News for the Hospitality Executive
Carlson Hotels Worldwide Expands Diversity Initiatives,
Unveils Leadership Strategy, Adds Six Locations
|LAS VEGAS, Feb. 26, 2008 - Carlson Hotels Worldwide today
announced the latest additions to its diversity initiatives, reflecting
a commitment to foster relationships with a wide range of diverse groups
when it comes to hotel developers, guests and even the cities where the
Broad-Based Diversity Includes Guests, Franchisees, Employees, Suppliers and Local Communities
"The goal is to grow our business using the lens of diversity in a noble way," said Maria Seiler, vice president of diversity for Carlson Hotels Worldwide. "We know that the way we operate impacts our guests, franchisees, current and future employees, and even our suppliers. We want to create good will in the community, as well as with our partners and customers, by having our company reflect the communities where we do business."
On the development front, Carlson Hotels Worldwide has broadened the diversity of its franchisees by signing several hotels with owners representing women, minorities, and the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. This includes the new 145-room Radisson Hotel Lubbock Downtown in Texas, which is owned by Ms. Priya Dias, who was born in Sri Lanka and immigrated to the United States.
"I have been in the hotel business for 20 years, starting as a hotel manager and expanding my work experience as I realized my passion for being a hotelier," said Priya Dias, owner of Lubbock Investments LLC. "In some ways it has been about breaking into an industry dominated by men -- especially when I became a hotel owner. Our first commitment is to our guests by making them comfortable and taken care of by our staff. I believe the best way to help our guests feel at home in our hotel is working with a hotel staff that loves what they do and are equally as dedicated to our guests as I am."
Helping expand Carlson's outreach to multi-cultural franchisees is supported by the company's new position on the corporate advisory board for the Hispanic Hotel Owners Association (HHOA). The non-profit organization is focused on the advancement of Hispanics within the lodging industry, including opportunities to own, develop and operate hotels.
In addition to its participation with HHOA, Carlson continues to be active with several other minority and multi-cultural organizations, including board positions with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and an annual scholarship for $50,001, and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers.
Carlson is also committed to young people and has given substantial donations to help youth succeed during school and as they prepare for a career. Partnering with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Carlson Hotels Worldwide joined with its parent organization, Carlson, to offer a $5,000 UNCF scholarship to a student from a historically black college. The company is also planning to provide an information technology internship to the recipient. In addition, Minnesota-based Carlson is working closely with local universities and colleges to increase the diversity of the company's technology interns, hoping they will eventually become full-time employees.
Through Achieve!Minneapolis' STEP-UP program, a summer employment program for diverse, skilled and motivated youth, Carlson Hotels hired 10 students of color for paid internships at hotels and the company's corporate office. Also on the local level, Carlson made a substantial donation in 2007 to La Escuelita, a Minneapolis-based non-profit program focused on academic enrichment and leadership development for Latino immigrant and non-immigrant youth currently enrolled in grades 6-12 in area schools. Its mission is to empower Latino youth and their families to achieve educational equity through academic support and advocacy.
Guest needs are a very relevant part of Carlson's diversity initiatives. To help ensure the safety of guests with dwarfism and other physical limitations, in 2007, owned and managed Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts and Country Inns & Suites in the Americas began offering Short Stature Accessibility Kits. The complimentary kits include a stepstool, a reaching tool, a bar to lower the clothes rack in closets, and a device to retrofit the latch-hook lock on the door.
Carlson Hotels Worldwide Unveils Leadership Strategy in Burgeoning Global Travel Industry
President and CEO Jay Witzel Predicts 'Golden Age' of Global Travel Will Propel New Generation of Worldwide Growth for Carlson Hotel Brands
With a foundation of nearly 1,000 hotels in 70 countries, Carlson Hotels Worldwide President and CEO Jay Witzel predicted today that a coming "Golden Age" of global travel will accelerate the company's expansion to a new position of world-wide leadership.
In the opening keynote address of the 2008 Global Business Conference of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, Witzel stated that Carlson is uniquely positioned to capture the global opportunities offered by the world's growing travel industry. Carlson Hotels includes five brands, Regents Hotels & Resorts; Radisson Hotels & Resorts; Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts; Country Inns & Suites By Carlson; and Park Inn.
"Fueled by growth in traditional markets, plus millions of new travelers in the emerging markets of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin America, our industry is an accelerating and global economic powerhouse," Witzel told the conference of over 1,000 property owners, managers, partners and vendors from around the world. "The world is offering us a playing field of historic opportunity where we intend to lead and win through an integrated strategy of hotel ownership, management and licensing."
Witzel noted that every second of every day, 25 people cross national borders, creating one billion journeys per year and generating an international travel boom. "Although there are short term concerns about an economic slowdown that fill the news channels today, the longer term outlook for the industry is one of unstoppable momentum," he stated.
Witzel said that Carlson Hotels Worldwide is uniquely positioned to excel in the coming "Golden Age" of travel because of the strong and established global presence of its five brands in 70 countries. "We are one of the leading global hotel companies in the number of countries where we operate worldwide, which translates into consumer awareness and brand power in far-reaching markets," he stated.
