US-based Radisson Hotel Group has revealed “big ambitions” for the UK, with a focus on growing its Red brand and relaunching the Radisson brand.
Elie Younes, executive vice president and chief development officer at Radisson Hotel Group, confirmed the UK is one of eight target markets for the company, which is re-focusing on Europe to “rejuvenate our presence in Europe to cement our position”.
Following the opening of its first Radisson Red in Glasgow earlier this year (pictured) and the announcement of another site in Liverpool opening next year, the group is looking to develop more Red hotels in the top 10 to 15 cities in the UK due to the “strong demand for lifestyle brands”.
The company is also looking to reintroduce its Radisson brand to the UK. The upscale Radisson brand disappeared from the UK after the 13-strong portfolio of Radisson Edwardian Hotels was rebranded under the Radisson Blu banner in 2012 following the amalgamation of Carlson and the Rezidor Hotel Group to form the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.
Carlson Rezidor rebranded as Radisson Hotel Group earlier this year in a bid to become “one of the three ‘top of mind’ hotel companies” – however the acquisition could make it a major competitor in terms of size, too. The company currently has 1,160 hotels in operation, including 45 in the UK.
Younes also confirmed that the “next pitstop” for Prizeotel, Radisson’s economy brand, will be the UK. Ar present, Priseotel is operated in only Germany, with properties in Austria and Switzerland in the pipeline.
Following the announcement earlier this year that a consortium led by Shanghai-based hospitality group Jin Jiang International Holdings Co was set to acquire HNA’s majority stake in Radisson Hotel Group for an undisclosed sum, Younes said the sale is expected to complete before the end of this year.
Jin Jiang owns or manages more than 7,700 hotels worldwide including properties under Louvre Hotels Group, Nordic Hotels and Vienna Hotel Group. The acquisition of Radisson would make Jin Jiang the seventh largest hotel company in the world with 344,000 rooms, according to data provider STR.
A partnership between Radisson’s loyalty programme, Radisson Rewards, which has 14 million members, and Jin Jiang’s loyalty programme with more than 100 million members, could see it contend with Marriott Rewards’ 110 million.
Younes said Jin Jiang was “extremely supportive” of the Radisson Hotel Group’s growth plans.
Meanwhile, Radisson has reported its best third quarter earnings in the company’s history – €40.2m (£35.3m) in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), up €5.8m (£5.1m) on last year.
Earlier today, Radisson confirmed its reward system database suffered a breach, with members’ names and addresses among the information compromised.