Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group announces strong momentum in its third year of Ambition 2015

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group today reported strong momentum in the company’s Ambition 2015 strategy from its annual business conference taking place at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago. The company announced global growth of the Radisson Blu brand, progress in the global alignment of the Radisson® brand in North America and doubling the size of the Club CarlsonSM loyalty program in the past three years to ten million members. Through this strategy, the company will be known for its innovative and vibrant spirit reflected in the quality of its segment leading brands around the world.

“As we begin the fourth year of our Ambition 2015 journey, I am encouraged at the progress we have made in achieving the goals we set out to accomplish in 2010,” said Trudy Rautio, president and chief executive officer, Carlson. “We ended 2012 with 1,077 hotels under our brands in operation globally with a strong pipeline.  We have strengthened our sales and revenue generation activities to enhance performance, and we have improved the guest experience through brand innovations.  Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group remains committed to its ambitious and multi-faceted program of growth and development.”

Development Growth

  • Signed 68 hotels in 2012 with more than 13,000 rooms. Sixty percent of the new hotels signed are in emerging markets 
  • Global portfolio is now at 1,305 hotels in operation and under development. Number of rooms in operation and under development stands at 207,540 at the end of 2012, compared to 208,546 at the end of 2011 and 202,563 at the end of 2010, despite the removal of more than 15,000 rooms over the last two years
  • Seventy-seven percent of the 8,088 rooms opened in 2012 were in emerging markets, including 2,822 in Eastern Europe and 2,279 in Asia Pacific
  • Within the Asia Pacific region, total rooms in operation increased by 17 percent in 2012
  • Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group opened 1,775 rooms in India and signed an additional 934. There are now 6,828 rooms in operation in India
  • Carlson Rezidor’s global reach continues to expand with three new destinations in Africa  Mozambique, Qatar and Zambia and first-time signings in Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea, Mauritius and Moldova 

Brand Progress in 2012

Radisson Blu

  • The group added 33 Radisson Blu hotels globally in 2012, growing the portfolio from 239 at the end of 2011 to 272 in 2012
  • Radisson Edwardian Hotels completed rebranding to Radisson Blu representing more than 2,500 rooms and suites and including 13 four- and five-star hotels in the city center of London and a five-star hotel in Manchester
  • Announced the conversion of the Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel Philadelphia to Radisson Blu this year and Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis in 2014


  • The brand celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012 and has grown to 426 Radisson hotels in operation around the world
  • More than 50 percent of Radisson hotels in the U.S. and Canada have completed Property Improvement Plans (PIPs), up from 25 percent at the end of 2011
  • The properties that completed PIP’s showed positive growth in Revenue Generation Index (RGI) +4.8 and RevPAR +8.9 percent
  • Drive to improve guest experience with initiatives in 2012 produced Guest Satisfaction (GSI) increase year-over-year by +.06
  • Strengthened the food & beverage experience by deploying restaurant concepts across the Americas, including Filini Bar and Restaurant, FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar and RBG 

Park Plaza® 

  • A noteworthy year for the brand with significant RevPAR growth and record-level guest satisfaction of 8.3
  • Strong presence and benefits resulting from the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, as one of the largest providers of contemporary hotels in central London with nearly 2300 rooms in the capital
  • The first three Park Plaza Resorts opened in Croatia, Europe’s newest trendy destination resulting in nearly 900 new guestrooms for the brand
  • Eight major renovation projects completed across hotels in Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest and Leeds

Park Inn by Radisson

  • The group opened nine Park Inn by Radisson hotels adding 1,425 rooms globally, growing the portfolio to 194 hotels and more than 36,000 rooms in operation and under development

Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM

  • Opened 10 hotels in 2012 in two of the brand’s primary focus countries, the U.S. and India
  • The brand celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012. The first hotel opened in Burnsville, Minn., and the brand has grown to more than 470 hotels worldwide

Revenue Generation Successes

  • The group’s sales and marketing spend increased 80 percent over the past three years – from $100 million in 2009 to $180 million in 2012
  • Club Carlson loyalty program membership grew to 10 million, up from 8 million at the end of 2011, from 6.3 million at the end of 2010 and 5.1 million at the end of 2009
  • Launched new partnerships including a suite of Club Carlson U.S. Bank Visa credit cards. Cardmember accounts to date are exceeding expectations – nearly triple the number of expected accounts since the launch in Dec., 2012
  • Global web revenue increased nine percent over 2011, and 50 percent since the launch of the online strategy three years ago. Investments in a digital ecosystem that is efficient to maintain and scalable across a wide variety of mobile devices enabled Carlson Rezidor to double mobile revenue in 2012
  • Partnered with industry leading social media companies Ignite and Revinate
  • Stay Night Automated Pricing (SNAP), Carlson Rezidor’s proprietary revenue optimization system, was rolled out globally in 2011. By the end of 2012, 87 percent of hotels worldwide were using the SNAP tool.  Hotels using SNAP rate recommendations consistently see an average incremental RevPAR increase of two to four percent 

Other accomplishments

  • Carlson Rezidor Group honored as “Hotel Group of the Year” at the Worldwide Hospitality Awards
  • Radisson topped the list in the upscale category in Market Metrix 2012 Top 10 Brands by Customer Satisfaction, having achieved the highest customer satisfaction scores among hotel brands in Asia Pacific
  • Wolfgang M. Neumann appointed to president & CEO of The Rezidor Hotel Group, succeeding Kurt Ritter
  • Olivier Harnisch appointed to executive vice president and chief operating officer of The Rezidor Hotel Group
  • Suzanne Riesterer appointed to chief commercial officer for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
  • The Rezidor Hotel Group was awarded as one of the world's most ethical companies by U.S. think-tank "Ethisphere" for 3rd year in a row
  • Park Plaza voted by the Sunday Times in their “Best Companies to Work” issue as ‘One to Watch’ in 2013

Looking Ahead:

The focus continues to be on the implementation of the Ambition 2015 strategy.

  • Brand strategies: 
    • Group expects to add 21 Radisson Blu hotels in 2013, including the highly anticipated second U.S. opening for the brand with the Radisson Blu Mall of America in mid-March. Other hotels in key destinations include:  Radisson Blu Beach Resort & Spa, Sochi, Russia; Radisson Bu Hotel Chongqing Sha Ping Ba, China; Radisson Blu Hotel Guwahti, India; Radisson Blu Hotel Kolkata Hastings, India; Radisson Blu & Park Inn by Radisson Libreville, Gabon, Africa; Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Mysore, India
    • After 2013, 75 percent of Radisson hotels in the U.S. and Canada will have completed Property Improvement Plans (PIPs) 
    • In 2013, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson will embark on an evolution that will update the brand’s identity, hotel architecture and interior
  • Development:
    • The group expects to open 77 new hotels with more than 13,000 rooms during 2013 
    • Accelerate development of the Radisson global portfolio up to 800 hotels in operation and under development by 2015 Focused on growth in mature economies and continue to build on Radisson’s leading position in the high growth economies, such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, as well as in emerging markets such as Africa
  • Revenue Generation:
    • Continue to enhance its web, mobile device and social media platforms in response to rapidly changing customer trends
    • The group will continue to leverage its Club Carlson loyalty program to drive hotel revenue, with a renewed focus on delivering a differentiated customer experience to loyalty members
    • Develop added enhancements to SNAP and new market intelligence tools to maximize revenue opportunities

To read the entire press release and view charts with more detailed analytics, click here.

February 27, 2013
Photo caption:
Year-end results for 2012 were revealed this week at the group’s annual Full Service Brands Business Conference in Chicago.