Carlson Rezidor launches hotel brand targeting younger travelers

Count Carlson Rezidor as the latest hotel company to delve further into the lifestyle space with a brand specifically targeting the younger traveler. During its Radisson and Radisson Blu Americas annual business conference in Minneapolis, the company introduced Radisson Red, which it describes as "a lifestyle-select brand designed and developed to deliver today’s customer the experience of tomorrow."

In addition to Radisson Red, the comapny also announced another offering: Quorvus Collection, described thus: to "reflect and respond to the true sensibilities of the contemporary global traveler while celebrating the culture of each and every location."

During the conference, Trudy Rautio, president and CEO of Carlson, likened Radisson Red to the likes of Hotel Indigo, Intercontinental Hotels Group's lifestyle brand, and Citizen M, which has properties in Amsterdam, Glasgow and London—an aim toward millennial travelers.

"Radisson Red and Quorvus Collection are inspired by Vision 20/20, an evolution of our Ambition 2015 growth strategy," said Rautio, president and chief executive officer, Carlson. "Vision 20/20 aspires to elevate the guest experience with innovations in technology, guest service and beyond. These two brand concepts will illustrate that perfectly. This is a distinct opportunity for Carlson Rezidor to introduce new experiences, as well as exciting and relevant services, that uniquely differentiate our brands. Quorvus Collection and Radisson Red are the first manifestations of that vision."            

Carlson says that the introduction of Radisson Red will seek to create a new industry category: "lifestyle select," an upscale, select-service concept that "boasts a forward-thinking focus on design and detail, the customer experience, personal interaction, personal choice and recognition of the increasingly important role that technology plays in facilitating the best of everyday life."

Radisson Red will launch simultaneously in 2015 in urban centers in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, Carlson said. According to The Wall Street Journal, the plan is to be operating 60 hotels around the globe by 2020. The company said it will spend $140 million on building or acquiring the first five hotels.

The Quorvus Collection, which will consist of five-star hotels, will count among its peers the Leading Hotels of the World as well as the JW Marriott brand, reports the Star Tribune.

In addition to the new brand announcements, Carlson Rezidor updated its global loyalty program. It announced benefit and redemption updates to its loyalty program beginning on March 15, 2014. Members will now have a choice of room types when redeeming for award nights. In addition to standard rooms, members can redeem additional points to stay in premium rooms at participating hotels.

The company also announced a strong increase in new hotel signings versus the previous year making 2013 the most successful year for development globally since 2008,it said. Additionally, system-wide revenue increased 4 percent to $7.5 billion in 2013.

"We saw a surge in signings and revenue gains, thanks to the efforts and continued progress against our Ambition 2015 goals," said Rautio. "We continue to invest in and improve our brands, and we strive to exceed guest expectations. The success is evident in our 2013 results."

The group's overall signings increased by 43 percent from 2012, including an increase of more than 111 percent in the Americas and 71 percent in Asia Pacific. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the group signed 33 new hotels adding more than 6,400 rooms; 35 percent of those rooms will open in the next 18 months.
Sixty-six percent of new hotel signings and 44 percent of all new hotel openings were in emerging markets in countries including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Russia.