the Scandic Concept Has Been Transformed
|Stockholm, July 14, 2003 - This summer Scandic
will be celebrating 40 years as a hotel chain, making it the oldest hotel
chain in the Nordic Countries. What started its life as motels alongside
Sweden’s main roads is now a hotel chain for everyone, not just motorists.
Sweden’s first motel, Esso Motorby in Laxå in central Sweden, opened on 14 July 1963, marking the dawn of a new era for hotels in the Nordic Countries. Before that the Swedish hotel and restaurant industry was largely dominated by the state owned hotel chain SARA and the Reso chain, owned by the cooperative movement.
The oil company Esso wanted to develop its service stations on the new motorways being planned in Sweden at the time. Market research convinced the company to focus on motels, with the theme “Everything for the Motorist”. In 1963 a room cost SEK 17 and the restaurant menu comprised 90 well-designed dishes. For SEK 7.50 guests were served butter, bread, a main course and 3 smaller dishes.
The hotel chain expanded abroad, to Denmark and Norway, as early as the beginning of the 1970s and within only a couple of years Esso Motor Hotel was the biggest chain in Scandinavia. In the mid-1980s Esso sold its hotel business to an independent company and the chain was renamed Scandic Hotels.
1996 saw Scandic listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, making it the first pure hotel business in Sweden to be quoted on the stock market. In 1998, thanks to major acquisitions – Swedish Reso (1996), Finnish Arctia (1998) and Swedish Provobis (2000) – Scandic became the largest hotel chain in the Nordic Countries. Two years ago Hilton Group Plc, based in the UK and with brands such as Hilton and Conrad Hotels, bought Scandic.
In Scandic’s 40 years the hotel concept has been transformed and the sector has seen explosive growth. Design has become essential and hotels have to keep up with the latest trends, some of which were set by Scandic itself. Scandic was the first hotel chain in the Nordic Countries to introduce non-smoking rooms, TVs in every room, its own internal channel, fitness rooms in every hotel, and wireless broadband, not to mention taking the environment into consideration at an early stage. In addition, Scandic’s loyalty programme, Scandic Club, was one of the first hotel loyalty programmes to be launched in the world.
Today there are 139 Scandic hotels in 9 countries. At the start of this year Scandic decided to Swan-certify (the official Nordic ecolabel) all 65 of its hotels in Sweden. This work is estimated to be complete by the end of 2004.
Quick facts about Scandic
Scandic is the leading hotel chain in the Nordic region with nearly
140 hotels in nine countries. We offer accessible travel: it is easy and
it caters for the business traveller as well as the family travelling with
children. Our owner is Hilton International, part of the London-based Hilton
Group Plc. Together with Hilton Hotels Corporation in the US we offer more
than 2,400 hotels all over the world.
The motor hotel had become a fixed part of the infrastructure in the
United States and it was now adapted for the Swedish market. The Motor
Village concept that consisted of a number of motel rooms and an inn had
been conceived. Unseen media excitement ensued as nobody had seen anything
like the idea before and it was regarded as extremely innovative.
Over the next few years, the chain expanded quickly, and the first hotels in Norway and Denmark were opened as early as 1972. Just a decade later, in 1983, Esso Motor Hotel was sold to a Swedish consortium with Ratos as one of the partners. The chain was renamed Scandic Hotels the following year, and Ratos became its sole owner shortly thereafter. Scandic Hotels' first hotel outside Scandinavia was opened in Koblenz, Germany, in 1986. At the end of 1990, Scandic had 101 hotels, 79 of them Scandics and 22 Scandic Crowns. The start of the Kuwait crisis in 1991 wiped away more than 50% of hotel bookings in London overnight, and the effects were dramatic even in the Nordic countries.
To find its way out of the crisis, Scandic took several determined steps to enhance operation and increase bookings. Results followed quickly with 1992 as the turnaround year. Over the next four years, the number of hotels dropped from 104 to 84. This was the starting point of the new Scandic Hotels.
A lot happened in 1996. Scandic Hotels acquired the Swedish business of the Reso Hotels chain with 14 hotels, sold the Danish roadside restaurant chain Monarc and was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange in December as the first hotel company in its history.
