Carlson Hotels Worldwide - Asia Pacific (CHW-AP), one of the world's largest privately-held hotel companies, has achieved its target of having at least 20,000 rooms in operation and under development in the region by the end of 2008, as part of its broader strategy to significantly increase its presence in Asia Pacific.

CHW-AP now has 120 properties in operation and under development in 14 countries across the region, having doubled the number of new management contracts signed this year compared to 2007. CHW-AP operates five of the world's leading hotel brands: Regent®Hotels & Resorts, Radisson®Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza®Hotels & Resorts, Park Inn®and Country Inns & Suites By Carlson?.

"We will continue to focus on growing our managed properties portfolio in 2009 as we look to double our presence across Asia Pacific within four years. Our main target markets will continue to be China, India, Thailand and the South Pacific," said Xerxes Meher-Homji, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Carlson Hotels Worldwide - Asia Pacific.

"We will also actively explore opportunities in new territories such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Tibet to enhance our brand presence in key business and leisure locations."

CHW-AP earlier this year signed with Philippine conglomerate SM Investments Corporation to manage three new hotels in the capital city of Manila and the island-province of Cebu. Radisson Hotel Cebu, planned for opening in mid 2009 will be the first Radisson Hotels & Resorts property in the Philippines. This will be followed by the opening of the Radisson Hotel Manila Bay and The Regent Manila Bay in 2010.

The group also entered Malaysia's vibrant capital city, Kuala Lumpur, with its luxury Regent brand. The Regent Kuala Lumpur being developed by City Properties will be a 230-room luxury hotel occupying a prime city-centre location in the heart of the city's 'Golden Triangle', with breathtaking views of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and KLCC Park.

"Regent is Carlson's luxury hotel brand and will play an important role in our growth strategy going forward, as we continue to carefully select strategic locations to match the exclusivity of the brand. For example, our first Regent property in the Maldives, The Regent Maldives, which will open in the second half of next year, will be a stunning 50-villa luxury resort that fully compliments the exclusive location of the Maalefushi coral island, an unspoiled 8 hectare island paradise with lush tropical vegetation fringed with pristine white sand beaches," added Meher-Homji.

In Thailand, CHW-AP announced details of a dynamic expansion which will see it quadrupling its hotels over the next two years. Four hotels are scheduled to open in Bangkok and the most imminent is the Radisson Hotel Bangkok Sathorn, a 436-room property located in the business district and close to Silom, one of the city's most vibrant shopping and entertainment areas. The hotel is scheduled to open in mid 2009.

Additional openings include the Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit, Park Plaza Bangkok Asoke and The Regent Bangkok, a 321-room luxury development also located on Sukhumvit Road. Phuket will see two new CHW-AP managed properties by the end of next year - the Radisson Plaza Resort Phuket Panwa Beach and The Regent Phuket Cape Panwa.China and India will also remain growth markets for CHW-AP. The group recently signed an agreement with China's Sanya Lu Hui Tou Tourism Development Co., Ltd, to manage a new Radisson Plaza hotel in Sanya, the southernmost city in Hainan. CHW-AP has another five hotels under development in China including the Radisson Plaza Hotel Tianjin and Radisson Hotel Liuzhou, and eight existing properties in the country. It currently has over 50 properties under development in India and is the largest international hotel operator in the country.

Carlson Hotels Worldwide is the world's ninth largest hotel company with over 1,000 locations in 74 countries.