Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at Radisson's brand ambitions, a new kind of motel, and Melia's portfolio expansion.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
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Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, February 28. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
The Radisson Hotel Group is continuing to expand internationally through its nine brands. And nine brands is just fine with CEO Federico González. At a time when big hotel companies seem to add a new brand with each passing week, González said that his company’s expansion strategy doesn’t include adding more brands to its portfolio though, reports Contributor Sherry Sun.
González told Skift founder and CEO Rafat Ali in a recent interview that having nine big global brands is better than chasing a group of weak brands. González said that Radisson is focused on expanding through properties that already suit one of its brands. He listed China, Saudi Arabia and India as destinations the company is planning to expand in. The company opened a collection of upscale luxury retreats in India last year.
Next, Lark Hotels founder Rob Blood will soon launch Bluebird by Lark, a brand that aims to showcase a radical new model for the staid category of motels. It’s a part of a larger trend of hotel designers giving motels a makeover to woo next generation travelers, reports Contributor Carley Thornell in Skift’s Future of Hotel Design feature.
Blood said that Bluebird has hotels he would want his family to travel to. Thornell writes that the brand features design elements that can turn meeting rooms into spaces Blood believes can be used for fun. She adds that several Bluebird properties use hardwood floors instead of outdated carpeting, noting that natural materials are highly durable for families with kids. Bluebird hotels have featured wood panels that Blood said are practical as well as economical, enabling the company to save money on wallpaper.
Finally, Spain’s largest hotel and resort operator Melia Hotels International is looking to grow its portfolio substantially in the next three years. The company believes new partners will help it reach its goal, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.
O’Neill writes that Melia has already fielded acquisition offers. While CEO Gabriel Escarrer Jaume wouldn’t indicate which hotel giants would be interested in buying a stake, O’Neill notes that Hyatt may top the list. Hyatt executives have said in recent months they’re eager to add resorts and luxury properties to its European portfolio. O’Neill adds that Melia has often looked for partners for its city or resort properties.
Escarrer said the company wants to ramp up its expansion outside of Spain, citing Malta, Saudi Arabia and the Seychelles as destinations where Melia is looking to grow. About half of the company’s 2022 revenue came from Spain.
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