Howard Johnson International today unveiled its 2003 strategic plan and key objectives, which include driving more business to franchisees, strengthening its position as a leisure market leader, improving hotel quality and consistency, focusing on strategic growth and increasing its value proposition to its franchisees.
Howard Johnson President Mary Mahoney, addressing franchisees at their biannual brand conference here, introduced a new marketing strategy designed to drive more business to franchisees and strengthen the brand’s position as a leisure market leader by advancing the chain’s family-oriented reputation.
“At a time when most hotels are trying to be all things to all people, the Howard Johnson® brand is doing just the opposite by renewing its focus on family values and family priorities,” she said. “Providing a home away from home for the family traveler is a tradition at Howard Johnson, and we’re going to remind consumers through every marketing program that Howard Johnson is still the fun, safe, clean and friendly family hotel they remember.”
Describing efforts to improve hotel quality and consistency, Mahoney detailed progress made to date under Project Restore, an initiative of Cendant Corporation’s Hotel Group to purge hotels that do not meet system quality standards. Project Restore is expected to eliminate approximately 10 percent of the Howard Johnson system, she said.
“The Howard Johnson brand has always represented solid value, and quality is at the very heart of its value proposition,” she said. “At Howard Johnson, we are the custodians of a remarkable heritage that was built on a tradition of quality.
“After one of the toughest years our industry has faced, Howard Johnson persevered and maintained its quality initiatives. But now, more than ever, we must keep our quality focus and continue to fine-tune our business practices. The competitive environment is about to turn into a tough fight to win over consumers - and we’ve got to be ready!”
Cendant’s Franchise Sales team will pursue strategic growth of the Howard Johnson brand by targeting the top 175 sales markets, she said. Factors such as supply and demand, growth trends and market compatibility will be strategically reviewed in these locations to ensure the brand is positioned to compete aggressively in major growth markets.
“Our efforts are designed to ensure that the Howard Johnson brand is in a position to compete aggressively in all major growth markets,” she said.
Addressing the fourth key objective, Mahoney said the Howard Johnson brand will work to increase the brand’s value proposition to franchisees through improved technologies and valuable programs through Cendant’s Preferred Alliance team, which develops deals with vendors to offer exclusive discounts to hotel franchisees. The brand also will continue to increase its value proposition by focusing on providing increased regional support and training for its franchisees.
Howard Johnson International Inc. franchises 497 hotels in the United States, Argentina, Canada, China, Colombia, Curacao, Ecuador, Israel, Jordan, Malta, Mexico, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. For more information or to make a reservation at any Howard Johnson location, call toll-free in the United States (800) I-GO-HOJO® or visit the Web site at www.howardjohnson.com. Howard Johnson is a subsidiary of Cendant Corporation (NYSE:CD).