Country Inn and Suites is designed to make every traveller feel at home.

Radisson Hotel Group will introduce several new midscale brands to the Australasian market to cater to growing demand in this segment.

As part of fresh expansion plans, the group will launch Radisson Individuals, Country Inn and Suites by Radisson and Radisson Red in capital cities and popular regional destinations across Australia and New Zealand – namely Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

Radisson has also secured the rights to develop and operate premium economy brand 7 Days and Metropolo through individual master license agreements, and has obtained the rights to Golden Tulip, Kyriad and Campanile brands from Louvre Hotels Group.

Radisson Hotel Group’s Chief Development Officer, Asia Pacific, Ramzy Fenianos, told HM that the midscale segment presents a powerful opportunity for the business.

“We’ve really studied the market in depth,” he said.

“We look at the fundamentals of each market and we look at where there is an opportunity, and we realised that in Australia, there is an opportunity in the midscale segment.”

Upscale affiliation brand Radisson Individuals launched in 2020 operates mainly on a franchise basis with the aim of honouring the unique personality of each property.

“The essence of the brand is really to keep the local flavour,” Fenianos said.

“Because most of those properties are owner-operators, there are a lot of emotions. These are properties that have been mainly run by families through generations, so the essence of the brand is really to keep as much as possible the local flavour for international guests to be able to experience that.”

The owners of these properties stand to benefit from Radisson’s experience and connections as a global hotel group.

“Radisson Individuals will allow owners to plug into Radisson’s distribution systems, marketing, all the branding that happens on a global level, and be able to benefit from an uplift both in terms of ADRs and occupancy,” Fenianos said.

“We feel that there is a big, big opportunity in this segment, mainly in conversions – 40% of anything we will sign is a conversion product.”

Country Inn is a recognisable, community-focused brand that is designed to make every traveller feel at home, according to Radisson. Performing strongly in the US, Fenianos says it will be localised for the Australian market both in terms of owner and guest experience.

“People want to have a sense of belonging,” he said.

“If you’re traveling from Europe or from India – which are the big feeder markets for Australia – you want to feel where you are. We have tailormade the products and solutions for the owners and the guests.”

For Country Inn, Radisson will focus mainly on conversion of independently-run properties of around 50 keys, in Tier II and Tier III cities, where minor refurbishments are required, with the aim of keeping costs low for owners.   

“CapEx is an issue today, so we’re trying to be as owner friendly as possible on that front.”

Meanwhile, lifestyle brand Radisson Red focuses on delivering vibrant and stylish hotels with bold design in buzzing locations which appeal to social, primarily millennial travellers; but Fenianos says Red’s target market is ‘more about an attitude rather than an age or a group’.

“I think Red really responds to new travellers, people that are independent, that want to have fun, and we believe there’s a great opportunity for Red to be developed in Australia,” he said.

With both leisure and corporate customers on the radar, Radisson will also explore how it can grow its resort offering in the region.

“The Gold Coast is one of the big ones where we will eventually look at deploying our resorts,” Fenianos said.

“We have big exposure on the resort side in Asia Pacific as an operator, so we feel very comfortable to be able to deploy our resort knowledge, which is the most complex one – if you get the resort right, CBD is quite easy to operate.”

With visa applications for Australia already being at 80% of pre-pandemic levels as of May this year, and the 2032 Brisbane Olympics on the horizon, Radisson is optimistic that the market will see continued rapid recovery.

“On the short term, there is a lot of positivity. I think there might be some challenges… inflation, supply chain, which are inevitable parts of our growth that we will have to manoeuver, but ultimately, in the long term, we feel that there will be returns for owners,” Fenianos said

“People want to travel, see family, get together, and get the best out of life. And from the corporate perspective, we see group travel corporate is exponentially growing.”