Hubert Joly, chairman of the board of directors of the Rezidor Hotel Group, and president, CEO and director of Carlson has confirmed that Carlson has plans for a revitalised Radisson “Green” brand to begin a global roll out.
Radisson currently has over 400 hotels globally, of which some 170 are Radisson Blu properties, but with only the newly opened Radisson Blu Chicago representing that brand in the United States (see online news November 3).
Carlson’s intention is for certain US Metro cities such as Minneapolis and Philadelphia to have Radisson Blu properties. Meanwhile the US Radisson properties (referred to internally as Radisson “Green”) will benefit from a US$1.5 billion refurbishment programme.
Mr Joly said that work was ongoing to reposition and refresh the brand, which would then join Radisson Blu on an international roll out, although it’s not clear whether the brand would be referred to as “Radisson Green”, or continue simply as “Radisson”.
“Radisson Blu is a very exciting brand that we are making a global brand. I think you will see Radisson Green, with the revitalisation we have started in the US, also has the potential to be an exciting upscale brand.”
Mr Joly said that the branding would recognise the differences between the Radisson Blu properties opened by Rezidor in Europe, Middle East and Africa, many of which are new builds, and the existing US portfolio.
“Radisson Blu is upper upscale, competing with Sofitel, Marriott and Westin. Radisson Green will be upscale and will compete with Crowne Plaza and Doubletree,” he said.
Mr Joly said that the moves were part of an overall rethink, termed by Rezidor its “Route 2015 Strategy”.
“I inherited in a sense this odd situation with the various different versions of Radisson geographically, and what we have been doing is thinking through a coherent global strategy of clear brand positioning across regions with tiered brands.”
Mr Joly said Carlson did not intend to copy other hotel groups, many of which have more than a dozen hotel brands, but said that Radisson Blu and Radisson Green had global scope, as did Park Inn, particularly in emerging countries.
Report by Tom Otley