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Carlson unveils two brand tiers for Radisson hotels

By James Wilkinson in Orlando, Florida

Carlson Hotels has unveiled a major revamp of its upscale Radisson brand, with hotels globally to be split under a two-tier system as the group aims to grow its portfolio by at least 50 per cent by 2015.

The new Radisson BLU

Going forward, all upper-upscale hotels within the brand will be positioned as Radisson BLU, carrying a new blue stripe under the logo and a ‘BLU’ logo box next to the name, while all upscale hotels in the brand will remain as Radisson, carrying the green stripe.

Speaking at the Carlson Hotels Global Business Conference in Orlando, Florida last week, Carlson Hotels President and CEO Hubert Joly said the revamp for Radisson was part of the company’s ‘Ambition 2015’ plan.

Under Ambition 2015, Carlson aims to expand its portfolio by at least 50 per cent by 2015 to more than 1,500 hotels in operation – and a key brand fuelling that growth is Radisson, which is expected to grow from 422 hotels (plus 90 contracted in the pipeline) now to at least 600 by 2015.

“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.

“Radisson is one of the most well-known and fastest-growing brands in the world, delivering market leading guest satisfaction and achieving superior RevPar penetration internationally,” Joly said.

“We have crystallised the success formula for the brand, improved it and are using it as the foundation for its future development,” he said.

Along with the two-tier positioning, Joly also announced the  global roll out of five new room concepts – And Relax, Naturally Cool, New York Mansion, Ocean and Urban – along with a new ‘business class’ concept whereby a greater range of free amenities and services are on offer.

Carlson Hotels’ Chief Branding Officer, Gordon McKinnon, said the new Radisson BLU name was already being used in Europe for hotels that formerly carried the Radisson SAS brand.

“Radisson BLU is vibrant, contemporary and engaging,” he said.

McKinnon also said a large percentage of the Radisson hotels in Asia-Pacific would be rebranded under the Radisson BLU name.

“Hopefully we will be able to start that at the end of this year,” he said.

Carlson currently has six hotels in operation throughout Australia and the South Pacific – two in Sydney and one each in Melbourne, Surfers Paradise, Fiji and Tahiti.

SpiceNews can also exclusively reveal Carlson has several new hotels planned for New Zealand and Fiji. For the complete story, click here.

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