Carlson Rezidor asks young stakeholders for INNovative ideas

Young INNovators at the Park Inn event

Young INNovators at the Park Inn event

Park Inn by Radisson held a unique event in September inviting young people to share their ideas to improve guest experiences.

Bringing together nine leading hotel management schools to Manchester, England, the event launched an international campaign from Park Inn® by Radisson that aims to drive innovation around the company’s guest experience whilst supporting ITP’s Youth Career Initiative (YCI) an employability programme for disadvantaged young people around the world.

The ‘INNovation Room’ is a ground-breaking new programme designed to unlock and nurture creativity among hotel management school students. The initiative is part of Carlson Rezidor’s ongoing commitment to cultivate talent in the hospitality sector which includes support for YCI, a programme which works with hotels and local NGOs to identify motivated young people with limited opportunities to raise themselves out of unemployment and poverty by supporting them through a six month education and training programme in full service hotels.

The INNovation Room is a competition for groups of students to pitch ideas to a panel of judges, with the aim of creating a more innovative guest experience at the Park Inn by Radisson hotels. Top hotel management schools are representing countries including the Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, UK, United Arab Emirates, and the USA.

The company flew in the student teams for a three-day brainstorm and brand immersion session. Each team pitched three ideas to the INNovation Room panel, comprising senior management from Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and Siri Gomnæs Børsum, Industry Leader at Google, who has worked at the company for nine years in a travel-related capacity. The panel then selected one idea that each team must develop into a full concept document by mid-November. The five strongest ideas will be put to public vote on 21 November at A shortlist of two will then be pitched to the panel to identify the final winner.

Rose Anderson, Vice President Branding Park Inn by Radisson, Radisson Blu and Quorvus Collection said, “Guests are at the heart of everything we do as a brand and we are constantly looking to enhance the guest experience. Our INNovation Room campaign will work with some of the brightest minds from the world’s most prestigious hospitality schools to further our commitment to creating unique and memorable guest experiences.”

For each public vote, a donation of $1 USD up to a maximum total of $25,000 USD will be made to YCI, the hotel industry’s global solution to youth unemployment, of which Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is a lead partner. This is in line with the brand’s responsible business programme, Adding Color To Lives, that aims to build long term relationships with local youth at risk groups, with a focus on developing work and personal skills and on organising joint community projects.

Fran Hughes, Director, International Tourism Partnership, said, “We are really excited about the INNovation Room initiative from Park Inn by Radisson and delighted that the company has chosen to support our Youth Career Initiative (YCI) programme.

“It is through the support of hotel partners like Park Inn by Radisson that we are able to help hundreds of disadvantaged young people every year build the skills and self-confidence they need to embark on their careers in hospitality.”

You can watch the INNovation Room launch video here.

The Schools

The nine schools taking part in the inaugural INNovation Room are:

  1. School of Hospitality Administration, Boston University, USA
  2. School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University, USA
  3. École hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland
  4. Hotelschool The Hague, Netherlands
  5. Hotel Management School Maastricht, Netherlands
  6. International Hotel School, South Africa
  7. Les Roches International School of Hotel Management, Switzerland
  8. Oxford School of Hospitality Management, Oxford Brookes University, UK
  9. The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, United Arab Emirates

The Panel

Javier Rosenberg – Chief Operating Officer, Americas, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Rose Anderson – Vice President Branding Park Inn by Radisson, Radisson Blu and Quorvus Collection, Carlson Rezidor Hotel group
Richard Biggs – Senior Vice President Revenue Optimization and Distribution, EMEA, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Edward Pinchard – Vice President Sales, EMEA, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Susan McIlveen – Human Resources Manager & Senior Master Trainer, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Lionel van den Haute – General Manager Park Inn by Radisson Brussels Midi
Siri Gomnæs Børsum – Industry Leader at Google

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