Carlson launches Club CarlsonSM

Washington, D.C. | February 14, 2011

Carlson, a privately held, global hospitality and travel company, today announced the launch of its new hotel loyalty program, Club CarlsonSM, which will officially start on March 31, 2011. The announcement came during the company’s annual global hotel business conference in Washington, D.C. 

Members of Club Carlson, formerly known as goldpoints plusSM, will benefit from an enriched array of first-class redemption opportunities, including Carlson’s global resorts, as well as exciting new vacation options with CWT Vacations and Club Med®. Members have the ability to earn points for every eligible stay at more than 1,000 Carlson hotels worldwide:  Radisson®, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM, Park Inn® and Park Plaza®.

 “A key pillar of our Ambition 2015 growth strategy is to help our hotels grow their revenues,” said Hubert Joly, president and chief executive officer, Carlson. “In 2010, we announced a plan to double the size of our loyalty program to 10 million members by 2013, and the membership grew by 24 percent to 6.3 million members during 2010. We have designed Club Carlson’s very attractive value proposition to help drive further growth and results.”

The program’s key new features can be summarized as follows:

Redemption:

  • Members can redeem points across Carlson’s 1,071 hotels worldwide, including the company’s 42 stunning resorts, in the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia Pacific and the Mediterranean Sea;

  • The new CWT Vacation partnership offers U.S. members a choice of hundreds of independent hotels in top vacation destinations including Hawaii, Las Vegas, ski resort areas and cruises;

  • A new partnership with Club Med provides members in the U.S. and Canada with access to 80 upscale, all-inclusive resorts worldwide, including the newly renovated Sandpiper Bay in Port Saint Lucie, Fla.;

  • Carlson has added 20 new retail and restaurant partners to provide low point redemption options, including Amazon.com, Best Buy®, iTunes and T.G.I. Friday’s® restaurants.

Customer Privileges and Benefits:

  • The new Concierge elite tier provides members with complimentary room upgrades and continental breakfast, early check in and late check out, a 75 percent point bonus on stays, and starting by mid-year, access to a special Concierge Service line for theater and sports tickets, and reservations at top-rated restaurants anywhere in the world;

  • The program has no blackout dates;

  • Free Internet is provided at Radisson hotels worldwide and all Carlson brands in North America;

  • Rollover nights allow elite members to roll over extra nights to qualify toward their next year’s elite status.

Earning: Club Carlson has been designed to be one of the most rewarding loyalty programs in travel and will enable members to enjoy a remarkably fast way to a free night stay.  As an example, a member who stays five nights at the Radisson Hotel Los Angeles Westside can earn a free night at the Park Inn Prague.  

Club Carlson App: To expand and optimize its reach to the mobile audience, Carlson is launching Club Carlson as a new iPhone and Android mobile application on March 31, 2011, which will feature express booking for all Carlson hotels, personalization options, GPS mapping and the ability to redeem points.  The app also links to “Explore Destinations,” a best-in-class feature, which stores more than 4.4 million points of interest from local restaurants to tourist attractions. 

Benefit to Small to Medium-Sized Businesses:  A new extension of the loyalty program is specifically designed with small business owners in mind that allows both the individual traveler and business to earn points for stays.  Business owners can use their points to reduce future travel expenses or offer them as employee rewards.

Benefit to Hotels: While Club Carlson adds considerable value to consumers, the new program also greatly improves the economic value to the hotels on an overall cost – benefit basis.

The Club Carlson launch will be promoted with a USD 10 million launch budget.  See clubcarlson.com, the new loyalty program website beginning on March 31, 2011 for full program details.

About Carlson

Carlson is a privately held, 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® 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 150,000 people.  http://www.carlson.com

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Contacts:

Joan Cronson or Ben Gardeen, Carlson | +1 (763) 212-1418 or 1 (763) 212-8129 | jcronson@carlson.com or bgardeen@carlson.com; Fiona McRobert, MSLGroup | 1 (310) 890-5121 | fiona.mcrobert@mslgroup.com

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