Carlson, a global hospitality and travel company, has expanded its partnership with LRA Worldwide, Inc., a leading consultant in Guest Experience Management, to provide customized brand-assurance programs for Carlson Hotels' branded properties around the world. Over the past four years, the partnership has grown from 21 percent of all Carlson hotels participating to cover more than 96 percent of Carlson's hotels worldwide by the end of 2011.

Brand participation on a global basis will include 97 percent of all Radisson®properties, all Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM and Park Inn by Radisson locations, and more than a fourth of its Park Plaza®hotels.

LRA has developed a customized brand-assurance protocol for each brand and region, and will conduct property evaluations to help deliver a consistent brand experience.

“Brand quality and consistency are essential for helping to achieve our Ambition 2015 growth strategy, and will enable us to deliver a world-class guest experience across our hotel portfolio,” said Thorsten Kirschke, chief operating officer, Carlson Hotels, and president, Carlson Hotels, Americas. “LRA provides a comprehensive brand-assurance program and foundation that are critical to growing our hotel business and to achieving greater guest satisfaction and loyalty.”

The newly expanded relationship deploys teams of LRA consultants, all of whom have been trained on new brand standards.  Each consultant is responsible for conducting property evaluations and for providing guidance on hotel performance improvement.

LRA's proprietary, web-based, quality-management technology, TouchPoint Manager™ (TpM), will house all of the standards and quality-assurance reports.  TpM provides a central, online location to access program standards, robust reporting and interactive action plans that the hotels can use to improve compliance levels and consistency.

“Consumers are more sensitive than ever to the quality received for their travel dollar,” said John Roberto, LRA's senior vice president and managing director, Quality Assurance. “As a result, investment in ensuring a high-quality, consistent guest experience is a strategic imperative for leading brands.”

LRA's services, coupled with Medallia, a global online guest-satisfaction tool, provide Carlson with a comprehensive and timely view of each hotel's quality performance. In addition to Carlson, LRA works with many of the world's top hotel brands, as well as with other hospitality groups and management companies.

About Carlson:
Carlson is a global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. Carlson encompasses more than 1,060 hotels, including Radisson®, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM , Park Inn by Radisson 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 170,000 people.

About LRA Worldwide, Inc.:
LRA Worldwide is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability.

In LRA's 25-year history, we have grown from a provider of customized quality assurance evaluation programs for the hospitality industry, to a leading CEM consulting company offering a variety of client solutions. The evolution has been driven by our clients asking us one question – "How do we get better" In response, we have built a range of performance measurement, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so. Today, we are a growing company operating in more than 120 countries throughout the world, helping major hotel clients such as Carlson, the National Basketball Association, and the PGA TOUR deliver exceptional customer experiences. Every touch. Every time. For more information, visit us at