Advertorial: Carlson Rezidor – Growing with Africa

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Carlson Rezidor, one of the most dynamic hotel groups in the world, currently holds the largest hotel pipeline in Africa, with 33 new hotels with over 7,000 rooms currently under development.

Carlson Rezidor operates Radisson Blu in the upper upscale segment and Park Inn by Radisson in the upper midscale segment. The group is focused on bringing its unique world-class service, combined with style and sophistication, to Africa, with Radisson Blu already an iconic feature in several major African cities – including Lagos, Addis Ababa, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Dakar, Maputo, Lusaka and Freetown – with the brand set to become a landmark in some of the fastest-growing economic and tourism hubs on the continent and the Indian Ocean Islands, such as Nairobi (Kenya) and Mauritius.

Carlson Rezidor has added six new African countries to its portfolio in the past year – Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), South Sudan, Togo, Mauritius and Uganda – with more properties to be rolled out over the next 12 months.

In building its presence across Africa, Carlson Rezidor is also committed to empowering the continent’s people and enabling economic growth. There is an imbalance between the demand and supply for quality hotels with world-class standards and services, and Carlson Rezidor is working hard to fill this gap. It’s a strategy that reaches far beyond opening new hotels – Carlson Rezidor promises to become a leading employer in any region that is home to a Carlson Rezidor hotel, while remaining true to the group’s unwavering devotion to passionate and innovative service.

“It is not enough for us to simply expand our portfolio in Africa without also working to unlock the continent’s potential,” says Andrew McLachlan, Vice-President of Business Development, Africa and Indian Ocean Islands. “What’s good for Africa is good for Carlson Rezidor, and vice versa. Going forward, the relationship between the group and the continent is interlinked. Carlson Rezidor has huge ambition for Africa and we have full commitment from our board and shareholders. There is an undersupply of quality hotel rooms in Africa, while there is enormous growth potential driven by fundamental economic factors such as rapid urbanisation, sustained economic growth, favourable demographics and infrastructure development.”

Carlson Rezidor has been at the forefront of the African market since the year 2000 when it unveiled the iconic Radisson Blu in Cape Town. By the year 2020, Carlson Rezidor plans to double the size of its African portfolio of today, which is 64 hotels open or under development in 27 countries and over 14,000 rooms.

Carlson Rezidor has worked tirelessly this past year to open five new hotels in Africa – the Park Inn by Radisson Newlands (one of the first hotels to employ deaf staff in all areas of operation) and the Radisson Blu Le Vendome in Cape Town; the Radisson Blu Resort in Hammamet, Tunisia; the Park Inn by Radisson Libreville in Gabon, part the group’s first dual-branded property in Africa; and the Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel in Freetown – the first 5-star hotel in Sierra Leone.

Looking to the future, Carlson Rezidor’s new upscale lifestyle select brand, Radisson Red, has found a home in Cape Town – the Radisson Red Hotel V&A Waterfront will open in 2016. Set on the edge of a natural harbour with Table Mountain as its backdrop, the V&A Waterfront welcomes 24 million visitors a year and offers a cosmopolitan mix of experiences, including shopping and entertainment.

New Radisson Blu beach resorts are set to open their doors on the shores of Mauritius for the first time. The Radisson Blu Azuri Resort & Spa, with 100 rooms and 57 villas; and the Radisson Blu La Poste Lafayette Resort & Spa, with 100 rooms, are conversions of existing properties that are on the verge of being launched. These properties are situated on the north-eastern coast of Mauritius, one of the most beautiful and attractive resort destinations in the Indian Ocean.

In addition to opening flagship Radisson Blu properties in Brazzaville (Republic of Congo) and Lome (Togo), the Radisson Blu Hotel Nairobi in Kenya is set to be the crown jewel of East Africa and will be the flagship hotel for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group in the region when it opens later this year. The hotel will feature 271 rooms in Upper Hill, which is rapidly growing into the financial heart of Nairobi.

Nigeria, the fastest-growing economy in Africa, is key to the future of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. The plan is to have 20 hotels in the country by the year 2020. Radisson Blu already has a presence in Nigeria, with the first Park Inn by Radisson expected to open in the third quarter of 2015. Another five hotels are currently under development, with many more on the way.

As part of its focus on sustainable business practices and developing the full potential of Africa’s people, Carlson Rezidor recognises the value of greater gender equality and wants to boost the number of women in leadership positions to 30% by 2016. Carlson Rezidor is investigating innovative solutions to empower women to take full advantage of available opportunities. This will involve a more flexible approach to working conditions and personalised development plans – a strategy which will benefit every employee in every facet of the Carlson Rezidor group.

Carlson Rezidor considers the values of diversity, individuality, cultural awareness and passion inseparable from its identity. The group’s unique service philosophy Yes I Can!SM launches Carlson Rezidor into a league of its own – there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome to bring hospitality to life and to go the extra mile for guests, owners and business partners, and employees. Carlson Rezidor empowers and engages people to develop themselves and the company.

“Our promise articulates the group’s employee value proposition and signals Rezidor’s dedication to being the employer of choice in the hospitality industry,” says Marc Descrozaille, Area Vice-President Sub-Saharan Africa. “Our promise has been created by our people for our people, and is the glue that binds the group.”

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