Kurt Ritter receives Lifetime Achievement Award at the Worldwide Hospitality Awards ceremony in Paris
Kurt Ritter, President & CEO of The Rezidor Hotel Group, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award 2008, on the occasion of the prestigious Worldwide Hospitality Awards – organized by HTR Magazine and MKG Group – celebrated on November 18 in Paris. Kurt Ritter was awarded for his long-time and successful career at the helm of Rezidor which he turned into one of the fastest growing hotel companies worldwide.
Kurt Ritter was born in Switzerland in 1947 and learned the meaning of providing guests with attentive service as a child in his parents' hotel. After completing his education at the "Ecole Supérieure de Commerce du Canton de Vaud," he went on to graduate from the prestigious Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne. His first position took him to the Hotel Bellevue Palace in Bern as Assistant Manager.
He held a variety of positions at Ramada International Hotels in Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden. In 1976 he was appointed General Manager of the SAS Lulea Hotel in Sweden, before taking up a similar position at the SAS Kuwait Hotel in 1979. In 1984 he was promoted Vice President Middle East for SAS International Hotels (SIH) and moved to Singapore. In 1988, Kurt Ritter became Vice President & COO and returned to Europe, where he was appointed President & CEO of SIH in 1989.
In 1994, SIH signed a Master Franchise Agreement with Radisson Hotels Worldwide, which led to the company's name being changed to Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts. In 2001, the company was renamed Rezidor SAS Hospitality. In September 2002, Kurt Ritter signed an agreement with Carlson Hotels Worldwide to develop the Country Inn, Park Inn and Regent brands in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In November 2005, he signed a worldwide license agreement with the Italian fashion house Missoni, to develop and operate a lifestyle hotel brand of the same name: Hotel Missoni.
Since November 2006, Rezidor is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchanges and features today more than 350 hotels with more than 74,500 rooms in operation and under development in 53 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Kurt Ritter will continue to head Rezidor until February 2012 and further focus on dynamic, high potential markets like Russia & CIS and the Middle East & Africa. At the same time Rezidor is continuing to further build on its asset-light strategy by concentrating on management and franchise contracts. Kurt Ritter’s vision is to further grow the group’s high quality and profitable portfolio with a highly skilled multi-national team who are committed to the group’s service vision “Yes I Can!”. Kurt Ritter is married to Lara Ritter, has three children and lives in Brussels.
About the Rezidor Hotel Group: The Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the fastest growing hotel companies in the world. The group features a portfolio of over 360 hotels in operation and under development with more than 76,000 rooms in 55 countries.
Rezidor operates the brands Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts, Regent Hotels & Resorts, Park Inn and Country Inns & Suites in Europe, Middle East and Africa, along with the goldpoints plusSM loyalty programme for frequent hotel guests. Rezidor has signed a worldwide license agreement with the Italian fashion house Missoni, in order to develop and operate a lifestyle hotel brand of the same name: Hotel Missoni.
In November 2006, Rezidor was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. With 42%, Carlson Companies is the main shareholder.
The Corporate Office of the Rezidor Hotel Group is based in Brussels, Belgium.