In 1998, another hotel chain was acquired. Arctia, the third largest hotel chain in Finland, became part of Scandic Hotels, raising the number of Scandic's hotels to more than 100 in the Nordic countries.
Cooperation with SAS Eurobonus and Finnair started in 1998–99. Further 17 hotels were acquired in 1999, four of them in Estonia. This acquisition increased capacity by 10% or 2,055 rooms.
The purchase in June 2000 of Provobis Hotels, a Swedish hotel chain with 16 city hotels, contributed to a further expansion of Scandic Hotels' portfolio. In addition to this purchase, four more hotels were bought during the same year.
A year later it was the turn of Scandic Hotels to be bought. On June 11, 2001 it was announced that Hilton Group Plc had bought the chain at a price of £620.2. Scandic Hotels AB pulled out of the Stockholm Stock Exchange.
The Hilton purchase made Scandic a part of the Hilton family with more than 2,400 hotels worldwide including names such as Hilton ., Conrad ., DoubleTree ., Embassy Suites ., Hampton Inns & Suites . and Homewood Suites.
Two new hotels were opened in 2002: Scandic Sydhavnen in Copenhagen and Scandic Alvik in Stockholm. Three Swedish hotels changed over from Scandic Hotels to Hilton; Hilton Stockholm Slussen, Hilton Stockholm Infra City and Hilton Malmö City (ex-Scandic Triangeln).
The loyalty programme Scandic Club was integrated into Hilton HHonors ., one of the world's strongest loyalty programmes. It offers Scandic's guests a host of extra benefits, not least because of its worldwide coverage.
The decision to earn the Swan, the Nordic ecolabel, to all of Scandic's hotels in Sweden before year-end 2004 was made in early 2003. Measures towards this end have already been started. The Swan, one of the world's toughest ecolabels, is another token of Scandic's long-term efforts towards ecologically and ethically sustainable society.
After 11 years, Scandic has chosen to modernise its logotype to better reflect its uncomplicated Nordic nature.
Scandic will launch a new web site in the latter half of 2003. This year we will also open our 19th hotel in Norway, Scandic Nedre Elvehavn with 153 rooms in the centre of Trondheim.
Today's Scandic is driven by Nordic common sense Scandic is the self-evident Nordic choice with its 139 hotels. The whole of our operation is driven by Nordic common sense and offers a relaxed hotel experience to the many people, regardless of whether they travel on business or in their free time.
The idea of providing easy accommodation along main travel routes still lives on. Today, hotels in central city locations complement it. The business idea is to "offer easy and accessible travel for all".
Ecological and ethical sustainability are two crucial principles in Scandic's operation. We observe and value these principles in everything we do. Scandic's guests are involved in taking responsibility for the environment and the world around us.
Nordic Common Sense is actually nothing new. It is simply a clearer focus on our Nordic roots. It is easy, it is value for money, it is openness to new ideas and it is consideration for other people.
Scandic's owner—Hilton Group Plc.
Hilton Group Plc is an international enterprise with two main lines of business: Hilton International who owns the rights to the Hilton trade mark worldwide, with the exception of the United States, and Ladbrokes which is one of the world's largest gambling and betting companies.
The Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1967 at which time its market value was just below £1 million. Today, the Group is one of the largest companies at the Exchange and a part of the FTSE 100 index. Its current market value is approximately £2.5 billion with an annual turnover of some £5.5 billion and more than 77,000 employees worldwide.
Scandic Hotels' turnover in 2002 was £461.5 million with an operating profit of £34.5 million.
Hilton HHonors .
GetAway by Scandic
Sigge – the children's friend at Scandic
Scandic for sustainability
Other Scandic concepts
Nordic common sense
Media Coordinator, Hilton . Scandic
Phone +46 709-73 50 70
SCANDIC HOTELS AB (publ.)
|Also See:||Seven Pandox-owned Hotels Change Brand / Jan 2002|
|Roland Nilsson, President & CEO of Scandic Hotels, Named 'Leader of the Year,' Within the Swedish Business Community / Nov 2000|