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Park Inn rebrands

Rezidor's mid market hotel offering has been renamed Park Inn by Radisson, in a bid to boost growth for the brand.

The hotel group hopes a closer association between the upper end, and more established, Radisson Blu product and Park Inn will encourage guests, and potential investors, to think of the mid-market hotel in a better light.

The rebranding will be complete by the end of 2011. Rezidor has already completed a rebrand of its Radisson hotels, from Radisson SAS to Radisson Blu and Radisson Royal.

Kurt Ritter, CEO of Rezidor, said: "This new name is in line with our decision to strongly focus on the development of our two core brands. Park Inn is a young brand which we launched in early 2003 only and brought to over 140 hotels with over 26,000 rooms in operation and under development across EMEA.

"The link with Radisson and its great strength and reputation will allow Park Inn to grow even faster and to be even more efficient. We are also confident that this brand endorsement will further increase the brand awareness for both Park Inn and Radisson."

In Europe alone, some 6,047 Park Inn hotel rooms are in the pipeline, the largest expansion among the big brands, according to research by STR Global.

The hotel group also has the largest pipeline in Europe for the upscale market, with 5,399 Radisson Blu branded rooms. It already claims to be the largest upscale brand in Europe, with 170 hotels to Hilton's 147.

Ritter admitted to ABTN, however, that the global pipeline, totaling more than 20,000 rooms, may still see some cancellations. "10% may not materialise," he said.

Speaking in London yesterday (June 3) at Rezidor's Capital Market Day for investors , Ritter said Rezidor would be more "selective" with future openings, admitting that in the past some new hotel openings weren't ideal.

Now the hotel group has achieved a "critical mass", expansion isn't so important, he said: "If it's not profitable, we won't do it."

Rezidor's future investment will be "asset-light", which means opting for management contracts over property investment.

The hotel group will focus on emerging markets, such as Russia and Africa, where there is an undersupply of hotels, said Ritter. Some 75% of the Rezidor hotels currently under development are in emerging markets.

Airport hotels will also be targeted, which Ritter said is the most profitable out of all hotel categories. Rezidor is already the largest operator of airport hotels in Europe.

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