Carlson Hotels Worldwide and Global Partners Raise More Than $300,000 in 2008 to Help End Exploitation of Children and Young Women Around the World

Minneapolis, MN | February 09, 2009

Carlson Hotels Worldwide (carlsonhotels.com) today announced contributions of more than $300,000 (USD) in support of the World Childhood Foundation (childhood-usa.org) as a result of fund raising during the past year by its five hotel brands and partners around the world. Over the past five years, more than three-quarters of a million dollars (USD) have been raised to support World Childhood. The foundation is dedicated to protecting children at risk from exploitation and trafficking around the world.

Last year, participating Carlson Hotels Worldwide brands in the Americas sponsored a number of activities raising $55,000 (USD) during their spring and fall semi-annual campaigns. Participating Carlson Hotels brands include Regent® Hotels & Resorts (regenthotels.com), Radisson® Hotels & Resorts (radisson.com), Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts (parkplaza.com), Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM (countryinns.com) and Park Inn® (parkinn.com).

The Rezidor Hotel Group (rezidor.com), that operates Radisson Blu Hotels, Regent Hotels & Resorts and Park Inn properties in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), raised 75,000 Euro (more than $96,000 USD) and Atlantica Hotels International (atlanticahotels.com), which operates a portfolio of Radisson and Park Plaza hotels in Brazil, raised $150,000 (USD).

Some of the fundraising activities worldwide included:

  • Selling custom-designed key chains in North America made by The Good Bead (goodbead.com), a Minnesota-based company devoted to producing custom, high-quality bead jewelry while helping raise awareness for worthy causes. The products are hand-crafted in the U.S. by members of the Hmong community, retirees and women in transition.

  • Offering specialty grade coffee sourced from premier coffee producing regions in Africa for sale at participating hotels in North America. The Tanzania-based coffee cooperative includes small-scale, family owned farms.

  • Country Inn & Suites Sunnyvale, Calif. holding an arts and crafts show

  • Radisson SAS Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek management serving as valet parkers and bell boys for a day to raise awareness for the charity.

  • The Park Inn at London Heathrow, United Kingdom, hosting a charity triathlon during Rezidor's "Responsible Business Action Month" in September including guests and employees to compete in running, rowing and cycling.

    Carlson (carlson.com), the parent company of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, is a founding sponsor of Childhood, donating more than $1 million through the Curtis L. Carlson Foundation to help establish this global foundation. Childhood efforts support more than 120 children's aid programs in 15 countries.

    "Our commitment to Childhood has expanded globally 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 Carmen Baker, vice president of Responsible Business for Carlson Hotels Worldwide. "Childhood is just one of the ways we extend our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility to our employees and our guests. These campaigns enable us to raise public awareness about children's rights around the globe," she added.

    Founded in 1999 by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, World Childhood Foundation is headquartered in Stockholm, with offices in New York, São Paulo and Berlin. The Foundation has so far donated more than $40 million (USD) to help aid children at risk of exploitation around the world.

    In the United States 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 - 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 additional information on the Code of Conduct visit www.thecode.org.

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    Carlson Hotels Worldwide includes more than 1,000 hotel locations in 74 countries. Carlson Hotels Worldwide is one of the major business units of Carlson, a global hotel, marketing, restaurant and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. The Carlson family of brands and services includes: Regent® Hotels & Resorts, Radisson® Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM, Park Inn® hotels, Carlson Marketing, T.G.I. Friday's® and Pick Up Stix® restaurants, and Carlson Wagonlit Travel®. Carlson's brands and services employ more than 160,000 people in over 150 countries.

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