Overview of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group

Carlson Rezidor

The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the world largest and most dynamic hotel companies. It has a fantastic portfolio of 1,319 hotels in operation and under development, a global footprint covering 81 countries and territories and a powerful set of global brands: Radisson Blu, Radisson, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson and Hotel Missoni.

With its long, successful history in global hospitality, the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has a rich expertise across all key segments, all business models, plus a strong and expanding revenue generation capability. Its 80,000 inspiring people collectively deliver system-wide revenues of USD 7 billion. The Carlson aspire to be the number one hospitality company to work for and invest with. And it intend to grow the number of hotels in operation by at least 50 percent—reaching more than 1,500 hotels in operation by 2015.

Company History

Carlson is one of the classic success stories in the American free-enterprise system. Starting in 1938 with an idea and a USD 55 loan, entrepreneur Curtis L. Carlson (1914 – 1999) founded the Gold Bond Stamp Company in his home town of Minneapolis, Minn. His company allowed grocery stores, drug stores, gas stations and other independent merchants to use his collectible “Gold Bond Stamps” to drive customer loyalty and to distinguish themselves from their competitors.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Gold Bond and sister company, Top Value Stamps, helped revolutionize the way retail goods were marketed. Trading stamps proved to be right for the times and swept the nation in a wave of dramatic growth.

In the 1960s, when the trading stamp market reached its peak, the Gold Bond Stamp Company expanded into the hospitality industry with the acquisition of the Radisson Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. In the 1970s, the company acquired dozens of additional businesses, including T.G.I. Friday’s and Ask Mr. Foster, a leading travel agency. To reflect its diversification, Gold Bond changed its name to Carlson Companies in 1973. In 2006, to demonstrate that those are one company serving a variety of needs, those became known as Carlson.

In 2008 – 2009, the company evolved its business portfolio to focus on hospitality and travel. This focus deepened in 2012 when the company decided to go to market and do business with its Brussels-based partner, The Rezidor Hotel Group, and create the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.

Carlson is a global leader in the hospitality and travel space thanks to the strengths of its brands: Radisson Blu, Radisson®, Park Plaza®, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM, Hotel Missoni, T.G.I. Friday’s® and Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT).

Organizational Principles of the Company

It is a global company that understands the benefits of combining scale with frontline empowerment.

  • Across its business and brands it shares a number of ambitions, values, management principles, governance processes and standards.
  • In this entrepreneurial culture it believes the company should generally assign responsibility, authority and accountability close to the customer and front line.
  • That said, its top management has responsibility for overall strategy and allocation of capital; senior leadership selection, development and compensation; governance, including definition of certain standards and compliance management, risk management, delegation of authority and audit; reporting; and corporate communication.
  • In addition, it shares processes and resources where the company can leverage its size and scope (e.g., treasury, tax, key financial processes, IT infrastructure, payroll, benefits, sourcing).
  • Carlson also offers the opportunity to share best practices across regions and brands (e.g., in the areas of frontline service excellence, marketing, real estate) and to pursue a richer set of career opportunities. Its functional leaders are responsible to ensure this happens.

Purpose of the Company

At Carlson, it works with a clear and noble purpose. The company seeks to:

  • Serve millions of guests and travelers in a way that makes a positive difference to their lives.
  • Provide tens of thousands of jobs and help the employees grow and achieve their potential.
  • Contribute to the common goodthrough its commitment to social responsibility.
  • Generate attractive financial returns for its shareholders and business partners.

Carlson has great ambitions for Carlson. The company wants its brands to be leading brands in their segments; it wants to be the number one hospitality and travel company to work for; and wants to be the number one hospitality and travel company to invest with.


The company has great ambitions for Carlson. It wants its brands to be leading brands in their segments; company wants to be the number one hospitality and travel company to work for; and want to be the number one hospitality and travel company to invest with.
This is the company’s ambition – this is Ambition 2015

Hotels Ambition 2015

For the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, their strategy aims to grow its hotel portfolio by at least 50 percent to reach at least 1,500 hotels in operation by 2015.

