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Carlson Branded Hotels Increased by 78 in 2006, 
Total Properties Reach 938 in 71 Countries
Global systemwide sales grow 7.8% to $37.1 billion

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (March 1, 2007) Carlson today announced that 2006 systemwide sales from its global, company-owned and franchised brands and services reached record levels. Systemwide sales totaled $37.1 billion, a 7.8 percent increase, compared with $34.4 billion in 2005.

Carlson is a global brand leader in business and leisure travel, hotel, restaurant, cruise, and marketing services. 

"The 2006 growth is a result of our ongoing efforts to grow our brands worldwide through expansion, acquisition and partnerships, especially in Asia and Europe," said Carlson Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Marilyn Carlson Nelson. "Our objective to focus on the strategic growth of our brands served us well in 2006 by increasing the value of our company and setting the stage for future opportunities."

Systemwide sales, which include both franchised and owned/managed operations, especially benefited from significant growth in Carlson hotels, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and restaurant operations, including T.G.I. Friday's.

2006 business unit highlights

Carlson became the majority shareowner (55 percent) of Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Carlson and One Equity Partners (OEP), a private equity affiliate of JP Morgan Chase & Co., acquired Accor's 50 percent stake in Carlson Wagonlit Travel, of which OEP now holds the remaining 45 percent share. Carlson previously owned 50 percent of Carlson Wagonlit Travel.

Carlson Wagonlit Travel acquired Navigant International, doing business as TQ3 Navigant. The move made Carlson Wagonlit Travel the Number One travel management company outside North America and a strong Number Two in North America. Carlson Wagonlit Travel also launched its industry education program for existing and prospective clients to gain insight into key business travel trends, challenges and opportunities. The program, including travel management in the Asia Pacific, and Europe-Middle East-Africa regions, will be expanded in 2007.

Carlson Leisure Group announced that for the first time, all four franchise units of the Carlson Travel Franchise Group made Entrepreneur magazine's annual Franchise 500 listing. 

Another Carlson Leisure Group division, Carlson Vacation and Business Travel, developed custom shore excursions. More than 500 clients took advantage of these exclusive activities and sites, which are not available through cruise line tours. 

Carlson Hotels Worldwide and its franchisees operate in three global regions the Americas; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and Asia Pacific.  As Brussels-based Rezidor Hotel Group became a publicly traded company in 2006, Carlson increased its ownership of Rezidor by 10 percent, to a total of 35 percent.

The number of Carlson-branded hotels and resorts increased by 78, bringing the total to 938 properties in 71 countries. During the past two years, more than $500 million has been invested in renovation and construction of owned, managed and franchised Radisson Hotels and Resorts. In addition, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson celebrated the opening of its 400th hotel, and Regent Hotels & Resorts opened in Beijing and South Beach. 

Complementing the Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation and overall corporate commitment, Carlson Hotels contributed more than $100,000 to the World Childhood Foundation through its Make Room in Your Heart for Kids program, bringing the program's total to more than a quarter-million dollars in donations.  

Carlson Restaurants Worldwide and London-based ABN AMRO Capital havepartnered to acquire 45 T.G.I. Friday's restaurants in the United Kingdom from Whitbread PLC. The addition of these restaurants to the Carlson portfolio makes the U.K. market the largest market outside of the U.S. in which the restaurant company will have ownership. The transaction is scheduled to close on Friday, March 2.

As of Feb. 15, there were more than 582 franchised and Carlson-owned T.G.I. Friday's restaurants operating in 47 states, and 289 international locations in 58 countries. Carlson's Asian-kitchen brand Pick Up Stix has a total of 125 company-owned locations in California, Arizona and Nevada.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises, formerly Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, was successfully rebranded and merged the marketing of the cruise operations with Regent Hotels & Resorts. The cruise line was named the Best Large-Ship Cruise Line in the Conde Nast Traveler  Readers' Choice Awards competition, and the World's Leading Luxury Cruise Line, World Travel Awards.

Carlson Marketing acquired TQ3 Navigant Performance Group in the United States. The acquisition continues Carlson's growth in the meetings, incentive and event marketing businesses.

In addition, Carlson Marketing ranked Number 2 among the Top 100 U.S. Marketing Services Agencies in Advertising Age magazine's annual agency report. Carlson Marketing also ranked Number 2 among the Top 50 Marketing Services Agencies for Sales Promotion, and Number 13 among the Top 50 Marketing Services Agencies-Direct Marketing in the United States. Globally, Carlson Marketing ranked Number 11 among the World's Top 25 Marketing Organizations.

In 2006, Carlson launched a new logo, symbolizing the company's focus on heart (building relationships), heritage, its future, innovation and service. Carlson also is gearing up for its 70th anniversary in 2008. (The company was founded in 1938 as the Gold Bond Stamp Company.)


Sam Macalus
Director of Public Relations
Ph: 763-212-2477


Also See: Carlson Companies Creates New Logo, Designed to Represent Carlson's Heart, our Heritage and our Future / November 2006
Carlson Hotels Worldwide Adds 78 New Locations to its Five Brand Portfolio in 2006 / January 2007
Carlson Hospitality Worldwide Adds 170 Locations in 1999; Hospitality Businesses Focusing on Customer Service, Dot-Com Technology / April 2000


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