Radisson group launches expansion plans as tourism bounces back

The Radisson Hotel Group is on the march across the country, with a significant expansion plan that will see it add at least another 50 properties to its portfolio through joint ventures and new management agreements.

RHG is the second-largest hotel chain globally behind the Marriott brands and has identified gateway cities and regional areas in Australia, India, Thailand and New Zealand as the prime growth sectors.

The Radisson Hotel Group has expansion plans.

In Australia for the HICAP hotel conference, RHG chief development officer Ramzy Fenianos said the group wants to add 1,700 hotels and resorts to its Asia Pacific portfolio by 2025.

Radisson operates under brands including the Collections; Blu; Red; Park Plaza; Individuals, which is a franchise model; Park Inn and the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson.

The group will expand all these brands through joint ventures with property developers, and smaller operators that want to use the large-scale back office facilities of the Radisson business.

“Australia is a key pillar of this plan in terms of growth,” Fenianos said.

“We have four main growth areas, India, Thailand, Vietnam and Australasia. So from a strategic perspective, Australia is really one of the key focus, I would say, for us in terms of potential growth.”

He said the focus in Australia would be on Radisson Individuals, a brand conceived during the pandemic in response to the needs of owners with assets that they operate, but have a desire to be part of a global group.

During the past two years of the global pandemic, the hotel and tourism sectors were hit hard as border closures and lockdowns forced people to stay at home.

But operators are now optimistic that the worst is behind the sector and conditions are ripe to put expansion plans that were worked on during the lockdowns into action.

“Ultimately, we’re very optimistic as all the indicators are positive. The main key performance indicators for hospitality, being average daily rates, occupancy, and revenue per available room, are all going up,” he said.

“In Sydney, for example, we are now at 62 per cent occupancy, which is an increase of 85 per cent, compared to last year. These are not yet back to pre-pandemic levels but, overall occupancy rates are actually doing quite well.”

But it is not just building and opening hotels that occupy the days of hotel operators, it is also making the assets sustainable to cater for the environmentally conscious traveller.

Radisson has joined with brands, associations and destinations in the industry representing more than 50,000 hotels to launch Hotel Sustainability Basics, a common and inclusive definition of hotel sustainability to drive responsible travel and tourism.

Fenianos said it established a globally recognised set of minimum indicators that all hotels should implement and set a common definition of hotel sustainability to drive responsible travel and tourism.

Fenianos said Radisson aimed to be net carbon zero by 2050.

“Travellers now are much more sensitive to the environment, and the pandemic also made us realise that the earth is fragile. There was a study that showed that 50 per cent of the travellers are willing to pay more to be in a sustainable hotel,” he said.

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