Carlson extends strategic partnership to grow Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM in India

New Delhi | April 17, 2011

Carlson, a global hospitality and travel company is planning  to grow the number of Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM in operation in India from the current 11 to more than 50 hotels over the next 10 years, with five hotels scheduled to open in 2011. This growth will be managed through Country Development and Management Services Private Limited (CDMS), a joint venture between Carlson and Chanakya Hotels Private Limited that has successfully pioneered the brand in India over the last 10 years. Future developments will be based on the next generation of the brand which will include significant design nuances created specifically for the Indian market. These plans were announced in the presence of Hubert Joly, president and chief executive officer of Carlson, who was visiting India for the second time this year.

Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM is a mid-scale hotel brand that targets both business and leisure travelers. It has built a unique brand position that represents the essence of home through its residential design and its 'friends hosting friends' culture. The next generation of Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM will continue to build on these universal values of home. It will introduce modernity to the product and allow for greater cultural variances in the design details and the services it provides through the use of color, fabrics, material artifacts and the food and beverage concepts it will offer. Its efficient new design will further enhance its value-for-money proposition with guests and developers alike in the mid-scale segment. This new generation of Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM has been designed by the international, London based design company Virgile and Stone, part of the Imagination Group. The roll out of the brand will continue to follow the Carlson strategy for India, focusing on primary and secondary cities, and resorts in line with the country's developing economy, demographic changes, and travel and tourism growth.

The five new hotels scheduled to open in 2011 include the 37-room Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Delhi Satbari which opened last week, the 50-room Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Mussoorie which will open this month, the 190-room Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Gurgaon NH-8 and the 71-room Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Ajmer which will open in June, and the 130-room Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Mysore which will open in October. The first of the next generation of the brand is set to debut in 2012.

“The mid-scale market in India represents a significant opportunity and Carlson is pleased to be able to grow its Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM brand in this market through its strategic partnership in CDMS,” said K.B. Kachru, executive vice president, Carlson Hotels, South Asia. 

“I am confident that the new version of the brand will be very attractive to both Indian travelers and developers,” said Ranjan Bhattacharya, managing director, Country Development and Management Services Private Limited.

 “The brand’s rapid expansion aligns with Carlson’s Ambition 2015 growth strategy to have more than 100 hotels in operation in India by 2015,” said Simon C. Barlow, president, Carlson Hotels, Asia Pacific.

 About Carlson
Carlson is a global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. Carlson encompasses more than 1,070 hotels, including Radisson®, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM, Park Inn by Radisson and Park Plaza®; more than 900 T.G.I. Friday’s® restaurants; and a majority stake in Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, the global leader in business travel management. Carlson operates in more than 150 countries and its brands employ about 170,000 people.  http://www.carlson.com

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Contacts:
Jay Krishnan, Carlson | 1 65 6511 9297 | jkrishnan@carlson.com
Sarada Chellam, ICON International Communications | 1 65 6220 2623 | schellam@iconinternational.com.sg   
Joan Cronson or Ben Gardeen, Carlson | 1 (763) 212-1418 or 1 (763) 212-8129 | jcronson@carlson.com or bgardeen@carlson.com

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