The Rezidor Hotel
Group’s Radisson SAS chain is rebranding as Radisson Blu, with the Radisson Blu
Hotel, Zurich Airport the first to unveil the new name.
Rezidor had been
planning to change the SAS suffix for some time, a legacy of the group’s links
with Scandinavian Airlines which effectively ended in 2006 following Rezidor’s
The new Blu name was apparently originally chosen as the project’s working title, but according to Gordon McKinnon, Rezidor’s executive vice president of brands, it “soon became apparent that it was actually the
most natural of choices”.
“It’s simple, it’s short, it’s relevant and
we’ve applied it in a way that adds a certain modernity to the identity without
taking it too far,” said McKinnon.
McKinnon added that the new name “promotes
our specific brand heritage by preserving the graphic ‘blue box’ which has
become the recognised symbol of the distinctive characteristics of the Radisson
brand in Europe, the Middle East and Africa”.
The first hotel to adopt the new signage
was the Radisson Blu Hotel , Zurich Airport, which this week also unveiled the
world’s highest wine tower (click here for more details). At 16m the tower surpasses a similar offering at
Radisson’s Stansted Airport property.
Rezidor’s president and CEO Kurt Ritter
said there would be a “gentle evolution” from SAS to Blu between now and 2010.
“We currently have more than 200 hotels in
operation or under development, so the name change has been designed in such a
way that it’ll avoid any unnecessary disruption but still create an impact,”
Radisson’s Berlin property is likely to be the next
hotel to see the name change in time for the ITB travel market in March. The
change initially affects only the Radisson properties in Europe, the Middle
East and Africa, as the hotels in the US and elsewhere under the Radisson
name have different brand standards. However it is understood that in time
certain of these properties may “upgrade” to the Radisson Blu standard.
For more information visit radissonblu.com
(this website currently redirects to the existing radissonsas.com URL).
Report by Mark Caswell