IHIF 2020 Interview: Federico J. González, President & CEO, Radisson Hotel Group

Federico J. González, President & CEO, Radisson Hotel Group (Radisson CEO)


1. Following the launch of Radisson Hotel Group and its five-year plan at IHIF in March 2018, what is the group’s position and strategy for the year ahead?

We are focused on delivering and executing the five-year plan and our global transformation. As announced at IHIF in 2018 when we launched Radisson Hotel Group, our vision hasn’t changed, we still aim to be recognised as one of the top three hotel brands in the world and the brand of choice for guests, owners and talent.

The five-year plan made up of 26 business initiatives, has been structured in two phases: from 2018 to 2020 we are laying the foundations for growth and aiming to achieve this exponential growth in Phase 2 starting in 2021.

    2. How has the Group progressed with its five-year plan so far?

2019 was the second year of the five Year Operating Plan that has delivered impressive progress and results with a steady growth and a constant increase in RevPAR with important improvements achieved in EBITDA.

I would like to highlight in particular the impressive progress we have made in regard to:

    our value proposition with the launch of Radisson Hotel Group and the redefinition of our brand architecture which received excellent market response
    a successful strategy for our portfolio management and optimization
    the launch of our multi-brand website and app RadissonHotels.com
    a very strong growth with more than 10,000 rooms signed in 2019 across EMEA, and a remarkable expansion of our new brands with 17 Radisson signed, 7 Radisson Collection and 7 Radisson RED in exceptional destinations such as Paris, London, Madrid, Dubai and Milan.

    3. What opportunities do you see, now that you have been acquired by Jin Jiang International?

Being part of the Jin Jiang Group has opened the opportunity to position us as part of the second largest hospitality group in the world in terms of number of rooms

We see an immense opportunity to unlock the Chinese market. Chinese citizens made almost 150m outbound visits in 2018 and over the past decade, China's outbound market has maintained double-digit growth. Despite this, analysis shows that fewer than five out of 100 mainland residents are traveling abroad, which means the Chinese overseas tourism market still has great untouched potential. We aim to be the first choice of Chinese-speaking guests when they travel abroad and when they travel within China.

    Together with Jin Jiang, we identified several opportunities and synergies such as Co-branded hotels to attract more Chinese guests to our European hotels: The co-branded hotels have a bright future, with the potential to extend to more than 25 properties across EMEA.
    Talent exchange program
    Collaboration between Radisson Rewards and WeHotel Prime, Jin Jiang’s high-end hotel loyalty program.
    Expansion plan in China: We also have major plans to appeal to domestic visitors – including the localisation of our brands in China and our aim to expand rapidly by having around 600 hotels in operation across mainland China by 2025, and another 600 in the pipeline.
    Expansion plan in APAC (excluding Mainland China): We have plans to leverage the Jin Jiang network and capabilities in the region to unlock additional growth and expand across key markets by reaching a portfolio of over 1,200 hotels in operation and under development by 2025 in the region.

    4. You are taking part in the CEO Panel – ‘Evolving Hospitality: The Trends Shaping the Future of Hospitality’ – how do you think the customer experience will shape the future of our industry?

The customer is always at the forefront of our minds, and the Group’s service philosophy is Every Moment Matters. When we launched Radisson Hotel Group in 2018, we redefined the guest around four pillars which are essential for the customer experience: Brilliant Basics, Memorable Moments, Local Experience and Feel at Ease. Travellers are inundated with accommodation options, that’s why we have to make sure our brands have a clear identity and that we deliver on creating memorable experiences.

Looking ahead to 2020, local experience, sustainability & eco-conscious and personalisation are a few of the trends that are influencing our overall development plan and customer experience.

   5.  Why do events, such as IHIF, continue to have value in a world of face paced, digital connectivity?

IHIF provides a one-off opportunity for global leaders in the hospitality industry to network in person and gain valuable insight from a b2b perspective. It creates connectivity with purpose and provides an immersive and influential experience.

Federico J González will be participating the global CEO panel discussion “Re-Defining Hotel Performance” on Tuesday 4th March at 10:40. In this session, CEOs of some of the largest global brands will discuss their views of what is performance in today's hospitality, and their strategies to achieve it.

For further information on this session and IHIF and Adjacent Spaces, please visit www.ihif.com and https://ihif.com/adjacent-spaces.