Worldwide lodging franchisor Choice Hotels International Inc. delivered a 16 percent increase in revenues to its franchisees via the company’s central reservations system (CRS) over 2003, with Internet bookings soaring as travelers increasingly prefer to book their lodging accommodations via the Web.
Indeed, Choice Hotels’ proprietary Web site, choicehotels.com, generated a 37 percent increase in revenues for franchisees over 2003, while general Internet business revenues (third party sites and GDSs in addition to the proprietary site) increased 22 percent over 2003.
“For the first time, business delivered electronically to our franchisees via our central reservations system accounted for more than sixty percent of total generated revenue,” said Wayne Wielgus, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Choice Hotels. “That speaks volumes about the booking habits of travelers—- and about the efficiency and user-friendliness of our Web site, choicehotels.com.”
Wielgus added that although reservations delivered via the company’s call centers represented “a smaller piece of the pie, our voice reservations are also up more than 13 percent over 2003. By phone or via the Web, travelers are choosing our brands when making their travel plans.”
Revenues delivered to Choice Hotels franchisees via the company’s CRS were fueled by seasonal promotions that offered significant value to travelers who stayed at Choice brand hotels. “From ‘Stay 2 Times, Earn a Free Night’ in the spring and fall to our ‘Wake Up a Winner’ sweepstakes this summer, our promotions offered compelling value to travelers who stayed at our hotels,” Wielgus said. “Our strategy for the coming year is to build on our success in ‘04 as we drive even more business to our hotels.”