Radisson CEO reveals how the pandemic influenced development strategy
Imagery courtesy of AHC.
Federico J. González, CEO of Radisson Hotel Group, has detailed how the covid lockdown period prompted the hotel chain to shake up its brands’ offerings.
Speaking at this week’s AHC conference in Manchester, UK, Gonzalez acknowledged that during the pandemic it was vital to be clear with the group’s stakeholders, teams and guests.
He told delegates: “Suddenly none of us knew what was going to happen. We had to be humble, and honest and continuous communication was needed.”
Gonzalez outlined that Radisson had already started on a five year transformation plan in 2017, identifying the ability to change and adapt, having a clear plan as the basis for change, plus the company’s people and culture as the three elements critical to success.
Analysing the group’s operations, the leadership team made a clear diagnosis of what was and wasn’t working. According to Gonzalez: “We need a very clear, robust and solid offering by segment. We concluded that we needed to have a luxury brand, Radisson Collection. There was a space for Radisson Red – there was an opportunity to reintroduce Radisson as a brand in EMEA, to rebrand and change Park Inn, and to bring in a midscale lifestyle brand.”
Radisson then carried out a thorough analysis of each brand, touching on elements such as construction cost, the consumer offering and the revenue generation index (RGI)
Because of this work, Gonzalez believes: “Today I feel very comfortable to go to any of our developments around the world and know the right brand for each operation, this is the construction cost, be that newbuild or conversion.”
He underlined: “So when the pandemic came we were lucky because we already knew what we wanted to do. We then discussed what else we should do and what the new opportunities would be.”
The group then created several additional innovations that complemented the original plan, including launching the Radisson Individuals independent properties brand, as well as signing a joint venture with a German brand that allowed Radisson to increase its amount of leases and exposure.
Gonzalez also noted the increasing popularity of serviced apartments, and explained that the group has an extended stay element within each of its existing brands rather than a separate strand. He concluded: “The consumer is very smart and they understand if there’s a Radisson Blu hotel and a Radisson Blu Residences, I don’t think we need to launch a new brand for extended stays.”
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