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The Next Phase

Radisson Hotel Group Moves Forward On Strategic Plan With Support From New Ownership

Thursday, April 11, 2019
Dennis Nessler
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At its annual conference, Radisson Hotel Group’s executive leadership charted the progress of its five-year strategic plan and underscored the potential impact of the company’s new ownership and what that could mean for its franchise partners.

Taking place at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach earlier this week, the conference carried a theme of “Our Difference Is Yes.”

In November, the company was acquired from HNA Tourism Group by a consortium led by Jin Jiang International, a China-based entity that now represents the second largest hotel company in the world with some 12,000 properties in operation or under development.

John Kidd, CEO and COO, Radisson Hospitality, Inc., commented, “Our acquisition marked yet another incredible milestone in our company’s storied history and one that I’m confident will elevate Radisson Hotel Group to a new level of strength as a global leader in the hospitality industry,” he said.

Kidd amplified the message, specifically targeting the company’s franchise partners. “Over the past few months we’ve tried very hard to keep you in the loop every step of the way through this acquisition process by sharing info about Jin Jiang with you and how their ownership will provide significant advantages to the Radisson Hotel Group now and into the future. We’re now owned by one of the leading international travel and hospitality companies,” he said.

Kidd further noted that Jin Jiang has shared some of its own ideas for boosting Radisson “primarily centered around leveraging synergies across their portfolio of management companies.” Some of the areas of focus include its brands, loyalty program, development, operations, technology, marketing and talent exchange.

Kidd referenced last year’s conference--where the company officially rebranded from Carlson Rezidor--while further touting its alignment with the new ownership. “We shared our vision to be the company of choice for guests, owners, and talent. I can stand up here and confidently say to you that Jin Jiang is an owner who shares our vision for this company and will help us to realize it,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Ken Greene, president, The Americas, Radisson Hotel Group, drove home the point while focusing on the company’s five-year expansion plan, known as Destination 2022, which began at last year’s annual conference and calls for the company to double its portfolio.

“We’ve already built some incredible momentum and it’s crucial that we continue to capitalize on that. Our five-year strategic plan is all about growth with the vision of becoming the preferred choice by owners, guests, and talent and that doesn’t happen without action,” he said.

Greene offered some additional insight on the company’s progress. “As we head into the second year of our strategic plan we are on target with Phase One; setting the basics to grow. This includes implementing best practices, providing better operational support, making investments in tools and programs, and clearly articulating and enhancing the experience delivered by our brands. This sets the stage for Phase Two, which is exponential growth in the years ahead,” he noted.

Greene later added, “A key pillar of the plan is scale. We’re focusing on system expansion through adding hotels that are the right fit for our brands.”

The company subsequently announced six new hotels that will join its Americas portfolio. The new properties include the Radisson Red San Francisco Airport; Radisson Blu Grenada Beach Resort; Radisson Blu Hotel Fargo; Radisson Blu Admiral Hotel Toronto-Harbourfront; Radisson Plaza Hotel Del Bosque; and Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, North Little Rock, AK.

At the conference, Radisson Hotel Group unveiled the new prototype design for its upper-midscale Park Inn by Radisson brand. The contemporary design is aimed at providing comfort while maximizing space within a compact footprint, according to the company.

Greene pointed out the company delivered on its promise from last year’s conference.
“We said we plan to introduce a new brand prototype for Park Inn by Radisson to fuel developer interest for the brand in the Americas and ‘yes we did.’ This is a brand that already has an incredible presence in key locations around the world and it’s a tremendous opportunity for us to reintroduce and build the brand right here,” said Greene.

The company also announced its next-generation guestroom design for the Radisson Red brand in The Americas. The upscale, select-service lifestyle brand recently opened its third hotel in the Americas in Portland. Greene added the brand has deals signed for two properties in Miami and another in Plano, TX as well.

“The brand is making its presence known in some of the most vibrant cities in The Americas, while attracting increased interest from developers all over,” he noted.

Greene also updated the progress of the repositioned flagship Radisson brand, noting “we’re not standing still.” He added a major addition to the U.S. portfolio will be the brand’s New York City hotel in Times Square, which is slated to open later this year. “We’re thrilled to see the progress of the brand, we’re actually ahead of schedule,” stated Greene.

He also touted the potential of the upscale, full-service Radisson Blu brand. “The brand enjoys a tremendous international reputation and phenomenal market performance. Our focus has been on expanding the brand in the key gateway cities and we’re working toward establishing in at least 25 major markets,” he said, adding properties are in development in both Anaheim and Toronto.

Furthermore, Greene noted that its select-service Country Inn & Suites by Radisson flag “has continued its really strong growth momentum.”

Kidd underscored some of the company’s ongoing technology initiatives, such as the reveal to attendees of the new Radisson Hotels website and app “before we begin on-boarding the first brands to the new platform in June.”

Kidd also elaborated on the progress of EMMA, a new technology platform which was debuted at last year’s event, by acknowledging it will be deployed later this year. Kidd called it, “a game changing offering within the hotel industry and it will set the Radisson Hotel Group above the rest by delivering one platform to cover your business.”

Dennis Nessler    Dennis Nessler
Hotel Interactive®, Inc.
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