Carlson and Rezidor Sign Licensing Agreement

U.S.-based Carlson Hotels Worldwide and one of the leading European hotel management companies, Rezidor SAS Hospitality, today announced a major expansion of their existing cooperation, setting the stage for significant new growth of Carlson Hotel brands in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to reach an expected total of more than 700 locations during the next 10 years.
Rezidor SAS, which has successfully grown the Radisson SAS brand in the European market under a master franchise agreement signed in 1994, from 29 hotels to 114, will now be offering an additional portfolio of Carlson brands, ranging from economy to luxury, including: Park Inn hotels, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, and Regent International Hotels.  The new agreement effectively positions the Carlson brands for extensive new growth in the important economic markets of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
“This is a breakthrough agreement which significantly benefits both companies,” said Curtis Nelson, president and CEO of Carlson Hospitality Worldwide, the parent company of Carlson Hotels Worldwide and Kurt Ritter, president & CEO of Rezidor SAS Hospitality in a joint statement. “As the travel industry continues to consolidate, the power of global branding is a key element of future success in serving our customers. Partnership is power, and this agreement is a major advancement of that strategy in the hotel industry,” they added.
Under terms of the agreement, Rezidor SAS Hospitality will:
- ¯ become the master franchisor for the EMEA region for four of Carlson`s hotel brands, with an initial goal of 700 total hotel locations within the next 10 years. 
- ¯ operate or license the hotels in the region under the names Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts, Regent, Country Inn and Park Inn, reaching the major segments of the hospitality industry.
- take over existing management and franchise contracts for these brands in the region.
“From our comparative humble beginnings as SAS Hotels over forty years ago, Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts has invested considerable time, effort, expertise and money to become a recognized industry leader,” said Ritter. 
“Carlson Hotels Worldwide, with the strength of its international brands, could have chosen to enter the Europe, Middle East and Africa arena in its own right.  It is a testament to our proven track record that Carlson has chosen instead to partner with us to fulfill its global ambitions,” Ritter added. 
“This licensing agreement with Rezidor SAS will fully optimize the potential for our brands in the EMEA region,” said Jay S. Witzel, president of Carlson Hotels Worldwide.  “Their extensive market knowledge, record of success, and presence in 38 countries are expected to significantly impact business generation, customer awareness and loyalty for all of our locations.”
Carlson’s four hotel brands each reach a distinct market segment. Regent International Hotels is one of the world’s most respected luxury hotel and resort companies; Radisson Hotels & Resorts is one of the world`s leading full-service, upscale global hotel brands; Country Inns & Suites By Carlson is a fast-growing mid-tier lodging
chain offering excellent value, high customer satisfaction and attractive accommodations; and Park Inn, is positioned within the economy to mid-scale segment of the limited service hotel category that serves a wide range of guests in suburban and leisure destinations.