Radisson Red to carve new niche in Asian hotel market

Thorsten Kirschke
Thorsten Kirschke

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is aiming to create an entirely new accommodation option for Asian travellers, when it brings its modern Radisson Red concept to the region.

Speaking to Travel Daily recently, Thorsten Kirschke, Carlson Rezidor’s new president for Asia Pacific, said that Radisson Red would carve out its own niche in the “upscale select” market.

“There really is no comparison [to other hotel brands],” Kirschke said, “That’s the beauty of it. A lot of our competitors have tried to bring new these brands to life, but none have really succeeded. We think [Radisson Red] has really hit the nail on the head.”

Kirschke said this confidence comes from “very encouraging conversations” with potential partners in the region, which have led to “half a dozen leads” currently being discussed. He noted that both existing and new partners have been impressed by the brand’s cost effectiveness, both in terms of building and operating costs. “[It is a very] competitive formula, from an ROI perspective,” Kirschke said.

In terms of development, Kirschke revealed to Travel Daily that the Asia Pacific region’s first Radisson Red would be in China, as part of a dual complex with a Radisson Blu hotel. And future developments could see the brand expand to Chinese second tier cities, plus “any big cities [in Asia] such as Manila, Bangkok, Mumbai [and] Delhi.”

Carlson Rezidor wants a portfolio of 60 Radisson Reds worldwide by 2020
Carlson Rezidor wants a portfolio of 60 Radisson Reds worldwide by 2020

Kirschke also confirmed that Carlson Rezidor is working on a Radisson Red concept for resort destinations, plus other regional offerings that are slightly tweaked depending in the hotel’s location.

“[We are considering] an Indian version with a second restaurant… or in Thailand we would look at spa and wellness facilities,” he said. “[Each hotel] has to be relevant to consumer needs.”

In terms of guest demographics, Kirschke said that Radisson Red “has a fantastic opportunity to cater for new generation of intra-regional travellers”.

“We are looking at more independent, millennial travellers,” he said. “These are guests who are not defined by age, but my mindset. They… enjoy communal living, connectivity, and are environmentally conscious.”

Carlson Rezidor has outlined plans to develop a portfolio of 60 Radisson Reds worldwide by 2020, approximately half of which could be based in Asia Pacific.

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