Radisson Hotel Group Rolls Out Holistic Recovery Plan for Properties in China

China, Shanghai. July 29, 2020

Radisson Hotel Group has unveiled a holistic recovery plan for its hotels and resorts in China, as the revival of China's travel and hospitality industry is now picking up speed following the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The majority of hotels in the country are now open for business and occupancy levels reached close to 50% during the recent Labor Day holiday - ten percentage points higher than in recent weeks¹. Encouragingly, this included an upswing in corporate travel in first tier cities such as Beijing, where hotels in the financial district have seen their occupancy triple².

As China rebounds, Radisson Hotel Group has devised a series of measures to enable its hotels to accelerate their recovery, ensure the safety of its guests, team members and business partners, and give back to local communities.

The Group earlier launched Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol - a program of in-depth cleanliness and disinfection procedures to further strengthen hotels' existing rigorous sanitation, cleanliness and disinfection guidelines. These include increased cleaning and disinfection in all areas, paying special attention to high-touch items such as door handles and room keys; hand sanitizer stations and gloves in public areas and entrances; express check-outs; cash-free payment options; and the roll out of special hygiene training and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves for team members.

To reinforce the message of health and safety, Radisson Hotel Group is working with partners including SGS and Safehotels, which will measure and certify its hotels with a 20-step plan for operations and a 10-step protocol for meetings and events. The company has also aligned with the World Travel & Tourism Council's (WTTC) "Safe Travels" initiative for restarting the global tourism industry.

Responsible Business is a key part of the recovery strategy, and Radisson Hotel Group has unveiled a program with its Rad Family mascot, Lumi to help raise funds for a local charity. Lumi, a cuddly toy firefly, will be sold to brighten up guests' stays and support the Ai You Foundation's training and education program for young doctors. Lumi will be available at Radisson Blu, Park Plaza and Radisson hotels and resorts in China from June. Guests can do their part for the community by simply booking on the dedicated room packages, "Radisson Cares" which include adopting a Lumi with each stay. The campaign is slated to run till the end of the year, with profits from the sale of Lumi will be donated to the appointed charity, Ai You Foundation.

"With the COVID-19 pandemic under control in China, we are cautiously optimistic of an upturn in domestic business. Throughout this challenging time, Radisson Hotel Group has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our partners in China, providing extensive support and guidance. We are launching our holistic recovery plan, which focuses on the health and safety of our guests and teams and gives back to the community. We are delighted to cooperate with Ai You Foundation to provide meaningful support to young doctors in China and provide hope for the future," Gary Ye, Vice President, Operations, China, Radisson Hotel Group.

"We are proud to work with Radisson Hotel Group on this important initiative. The COVID-19 outbreak has underpinned the importance of our healthcare workers and the need to upskill the medical profession. At Ai You Foundation, we strive to support the next generation of doctors, for the benefit of all humanity, " added Yanping Li, Senior Vice President of Ai You Foundation.

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Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.