Minus Carbon and became the first hotel loyalty program to engage in a global carbon offsetting initiative. For each Club Carlson for Planners meeting or event conducted globally, carbon credits are purchased from Carbon Footprint Ltd. to offset the estimated carbon footprint of that meeting or event.
- Club Carlson members donated 20 million Gold Points® via its website in support of the American Red Cross Disaster Relief efforts in the Philippines.
- Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago received the prestigious LEED® Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
- For the fourth consecutive year, The Rezidor Hotel Group was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere.
- Carlson announced the appointment of David Berg as Chief Operating Officer reporting to CEO Trudy Rautio. Berg will work with Rautio directly on the overall strategy for Carlson as well as key strategic initiatives. His primary area of focus will be leading and managing Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group globally.
- As the group strives to aggressively grow its portfolio, Chris Ivy was appointed Chief Development Officer for the Americas. Ivy will drive and deliver the group’s development strategy. He reports to Thorsten Kirschke, President, Americas.
- In Market Matrix’s ranking of the top 10 Asia Pacific hotel brands, Radisson outranked its competitors to win the top spot for satisfaction.
- Club Carlson was named the Top Loyalty Campaign at the Mega Awards, which recognizes innovation in the airline and travel business.
- The Radisson Royal Hotel Moscow was awarded the World’s Leading Luxury Business Hotel by the World Travel Awards for the fourth year running.
- The Radisson Blu Hotel Nantes was awarded Best Hotel Opening by European Hospitality Awards.
In addition to 2013 results, Rautio announced Vision 20/20, an evolution of the group’s Ambition 2015 growth strategy. Vision 20/20 renews the company’s focus on the guest experience and the delivery of the brands’ promises by focusing on developing talent, creating a service culture that is unrivalled in the industry and fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration. The strategy will drive development, deliver value to owners and operators and better align Carlson resources.
“Our recent success securely positions us to achieve our goal of 1,500 hotels in operation and under development,” Rautio explained. “Having just completed 75 years in operation, Carlson is excited to hearken back to its heritage of innovation as we forge a strategy dedicated to the delivery of exceptional customer experiences. Vision 20/20 will build upon a strong foundation of success and accelerate our progress.”
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