Exclusive: Radisson expansion in Australasia focuses on midrange
Radisson Hotel Group will launch several new midscale brands in the Australasian market to meet growing demand in this segment.
As part of new expansion plans, the group will launch Radisson Individuals, Country Inn and Suites by Radisson and Radisson Red in capital cities and popular regional destinations across Australia and New Zealand, namely Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Radisson has also obtained the rights to develop and operate the premium economy brands 7 Days and Metropolo through individual master license agreements, and obtained the rights to the Golden Tulip, Kyriad and Campanile brands from Louvre Hotels Group.
Radisson Hotel Group Asia Pacific Development Director Ramzy Fenianos said SM that the midscale segment presents a powerful opportunity for the company.
“We really studied the market in depth,” he said.
“We look at the fundamentals of each market and look at where there is an opportunity, and we realized that in Australia there is an opportunity in the midscale segment.”
The premium Radisson Individuals affiliate brand launched in 2020 operates primarily on a franchise basis with the goal of honoring each property’s unique personality.
“The essence of the brand is really to keep the flavor local,” Fenianos said.
“Because most of these properties are owner-operated, there are a lot of emotions. These are properties that have been predominantly family run over generations, so the essence of the brand is really to keep as much local flavor as possible for international guests to experience.
Owners of these properties will benefit from Radisson’s experience and relationships as a global hotel group.
“Radisson Individuals will allow owners to connect with Radisson’s distribution systems, marketing, all of Radisson’s brand image globally, and benefit from an improvement in both ADR and occupancy” , said Fenianos.
“We believe there is a big, big opportunity in this segment, primarily in conversions – 40% of everything we sign is a conversion product.”
Country Inn is a recognizable community-driven brand that is designed to make every traveler feel at home, according to Radisson. Performing strongly in the US, Fenianos says it will be localized for the Australian market both in terms of owner and guest experience.
“People want to have a sense of belonging,” he said.
“If you’re from Europe or India – which are big food markets for Australia – you want to feel where you are. We have custom designed products and solutions for owners and guests.
For Country Inn, Radisson will primarily focus on converting approximately 50 keys independently managed properties, in Tier II and Tier III cities, where minor renovations are required, in an effort to keep costs low for owners. .
“CapEx is an issue today, so we’re trying to be as owner-friendly as possible on that front.”
Meanwhile, lifestyle brand Radisson Red focuses on delivering vibrant, stylish hotels with bold design in vibrant locations that appeal to social travelers, primarily millennials; but Fenianos says Red’s target market is “more attitude than age or group”.
“I think Red really caters to new travellers, independent people who want to have fun, and we think there’s a great opportunity for Red to grow in Australia,” he said.
With leisure and business customers on the radar, Radisson will also explore how it can grow its resort offering in the region.
“The Gold Coast is one of the most important where we will eventually consider deploying our resorts,” Fenianos said.
“We have a lot of exposure on the resort side of Asia Pacific as an operator, so we feel very comfortable being able to deploy our knowledge of resorts, which is the most complex – if you get the right resort, CBD is quite easy to use.”
With visa applications for Australia already at 80% of pre-pandemic levels in May this year and the 2032 Brisbane Olympics on the horizon, Radisson is optimistic that the market’s rapid recovery will continue.
“In the short term, there’s a lot of positivity. I think there could be challenges… inflation, supply chain, which are inevitable parts of our growth that we’ll have to maneuver, but ultimately, in the long term, we believe there will be returns for owners,” Fenianos said.
“People want to travel, see their families, get together and get the most out of life. And from a business perspective, we’re seeing corporate group travel growing exponentially.