Carlson Hotel Worldwide and its Family of Hotel Brands Raise More Than $400,000 to Help End Exploitation of Children and Young Women Around the World

Minneapolis, MN | February 25, 2008

Carlson Hotels Worldwide today announced that it has raised more than $400,000 during the past four years in support of the World Childhood Foundation; the company's designated global charity which is dedicated to protecting children at risk from exploitation and trafficking around the world.

The funds were raised through semi-annual guest donation campaigns at participating hotels, silent auctions at its Annual Business Conferences, hotel fundraising activities such as golf tournaments, and donations from corporate and hotel employees through various other charitable activities.

During the recent fall 2007 campaign, Carlson Hotels Worldwide managed locations in the United States and the Caribbean invited guests to "Make Room in Your Heart for Kids" by donating $1 per night's stay to benefit the World Childhood Foundation (Childhood). They also raised funds through selling custom-designed key chains from The Good Bead, a Minnesota-based company devoted to producing custom jewelry while helping raise awareness for worthy causes. Participating Carlson hotel branded hotels, including Radisson Hotels & Resorts®, Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites By Carlsonsm and Park Inn®, raised more than $78,000, including a $25,000 pledge from Carlson Hotels Worldwide.

Carlson, the parent company of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, is a founding sponsor of Childhood, donating over $1 million through the Curtis L. Carlson Foundation to help establish this global foundation. Childhood efforts support over 110 children's aid programs in 14 countries.

"Our commitment to Childhood has never been stronger as they continue their efforts to connect with at-risk children and young women around the world, protecting them from sexual abuse and exploitation," said Paul Kirwin president of Carlson Hotels Worldwide-TheAmericas. "We are encouraged that our guests and employees continue to support this effort with their generous contributions," he added, "enabling us to raise public awareness about children's rights around the globe."

The Carlson Hotels Worldwide guest fundraising program runs twice a year in spring and fall, and the spring 2008 "Make Room in Your Heart" property campaign will be held April 1 through May 31 and the fall campaign will take place Oct. 1 through Nov. 31.

Founded in 1999 by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, World Childhood Foundation is headquartered in Stockholm, with offices in New York, Sao Paulo and Berlin. The Foundation has so far donated almost $40 million (USD) to help aid children at risk of exploitation around the world. In the United States, for example, Childhood supports:

  • The Bridge for Runaway Youth in Minneapolis - serving homeless children and youth, as well as immigrant girls at risk for sexual trafficking

  • Northside Center for Child Development in Harlem, New York - rehabilitation and support services for sexually abused children

  • Inwood House in NY, NY - helping teens and young mothers make healthy decisions for themselves and their children

In a related initiative aimed to help children, Carlson is also the first North American company to sign a global code of conduct designed to protect children against sexual exploitation and trafficking in the travel and tourism industry. Carlson's compliance with the ECPAT Code of Conduct includes educational outreach to the public, staff education and other measures to end the exploitation of children in the travel industry.

For complete background on all of World Childhood Foundation's current projects, please visit www.childhood-usa.org. For additional information on the Code of Conduct visit www.thecode.org.

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Minneapolis-based Carlson Hotels Worldwide includes five hotel brands, totaling 970 locations in 70 countries. Hotel brands include: Regent Hotel & Resorts, one of the most respected brands in the luxury segment of the lodging industry; Radisson Hotels & Resorts®, one of the world's leading upscale hotel companies with nearly 400 locations in 66 countries; Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, positioned in the mid-scale segment of the full-service hotel category, has over 40 hotels globally and is known for its great value and customer-focused service culture; Country Inns & Suites By Carlsonsm, one of the fastest growing, mid-tier lodging chains with over 435 locations offering excellent value with a warm and comfortable atmosphere; and Park Inn®, with over 80 hotels worldwide, is a unique emerging hotel brand offering a relaxed environment in the economy category and is poised for aggressive global growth. Carlson Hotels Worldwide is one of the major operating groups of Carlson, a global leader in providing corporate solutions and consumer services in the marketing, travel and hospitality industries. Carlson's corporate headquarters are in Minneapolis, Minn.

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