Carlson Hotels Worldwide Recognized for Third Straight Year Among 50 Top Franchises for Minorities

Minneapolis, MN | October 14, 2009

For the third straight year, Carlson Hotels Worldwide has been recognized by the National Minority Franchising Initiative (NMFI) as one of the 50 Top Franchises for Minorities. Carlson, which includes five hotel brands, is one of only four hotel companies to make the list. Carlson Hotels' brands span luxury to select service and include Regent® Hotels & Resorts, Radisson® Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM and Park Inn®.

"It is truly an honor to be recognized by the NMFI again this year as one of the top franchising companies for minorities across all industries," said Nancy Johnson, chief development officer, Carlson Hotels Worldwide, The Americas. "We believe diversity enriches our brands and brings greater innovation; it is woven into every aspect of our company. Our ongoing commitment to diversity extends across a wide range of diverse groups, including hotel developers, hotel managers, employees, guests, and even within the cities where our hotels operate," Johnson added.

"Only a handful of franchisors have been selected in each of the past three years as one of the 50 Top Franchises for Minorities," said Rob Bond, founder of the National Minority Franchising Initiative and president of the World Franchising Network. "We are extremely pleased that Carlson Hotels is among that small, exceptional group."

Bond added, "For a hotel franchise, with its high cost of entry, to maintain such a strong representation of minorities is extremely noteworthy. This is coupled with the fact that a high percentage of their property management team is also comprised of minorities. Hats off to Carlson Hotels."

The NMFI selected 50 franchisors for its third annual list from hundreds of companies requesting evaluation. Each participating franchisor was required to submit its most recent Franchise Disclosure Document, the marketing package that is sent to prospective franchisees, as well as a completed questionnaire. The questionnaire noted the number (both absolute and as a percentage of the total number) of operating units owned by minorities, as well as the number of minorities in senior management that earned over $60,000 per year.

Carlson Hotels is active with several organizations that promote the advancement of minorities within the lodging industry, including the Hispanic Hotel Owners Association and is a founding member of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association.

To learn more about the brands of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, visit www.carlsonhotels.com. For more information on development opportunities, please contact Janelle Russenberger, 800-336-3301 or jrussenberger@carlson.com.

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Carlson Hotels Worldwide
Carlson Hotels Worldwide is a leading global hotel company with more than 1,050 locations in 77 countries. Its brands include: Regent® Hotels & Resorts, Radisson® Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM and Park Inn® Carlson Hotels Worldwide is part of Carlson, a global travel, marketing and hospitality company.

National Minority Franchising Initiative
The National Minority Franchising Initiative (NMFI) was created in 2000 to level the playing field and meet the needs of a largely under-represented market. The multi-faceted NMFI program, which involves the www.MinorityFranchising.com website, the Minority Franchise Guide publication and franchise-related events throughout the country, represents an effective and cost-efficient tool for franchisors to increase minority representation within their systems.

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