Mumbai: Radisson Hotel Group which operates 89 hotels in India is planning to bring its latest luxury brand Radisson Collection to the country, introduced globally on Monday as part of a brand makeover. It is also planning to put greater focus on its mid-scale brands in India.

US-based Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, which operates 1,400 hotels worldwide under eight brands, on Monday rebranded itself as Radisson Hotel Group, taking the name of its most-recalled brand.

Radisson, which is already present in the upscale, midscale and economy segments in India across five brands, will mark its entry to the luxury segment with Radisson Collection, a top company executive said. Some of the hotels in this range will be upgraded from existing upscale Radisson Blu properties, while others will be either built ground up or conversion of other hotel brands.

“We realise that Radisson is a powerful brand equity which is recognised on a global level. We are going to change the name of our midscale brand Country & Suite by Carlson to Country & Suite by Radisson. This is to align the brand identification of our midscale brand to the core Radisson brand," said Raj Rana, chief executive officer (South Asia) Radisson Hotel Group, said over the phone.

The move is expected to strengthen its brand recall in India and push growth in the mid segment where most international hospitality firms have a strong presence, Rana said.

“We are assessing some of our existing Radisson Blu hotels to convert to Radisson Collection. We are converting Radisson Blu in Agra to Radisson Collection in the coming months. Besides, we are also looking for newer opportunities," Rana said, adding around five to seven hotels could be converted with the “right amount of upliftment."

Existing Radisson brands in India are Radisson and Radisson Blu in the upscale segment; Park Inn and Country Inn & Suites by Radisson in the midscale segment; and Park Plaza in the economy segment. The company is planning to introduce yet another midscale lifestyle brand—Radisson Red—in India at Mohali in the July-September quarter, Rana said.

Its largest brands in India in terms of number of hotels are Radisson Blu (34) and Country Inn & Suites by Carlson (22).

Radisson is one of the largest hotel chains in India, alongside Taj Group and Marriott Inc.

The company is focussed on pushing growth in the mid segment, and associating with the Radisson brand will help achieve it, Rana said.

Last year, Indian Hotels Co. Ltd, which runs the Taj group of hotels, launched a brand architecture exercise to club all its premium brands under Taj. However, the plan was later shelved.

Under the new global rebranding exercise, its existing loyalty programme Club Carlson M will be replaced to Radisson Rewards, replacing Club Carlson SM.

“Radisson Rewards will align with the hotel group’s new corporate identity and will make it easier for members to associate their benefits with all brands and initiatives," the company said in a statement.

“The creation of the Radisson Hotel Group is an evolution of our long-term partnership with the Rezidor Hotel Group. Together, we are clarifying and executing a new brand architecture to create more value for our guests and owners," said John M. Kidd, chief executive officer and chief operating officer, Radisson Hospitality, Inc.

“It’s the right time for us to align our strategic and operating plans and go-to-market as one solid player," he added.

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