Witzel noted that Carlson Hotels Worldwide achieved record system-wide revenues of US$7 billion in 2007, an increase of 13 percent from 2006. The company also added 74 new properties globally and signed 141 projects.
Witzel challenged conference attendees to focus on five strategic areas to power the organization to its next level of success. "We must focus on the most important drivers of future success: investments in our employees, customers, physical assets, brand management and operational excellence," he said. "Global support for this strategy, coupled with local implementation at every hotel location, will fuel our growth and leadership worldwide," he said.
Adds six locations to its global portfolio during January and early February of 2008.
The new hotels include three Radisson properties and two Country Inn & Suites By Carlson(sm) hotels in the United States; and one Park Inn(R) hotel in the United Kingdom. Carlson's worldwide portfolio now totals 972 hotels with 147,396 rooms in 70 countries. Carlson hotel brands also include Regent Hotels & Resorts and Park Plaza(R) Hotels & Resorts.
"The momentum of growth for our brands is continuing at a strong pace in 2008," said Jay Witzel, president and CEO of Carlson Hotels Worldwide. "In addition to the six hotels we've added, we have more than 270 properties under various phases of development in major travel destinations worldwide. We've recently signed seven deals for the Country Inns & Suites By Carlson and Park Plaza brands. We look forward to achieving the growth landmark of our 1,000th hotel before the end of the year," added Witzel.
Country Inns & Suites By Carlson
With the addition of two Country Inn & Suites By Carlson locations, the brand currently consists of 438 hotels and 35,041 guestrooms. Both of the new properties are located in the U.S., and include the 73-room Country Inn & Suites By Carlson in Jacksonville, Fla. and the 117-room Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Kansas City at Village West, owned by KC Village West, LLC. Each hotel features the brand's new interior design package that was developed with input from guests and franchisees to evolve the brand and ensure it meets the needs of today's travelers. The new design highlights a more transitional and residential style, features a contemporary color palate throughout the hotel, and includes upgraded bedding in the guest rooms. In addition to the upgraded design, each hotel includes traditional brand design elements, including hardwood floors and a fireplace in the grand lobby.
Radisson Hotels & Resorts
Located minutes from downtown Dallas, the new 236-room Radisson Dallas East and Conference Center features a $3 million renovation that began in 2007. In addition to the newly renovated guestrooms, the hotel offers more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space and complimentary high-speed Internet access throughout the property. Guests can enjoy American fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the onsite restaurant, Terrace Grill, or relax and recharge in the pool, sauna or fitness center. The new Radisson Dallas East and Conference Center is located two miles from the DART Rail Station and only minutes from downtown.
The Radisson Suites Hotel Tucson Airport is located at the entrance to Tucson International Airport and close to Downtown Tucson, the University of Arizona, and Tucson Electric Park -- spring training home to Arizona Diamondbacks. The hotel features 204 spacious two-room suites, each beautifully decorated with a private bedroom and a separate living room. The hotel also offers nearly 12,000 square feet of function space and can accommodate meetings or parties from 10 to 300.
The 196-room Radisson Hotel Lake Buena Vista in Orlando, Fla.
is an excellent option for those visiting Epcot/Disneyworld, Magic Kingdom,
SeaWorld, MGM Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom. All guestrooms are equipped
with Sleep Number beds, 37-inch high definition LCD flat panel televisions
and complimentary high speed internet access. The hotel is located less
than 20 miles from Orlando International Airport and features a 100% smoke
free environment and complimentary shuttle service to Walt Disney World
With the addition of three new Radisson properties, Radisson's global portfolio currently includes 398 hotels with 88,137 guestrooms.
The Rezidor Hotel Group opened one Park Inn location last month -- the Park Inn London, Russell Square in London, England.
With its beautiful Edwardian facade, the newly-renovated Park Inn London, Russell Square is ideally located in London's historic district of Bloomsbury, between Holborn and Russell Square tube stations. The hotel is close to the British Museum and walking distance to top attractions such as Covent Garden, the West End and the shops on Oxford Street.
The hotel offers 214 fresh and modern guest rooms, recently refurbished to a superior four-star standard. The hotel is equipped with high-speed Internet access in all guestrooms and offers ample parking. The hotel's restaurant serves fresh dishes complemented with gourmet wines in a relaxing atmosphere and features live music with a resident harpist and pianist. The bar offers a wide variety of malt whiskies, draught beers and beverages and several large screen plasma televisions.
This new hotel increases the Park Inn portfolio to 89 hotels and 15,233 guestrooms worldwide.
Carlson Hotels Worldwide is one of the major operating groups of Carlson,
a global leader in providing marketing, travel and hospitality services.
Other names among the Carlson family of brands and services are: Carlson
Marketing, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, T.G.I. Friday's and Pick Up Stix restaurants.
The company has been recognized by both Fortune and Working Mother magazines
as one of the "100 best places to work for in America," Carlson corporate
headquarters are in Minneapolis, Minn.
Carlson Hotels Worldwide
|Also See:||Hospitality Management Corporation Signs Management Contract for the Regency Hotel and Conference Center in Dallas, Texas, Formerly Holiday Inn Select Northeast / September 2006|
|Sal Mendoza Named General Manager Regency Hotel & Conference Center in Dallas, Texas / November 2006|