by By Loren G. Edelstein | November 10, 2009

Hubert JolyUnder the new leadership of president and CEO Hubert Joly, Carlson Hotels Worldwide has been working to build a strong global management team, clarify its brand positioning and continue to expand worldwide. At a lunch event for the media on Monday in New York City, Joly and other top executives reviewed the progress of the hotel company and its various brands. Some highlights:

• Seventy-three new hotels have been added since the beginning of 2009, for a total of 1,056.
• Fifty-four new properties were signed since the beginning of 2009.

• In the pipeline are 248 contracted projects, including 71 in North America.

• The Radisson brand now has 421 hotels in operation and another 89 in the pipeline.

Key to the company's strategy is an effort to "distill the identity of each of our brands," said Joly. One example is Carlson's "Spirit of Radisson" project, which aims to "crystallize the essence of this brand and identify why it is so successful." Design standards are among the many facets being explored.

"When you renovate, you can either do ugly, or, for the same money, you can do Radisson," Joly said. Where the company has gone in and "done Radisson" -- meaning invested in extensive redesigns and enhanced décor -- revenue per available room has increased dramatically as a result, he noted.

Carlson Hotels Worldwide will reveal more details about the company's key strategy in the first few months of 2010, said Joly.