Younes announces plans for Radisson Hotel Group expansion

UK: BHN reports from Radisson Hotel Group’s recent media breakfast, where the company outlined its five-year vision.

Following the announcement earlier this year of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group’s rebranding as Radisson Hotel Group, Radisson Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer Elie Younes shared the company’s most recent announcements and outlined his vision for the company over a five-year plan.

Younes revealed that plans for a strong European expansion were gathering pace by announcing the signing of three leases in key European gateway cities, in Rome, Madrid and Liverpool, in Q3 of 2018. The asset-right strategy will allow for the growth of the Radisson Red, Radisson and Radisson Collection brands.

As well as signings, Younes unveiled Radisson’s five hotel openings in the EU in Q3 of 2018 including a new flagship hotel with Park Inn by Radisson Amsterdam City West. It has also strengthened the franchise’s portfolio in Rome, Bordeaux, Bruges and Larnaca.

In March, Radisson Hotel Group became the umbrella brand to encompass all of the respective Radisson hotel brands; Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Park Plaza, Park Inn, Country Inn and Suites and Prizeotel. In creating the umbrella brand, it leverages the brand equity of the Radisson name to promote a global portfolio of brands to consumers and further drive awareness of the group.

Then in June, the group launched Radisson Collection as a new premium lifestyle / affordable luxury hotel brand, replacing its Quorvus Collection in providing what Radisson says are ‘the finest hotels’ and ‘ the most individual properties in the group’s portfolio’.

The Radisson Hotel Group now has more than 1,400 hotels operating in over 113 countries, including the most recent openings in its portfolio.

Among the 18 Radisson Collection hotels either currently operational or in development is the relaunched Royal Mile Edinburgh hotel, which is situated in the heart of the Scottish capital, offering a classic Scottish design and premium facilities. Since its opening, the hotel launched a ‘Living Art’ concept in which guests in the design suites can purchase any items of art that catch their eye in their rooms.

In Q2 of 2020, Radisson RED Liverpool, complete with 202 guestrooms, will open its doors in the historic North Western Hotel building. Before that, it will undergo £30 million of renovations to signal the debut of Radisson Hotel Group’s upscale, select-service and lifestyle brand in England and it will be the second Radisson Red in the UK after the opening of Radisson Red Glasgow.

In the presentation, Younes also confirmed:

–          The company’s aim is to become one of the top three hotels in the world and the company of choice for guests, owners and talent by delivering memorable moments and being a true host and best partner. It is currently placed twelfth in the HospitalityON global rankings and eighth in MKG’s top 10 hotel chains in Europe.

–          As well as the expansion in Europe, Radisson Hotel Group is expanding its portfolio in Africa by signing up 10 new hotels so far in 2018. It currently has 90 hotels in operation or under development in the continent and it would like that to become 130 by 2022.

–          The launch of a new online digital platform will take place later this year, providing a single online touchprint for all the Radisson brands, improving the user experience and driving more and cheaper online businesses to their hotels.

–          The company’s loyalty programme is being relaunched to leverage on the new umbrella Radisson brand. Younes confirmed there would be no change in pricing and it would have a new global name that would be instantly recognisable and increase awareness for customers.

–          There would be substantial investment in IT platforms and initiatives over the next five years, significantly increasing efficiency and adding value to hotels. That would be in addition to a multi-million pound investment towards refreshing the brands and repositioning its hotels over the next five years.

–          Younes emphasised the group’s focus on Europe and EMEA as a market to expand its business. He said Radisson Hotel Group had identified 60 cities in EMEA to commit including 19 gateway cities and 41 other key cities.

–          In UK and Ireland, the group wants to develop Radisson RED in the top 10-15 cities as there is a strong demand for lifestyle brands.

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