Carlson Rezidor plans to double Asia Pacific portfolio

Thorsten Kirschke addresses the media in BangkokThorsten Kirschke addresses the media in Bangkok
Thorsten Kirschke addresses the media in Bangkok

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is planning to open another 100 hotels across Asia Pacific in the next five years, doubling its current regional portfolio.

Addressing reporters in Bangkok on Thursday, Thorsten Kirschke, Carlson Rezidor’s president for Asia Pacific, revealed that the company’s expansion plans will accelerate this year. Having signed nine new Asia Pacific properties in 2014 and 23 last year, the company is now targeting 25 new signings in 2016, two of which have already been concluded.

Key markets for Carlson Rezidor include India, where it is currently the largest international hotel group; Indonesia, where it recently signed four new properties including Southeast Asia’s first Radisson Red hotel; and Australia, where it is planning to launch three new brands.

Thailand is also a key area of focus for the company, and Kirschke revealed that Carlson Rezidor is planning to open multiple new hotels in the kingdom, under its Radisson, Radisson Blu and Radisson Red brands.

Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok
Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok

“We are aiming to add six more hotels across key destinations including Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket in the next 18 months, which will more than double our presence in Thailand,” he revealed.

Having recently lost its Radisson Blu resort in Phuket, which is being rebranded as a Pullman, Kirschke said he is “keen to expand more in resort areas”. This expansion will start soon, with the opening of a new Radisson Blu resort in Hua Hin in the second quarter of 2016.

And Carlson Rezidor could be on the verge of announcing its first Radisson Red hotel in Thailand, with a potential project in Bangkok.

Following a series of setbacks, Kirschke noted that Thailand’s tourism industry is “strikingly resilient” and predicted “great revPAR growth” for his company’s Thai properties in 2016. And with tourism arrivals to Thailand expected to exceed the 30 million mark for the first time in 2016, Kirschke said the country could aim even higher, with 40 million arrivals “very possible” in the next few years. “We want to be a major player [in Thailand],” he added.

Elsewhere in Asia Pacific, Carlson Rezidor recently signed its first hotel in Vietnam – a Radisson Blu resort near Nha Trang – and is also planning to bring the Radisson Red concept to Guangzhou and Kuala Lumpur. Cambodia and Myanmar are also on the company’s radar.

“[I have a] firm belief in Asia Pacific as a current and future growth market,” Kirschke said.

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