Radisson Hotel Group will be co-branding some of its European properties with the name of new owner Jin Jiang as part of a plan to boost the number of Chinese visitors.
The initial pilot will see the new initiative trialed at two hotels with Jin Jiang in Chinese characters sitting next to one of Radisson’s brands.
“That will bring a very good hook to Chinese consumers, when they come and they may not know today Radisson Blu or Radisson Collection and they associate and they link… [them] to Jin Jiang,” Federico González, chairman of the global steering committee of Radisson Hotel Group, said at a press conference in London.
Those hotels would also be “China ready.”
“What the Chinese consumer expects to have in a room is different to a European,” he said.
González gave no formal date but said it would launch “very soon.”
A Jin Jiang-led consortium now owns a majority of Radisson Hotel Group, which is made up of Radisson Hospitality AB (formerly The Rezidor Hotel Group) and Radisson Hospitality, Inc. (formerly Carlson Hotels Inc.). The former Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group became Radisson Hotel Group at the beginning of last year.
González is also the CEO of Radisson Hospitality AB.
Adding together Jin Jiang’s existing portfolio together with Radisson’s would make the combined entity the second biggest hotel group in the world, González said, pointing to 2017 rankings from hospitality research firm MKG. Radisson and Jin Jiang would be behind Marriott but ahead of Hilton with 869,170 rooms.
This new scale also brings added possibilities in terms of increasing the Radisson business in China.
A lot of Jin Jiang’s Chinese properties exit in the economy or midscale segment and buying Radisson offers it an opportunity to upgrade. Together Radisson and Jin Jiang have agreed a “very significant development plan” González said.
NO NEW BRANDS
While other hotel groups are busy adding brands to fill out any gaps in their portfolio — no matter how minuscule — Radisson is sticking with its seven existing brands.
“I think many times in the hotel industry, many of the brands come not because of the essence or the need of the brand, it’s actually to satisfy some owners…,” González said.
At the luxury/upper upscale end it has the soft brand Radisson Collection, followed by Radisson Blu, Park Plaza, Radisson Red, Radisson, Park Inn by Radisson, and Country Inn & Suites by Radisson.
“We are very well placed I think from the brands we have in each of the segments,” he said.
Radisson also used to have Prizeotel at the economy end and although it retains a 49 percent stake in the hotel company, Prizeotel CEO Marco Nussbaum terminated the licence agreement following Jin Jiang’s takeover.