Breaking Travel News

Choice delivering on diversity ambitions

Choice Hotels International has announced that
domestic hotel franchise agreements with minority and non-lodging
entrepreneurs increased 25 percent over 2005, with Choice’s emerging
markets team adding 35 new franchisees in 2006.These new franchisees, who
are African American, Hispanic, Native American, and non-traditional
hoteliers, all have majority ownership of a Choice brand hotel.
  “We are very excited about the tremendous progress we made in
attracting diverse franchisees to the Choice family,” said Brian Parker,
vice president, emerging markets and new business development. “We will
continue to conduct extensive outreach efforts to these underrepresented
populations in the lodging community. Our goal is to introduce them to the
concept of hotel investing and raise awareness about Choice Hotels and our
brands as a potentially strong investment vehicle. We are very proud of our
progress in this area, which we feel compares very favorably to other
companies in the industry.”
  The emerging markets team executed franchise agreements for nine of
Choice’s ten brands, and the mix was balanced with 55 percent of its
contracts for new construction hotels and 45 percent for conversion hotels.
Deals were executed nationwide in 14 sates: Texas, California, New York,
Maryland, Illinois, Mississippi, Colorado, Tennessee, Arizona, Florida,
Indiana, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Connecticut.
  A key component in raising awareness among minority and non-traditional
hoteliers was Choice’s launch of its emerging markets Web site dedicated
exclusively to these populations, a first for a hotel company. The site,
which can be accessed at, provides potential
franchisees with a wealth of information about hotel investments and Choice
Hotels family of brands. The emerging markets team also hosted a series of
well-attended seminars throughout the country that served to increase
knowledge about Choice Hotels and its brands among African Americans,
Hispanics and Native Americans.