Four priority growth initiatives for our hotel business:

  • Expand Radisson Blu and Radisson® as powerful, globally consistent, first-class brands
  • Accelerate the growth of Country Inns & Suites By Carlson in key markets
  • Grow Park Inn by Radisson as a winning midscale brand across theaters in key countries
  • Continue the push in key emerging economies, with added emphasis on midscale

The strategy has five main themes:

  • Establish clear, compelling positioning for each brand
  • Operationalize the brand promises
  • Accelerate development
  • Win the revenue battle
  • Build a global team and organization

Restaurants Ambition 2015  

For the company restaurant business, T.G.I. Friday’s, our strategy is focused around three main ambitions:

Guest Choice

  • Define a relevant, compelling guest proposition
  • Deliver great service experience
  • Offer great Friday’s food and beverage
  • Increase relevance at key occasions
  • Enhance marketing efficiency and effectiveness
  • Develop a guest engaging box

Employee Choice

  • Attract and hire the right people
  • Prepare and support for success
  • Reward, recognize, advance
  • Communicate and affiliate
  • Give back…community, industry, environment

Investor Choice

  • Product box investment model
  • Compelling operating economies
  • Robust network growth/development plan
  • Strong relationships and communications

Travel’s New Heights

Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s (CWT) mission is to deliver efficient and innovative solutions to optimize travel and meetings and events management by leveraging our global reach with the best people and superior service.

CWT’s vision is to be the number one choice of clients, travelers and CWT employees, and to be number one in sales and profitability in business travel, meetings and events and energy services.

CWT’s strategy has five main priorities:

  1. Target growth in selected markets and client segments
  2. Market innovative products and services that bring value throughout the full supply chain
  3. Improve efficiency and customer service at the point-of-sale
  4. Leverage the value we deliver to our suppliers
  5. Drive superior performance by attracting, retaining and developing top talent

Global Hotel Brands

Regent Hotel & Resort is synonymous with luxury and service in hotels and resort around the world. One of the most respected brands in the luxury segment of the hotel industry, Regent Hotel and resort established its reputation on a commitment to exceptional guest service, attention to detail and an uncompromising quality. Reflecting and celebrating each individual hotel’s location, the Regent hotel experience uniquely combines the warmth and culture of the local community with global luxury standards. The result is a welcoming guest experience that is richly personalized and caring.

Radisson Hotels & Resort is one of the leading upscale, full service hotel brands in the world with more than 400 hotels in 66 countries. Conveniently located in capital cities, urban center and popular leisure destinations, Radisson hotels are committed to delivering superior service and product excellence with genuine hospitality for the business and leisure traveler. Guest enjoy comfortable, well appointed guest rooms with quality finishes and international standard facilities and welcoming service experience created through a unique personal connection in a fun, fresh and real environment.

Radisson Plaza is the premium extension of the Radisson Hotel & Resorts brand, delivering a new level of differentiated service, superior guest service & facilities and enhanced guest experience.

Park Plaza Hotel & Resort is an upper mid scale, full service hotel brand offering great hospitality in more than 40 location in 10 countries worldwide. Conveniently located in key city, regional and airport commercial area and leisure destinations, the uniqueness of each hotel and the friendly, casual service style are the hallmark of Park Plaza. With a range of restaurant style, flexible meeting and function rooms and different recreational facilities, Park Plaza Hotels & Resort is ideally suited for today’s business, meting or leisure.

Country Inn & Suites by Carlson is a midscale hotel brand offering excellent value and attractive accommodation s at nearly 450 locations worldwide. Whether our trip is packed with business or field with fun, Country In & Suite offers a warm welcome superior values and convenience of location. Friendly, professional staff,  homelike comfort in a charming décor and an explicit commitment to consistence standard s of quality ensure guest satisfaction every stay.

Park Inn is a growing midscale hotel brand serving a wide range of guest in nearly 100 cities suburban and leisure destinations worldwide. Offering excellent customer service, convenient location and comfortable facilities, Park Inn hotels are ideal for the traveler who appreciates value. Guest enjoy a warm, friendly welcome complemented with special amenities and service for families and business and leisure travelers.

Radisson Blu creates iconic buildings with individual interiors invoking an inviting, exciting ambiance and offering a holistic hospitality experience that is totally relevant to now. Radisson Blu flagship properties can be found in prime locations, including major cities, airport gateways and leisure destinations around the world. Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts, part of the Rezidor Hotel Group, currently operates more than 230 hotels worldwide, with another 51 projects under development. Radisson Blu is a first class full service hotel brand with key differentiators such as the 100% Guest Satisfaction Guarantee and the Yes I Can! spirit of service.

Carlson, a privately held, global hospitality and travel company, based in Minneapolis USA), is the majority shareholder of The Rezidor Hotel Group. Together, Carlson and Rezidor have hotels in more than 90 different countries, 1,070 hotels in operation and 240 hotels under development.

Carlson Rezidor Hotel