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#BizTrends2018: Advancing brands by aligning with the mindset of travellers
Simone Kuhn, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group's business development manager for Africa and Indian Ocean
As a result of millennials being one of the most important demographics in travel today and still expected to grow, Carlson Rezidor introduced its Radisson Red brand in 2015 and now has four Radisson RED hotels open worldwide in locations such as Minneapolis, Brussels, Campinas and Cape Town.
The Radisson Red in Cape Town opened on 12 September 2017 and fully encapsulates this new lifestyle select brand inspired by art, music, and fashion, a new hotel philosophy that connects with an ageless millennial looking to connect through mobile experiences or face-to-face. Ultimately this trend wants options and flexibility for their hotel experience which is what this brand delivers.
Following on from this is the widely recognised phenomenon of business leisure – otherwise known as bleisure. Albeit being around since early 2015, it seems this trend is still very much on the rise. As one needs to travel more and more from a corporate point of view nowadays, modern travel behaviour has evolved and more travellers fit in leisure at the end of their business trip.
I dipped my toe into bleisure travel earlier this year, and have since then promised myself to do this whenever I’m in a new country or city. Not only does this positively impact the tourism industry on many levels, but it allows an often tired, corporate businessman or woman to rejuvenate and almost subconsciously have a different understanding of the city which, in turn, when you are in business development for a hotel operator, has its benefits.
Thirdly, sustainable tourism has taken centre stage this year. Going forward, travellers will be more and more interested in the environmental, economic and social impact they have on the destinations they visit and want to support companies that embody these values.
Ahead of World Tourism Day in September 2017, the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, along with other leading global hotel groups in the International Tourism Partnership (ITP), reached a consensus on the goals for a sustainable hotel industry.
The ITP announced these four agreed 2030 focus goals, which are in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals focused on carbon, water, youth employment, and human rights and we are very proud to support the first ever industry-wide global commitment to sustainability. Since we launched our responsible business programme over 15 years ago, Carlson Rezidor has made enormous progress in its commitment to sustainability – this has led to us being named one of the world’s most ethical companies every year since 2010.
Serviced apartment products
Last but not least, over the last seven years, the global supply of serviced apartments has significantly increased and with this a trend that is now becoming more and more prominent. Booking a serviced apartment allows the traveller to have the best of both worlds – hotel and residential where one would have access to a full self-catering kitchen plus hotel services as well. It provides more space and flexibility at either a similar or lesser rate than what a guest or family would normally pay at a similar standard hotel.
Rezidor currently operates 14 serviced apartment/extended stay properties across EMEA with many further properties under development in South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria. Our serviced apartments portfolio will represent 30 properties in operation in 2022. We feel that this sector of our product offering will become more and more popular with investors and allows us to exceed the needs of guests of comfort and practicality.