As a family owned company with decades of history and founders’ names, Carlson Hotels Group is in a revolution. For John M Kidd, The new CEO and COO of the group since seven months ago, it is no easy task to be the leader in such a company.
This Minnesota-based hotel group owns well-known hotel brands such as Radisson, Radisson RED, Radisson Blu, Country Inns & Suites, Park Inn by Radisson, Park Plaza and Quorvus Collection.
Carlson was acquired by HNA Hotels Group last year, when Kidd was president and chief operating officer of the acquiring company.
“As we all know, any mergers or acquisitions go through a period of full transition, all for the benefit of the business, as is the Carlson Hotel Group,” said John Kidd. “Carlson Hotels Group is a world-class business that has an entrepreneurial spirit from its roots; it is a very prestigious platform with a huge market value, and now what we have to do is to further enhance its value. We sort out all aspects of our business and compare them with our main competitors in the industry. “
He said: “Our vision is to be one of the top three hospitality groups in the world and to be the preferred hospitality company for guests, owners and industry professionals. We have therefore developed a comprehensive five-year plan that we call ‘Destination 2022’ The plan covers operations, asset management, branding and products, marketing, IT, talent and culture, and is a successful booster that I am confident of.
“To be honest, when I first took over as Carlson’s CEO, the company did not do well, and we did business differently than the best hotel companies in the world, so we’re now planning on a five-year plan.It’s a completely new starting point for us to take a fresh look at our guidance by simplifying and optimizing our working and financial management models to manage and operate the company at the best standards in the world.”
In Kidd’s plan, Carlson is going to “very aggressively” build the Radisson and Radisson RED brands in the metropolitan area of the United States (the top 15) and quickly raise the standards and quality of its core brand, Radisson. Kidd also said: “The Park Inn is a ‘hidden gem’ in our brand line and has a tremendous opportunity for growth and has achieved some initial success in Europe.”
In addition, Carlson Hotels Group is accelerating the transformation and upgrading of the Country Inns & Suites brand into the Gen 4 product, which is successful in terms of the recognition of home owners and average daily house price (ADR) and net recommended value (NPS) growth . “We firmly believe that Country Inns & Suites brand size can be three to four times now,” Kidd said.
Pure organic growth and asset-light models, including a model for selective management contracts, are Carlson’s key strategy in America while the company is also stepping up the pace of growth in the region.
For those of you hotel frequent stayers based in Scandinavia, we are bound with so few options with major hospitality groups in the world, out of those exciting programs, Club Carlson with its high concentration in the region; has became something we can’t help but to settle with. Until this day, they don’t have most of the perks comes with other loyalty programs, so being able to see such positive changes in its leadership position and direction is something we all can hope for.
Although they are under strategic expansion, I fail to see any mention with its Club Carlson program and its future path, so by high-profiling itself aiming to become the top 3 hospitality group in the world surely will get them a lot of attention, however with no plan on improving relationships with their customers, how can they single-handedly dragged themselves up the current top 10 ranking?
Top 10 Largest Hotel Groups in the World by llenrock:
10. Carlson Rezidor
With 7 brands and around 1,400 hotels in 115 countries under its belt, Carlson Rezidor is one of the largest hotel groups in the world as well as one of the most dynamic. With brands such as Raddison, Country Inns and Suites, and Park Inn, the Carlson Rezidor group has a hotel that fits the needs for anybody. Their hotels have plenty of stunning designs and are available widely across 115 different countries.
9. Homeinns Hotel Group
Homeinns Hotel Group was the first hotel group to be branded in China, and is currently one of the largest in the country. With locations in 355 Chinese cities, their presence in the country is overwhelming. While they only have locations in China currently (that’s 2,609 hotels, to be exacts), the group plans on expanding internationally in the near future.
8. Best Western Hotels & Resorts
Best Western is one of the best known hotel names throughout the United States, and has made its mark internationally, as well. Between their 7 brands, Best Western has properties in over 100 different countries, making up a current total of over 300,000 rooms and 4,195 hotels. The brand offers locations that give off more of a stereotypical hotel vibe, as well as modernized luxury resorts for those who want to live life to the fullest.
7. Accor Hotels
Accor Hotels is a French multinational hotel group that operates in almost 100 countries in the world with over 4,000 different hotels. Their 19 different brands offer an array of different lodging experiences, whether someone is looking for a chic urban location, or a fun tropical paradise.
6. Choice Hotels
Choice Hotels has a presence which spans across 40 countries with more than 500,000 rooms globally. The Group projects about 638 hotels in its pipeline, according to Hotel News Now.
5. Jin Jiang International
Although not much information can be found on the largest Chinese hotel company, Hotel News Now reported that after its merger with Plateno in Fall of 2015, the company boasted a whopping 3,090 locations. The 80-year-old group has its star hotel Shanghai Jinjiang Hotel which is known for its European-style architecture.
4. Wyndham Hotel Group
Although Wyndham has a whopping 8,000 open hotels, more than any group ranking higher, the group spans a mere 73 countries and 16 brands, including Dolce, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Days Inn and more.
3. Hilton Worldwide Holdings
Hilton is the third largest hotel group in the world, comprised of 788,864 rooms and 4,820 hotels throughout 104 countries and territories. The group boasts 13 diverse brands such as Curio, Waldorf Astoria, Canopy, and the newly introduced Tru.
2. InterContinental Hotels Group
InterContinental Hotels Group comes in at #2 on our list due to it’s impressive 5,099 existing hotels with an additional 1,461 in the pipeline. The 11 brands are seen worldwide and reported a 2015 revenue of $1,803MM, mostly stemming from the Americas.
1. Marriott International / Starwood Hotels & Resorts
It’s been the merger of the year, making Marriott International the LARGEST hotel croup in the world.With 5,456 existing hotels and 2,101 in the pipeline, it’s no wonder the gigantic company is taking our #1 spot. Back in September of this year, Marriott dished out a mere $13 Billion to acquire Starwood which added brands such as Sheraton, Westin, W and St. Regis under its ownership, creating an umbrella of 30 brands total.
Interview material from Hotel Business Magazine