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Radisson Hotel Group: We Are Looking for the Right Project in Albania

Radisson Hotel Group: We Are Looking for the Right Project in Albania

By Rudina Hoxha & Jose Pinto*

On the eve of the annual International Hotel Investment & Design Conference, due on November 7, in Vienna, Austria, David Jenkins, Vice President Business Development at Radisson Hotel Group, underlined in an exclusive interview with Follow Business Albania that Radisson Group is keen to come to Albania. 

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Jenkins is one of the 40 key speakers from 20 countries in this 300-participant Conference which is a substantial platform where the industry’s leading Hotel Investors, Developers, Operators and Advisors in CEE come together. 

“Our initial goal is to find a project in Tirana – to build a strong base in the country then to look for resort opportunities. There are still limited ideal projects and we hope that by attending events such as this one in Vienna that we can find new opportunities. We will certainly keep looking for the right project and are keen to come,” Jenkins.

Radisson Hotel Group is an American multi-national hospitality group. The company started as a division of Carlson Companies, which owned Radisson Hotels, Country Inns & Suites and other brands. Radisson Hotel Group is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic hotel groups with eight distinctive hotel brands with more than 1,100 hotels in destinations around the world. The portfolio of hotel brands includes: Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson and Country Inn & Suites by Radisson.

Asked about the 8 brands of the Radisson Group, Jenkins said that “certainly for a resort in Albania we would consider our upscale Radisson brand and the upper upscale Radisson Blu brand – again depending on the specifics of the project” while he considered Conversion opportunities in the country. “For Albania there have been many excellent reports in the European press recently about the beauty of the coast and great opportunities present to create stunning new resorts and boost the economy through tourism – we remain positive on this,” he concluded.

Full interview below:

Radisson is present in the Balkans, say, in Serbia. Why not yet in Albania? When do you think Radisson will be coming to our country given the fact that many developers and investors have started to receive the licenses from the Albanian government to start their projects?

Yes we have been present in the Balkans for some time now and see good growth opportunities across the region. With Albania of course we have looked at some projects in the capital – Tirana – and along the wonderful coastal areas. Our initial goal is to find a project in Tirana – to build a strong base in the country then to look for resort opportunities. There are still limited ideal projects and we hope that by attending events such as this one in Vienna that we can find new opportunities. We will certainly keep looking for the right project and are keen to come.

Which of the 8 brands of your company are more suitable for Albania given the recent project of Albania / 100 villages or our wonderful coast?

 It is hard to define the answer because of course every project is different, every investor has a different budget and every location is unique – but certainly for a resort we would consider our upscale Radisson brand and the upper upscale Radisson Blu brand – again depending on the specifics of the project.

Would Radisson take any existing non-branded hotels and invest, transform and bring it up to your standards to be operated by you?

Yes, we are always on the lookout for what we call ‘conversion’ opportunities – either to manage or offer a franchise. It is a clear and successful way for owners to enter our network and to improve performance through exposure to new demand segments and our professional management 

How do you see the future of tourism and hospitality in the Balkans in general and in Albania in particular?

In the Balkans in general it is very positive – both for the traditional coastal areas and the main cities. People are looking always for new destinations – for sometimes less expensive locations and to find new experiences. As for Albania there have been many excellent reports in the European press recently about the beauty of the coast and great opportunities present to create stunning new resorts and boost the economy through tourism – we remain positive on this.

Do you have any Albanians part of your staff in the European Division? if not, do you plan to recruit any?

With several hundreds of hotels in EMEA I am sure we must have but is not information I possess!


*Founder of JP HOSPITALITY.EU

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