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MINNEAPOLIS (December 30, 2013) - Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world's largest and most dynamic hotel groups today announced a partnership with Google to launch pilot programs for their full portfolio of travel applications, including Google Hotel Finder, Google Business Photos, Google Wallet, Google Indoor Maps, and Google Mobile Click-to-Call. Carlson Rezidor, whose brands include Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson, and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM, is the only hotel group, as of December, to currently offer or to pilot test all of the Google technologies at once. As a result, Carlson Rezidor is leading the industry's efforts to enhance the guest experience while increasing efficiency and boosting productivity through e-commerce innovation.

"As one of the world's largest hotel groups, we are constantly looking for ways to innovate and improve the guest experience," said Thorsten Kirschke, president, Americas, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. "We are thrilled at the opportunity to leverage the newest Google applications available to the travel industry that allow guests to easily search for and compare hotels; view the hotel virtually before booking; and streamline the payment procedure."

Google Hotel Finder

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group initiated a pilot with Google last year for Google Hotel Finder, which allows a one-stop search, shop, and buy experience for guests. This product allows guests to search Google for hotels in a given area; filter results by preferences; sort results; and book a stay straight from the results page. Currently all Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson hotels use Google Hotel Finder. Last month a pilot group of 100 Radisson and Country Inns & Suites hotels across the U.S. and Canada joined the program. Pending successful completion of the pilot, Carlson Rezidor expects to roll Google Hotel Finder out across all Carlson Rezidor hotels in 2014. Google Hotel Finder can be used on smartphones and desktop computers in more than 100 countries.

Google Business Photos 

To give guests the opportunity to explore hotels prior to booking their visit, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is participating in the Google Business Photos Hotel pilot. Google trusted photographers created 360-degree panoramic tours of hotels. These tours, comparable to Google Street View, allow guests to explore the hotel's interior spaces, including the lobby, bars, restaurants and guestrooms. Where applicable, guests are able to tour conference and meeting areas as well as the swimming pool. This new feature can be accessed via Google Search, Google Maps, Google+ Local, and Google Hotel Finder. The pilot launches in December in the United States, initially rolling out to the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago; Radisson Hotel Chicago O'Hare; Radisson Largo- Washington DC; Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, BWI Airport (Baltimore), MD; and the Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Washington Dulles International Airport, VA.

Google Wallet

Google Wallet, which is an application that securely stores a customer's credit card information, provides an expedited checkout process on mobile devices. Guests can now pay for their hotel stay with just a few quick clicks on their smartphone. Google Wallet guarantees a safe secure platform that allows customers to seamlessly make purchases. As Google expands their offerings in the travel industry, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group began its pilot with this application on December 18. After selecting their hotel in Google Hotel Finder, customers on mobile devices can use this product when they see a "Buy with Google" button to complete their reservation. For guests that do not currently have a Google Wallet account, information is saved securely the first time when they book a hotel through this method. Once a customer's information is stored, this feature allows for a two-click booking solution without continuously needing to fill in information fields. Google Wallet is an efficient way to book a stay giving guests another option in addition to being able to pay with other credit cards such as American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.

Google Wallet Loyalty API further enhances the guest experience by offering added benefits regarding Club CarlsonSM, the loyalty program for Carlson Rezidor, including a one-click to join option for guests wishing to join Club Carlson as well as account information on-the-go such as real-time Gold Points® balance updates including auto-migration from Silver Elite, Gold Elite and Concierge levels. Carlson Rezidor is able to further engage with Club Carlson members providing guests with relevant notifications and messages based on geo-targeting through Google NOW integration. Google Wallet Loyalty API allows guests to easily earn and redeem Club Carlson Gold Points. Carlson Rezidor hotel group expects Google Wallet Loyalty API to be available to guests by late Q1 2014.

Google Indoor Maps

Another Google application that Carlson Rezidor is implementing is Google Indoor Maps. These static renderings are based off of CAD drawings and floor plans, which provide guests with the convenience of seeing a business' floor plan in an easy-to-view map. Google Indoor Maps for businesses are available for desktop computers and mobile devices. Currently this application is in pilot testing at the Radisson Blu Mall of America. Carlson Rezidor is looking into expanding this offering to include other full service managed hotels in the near future.

Google Mobile Click-to-Call

Google Mobile Click-to-Call allows customers the opportunity to be one-click away from contacting a business directly. Carlson Rezidor participates in Mobile Click-to-Call enabling guests that conduct a search on their smartphone to be one-click away from calling the reservations center directly. This is an added benefit to guests providing an easy, straightforward way to speak with a hotel representative. 

About Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the world's largest and most dynamic hotel groups. The portfolio of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group includes more than 1,300 hotels in operation and under development, a global footprint spanning 100 countries and territories and a powerful set of global brands (Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM and Hotel Missoni). The group plans to grow the portfolio to nearly 1,500 hotels in operation and under development by 2015. In most of the group's hotels, guests can benefit from the loyalty program Club CarlsonSM, one of the most rewarding loyalty programs in the world. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and its brands employ more than 85,000 people.

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., and Brussels, Belgium.

Contact: Ben Gardeen / +1 (763) 212-8129

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