The first hotel company to introduce a global iPhone app, Choice Hotels International, Inc. continues to serve as an industry leader in the area of mobile technology innovation as it launched its new iPad app.
The company has also made upgrades to its existing iPhone and Android apps, making Choice Hotels readily accessible to millions of travelers around the globe.
“Choice Hotels continues to be a leader in the emerging channels of hospitality e-commerce and through our various apps we’re able to reach the growing segment of consumers who are booking their travel on mobile devices,” said Kelly Poling, vice president of distribution strategy and e-commerce for Choice Hotels. “Launching our iPad app is another logical extension of our distribution strategy, which puts the power of our 6,000-plus hotels in the hands of our growing mobile and tablet customer base.”
The company’s new iPad and existing iPhone and Android apps are free to download for all consumers and enable them to book rooms anytime, anywhere, using the most popular wireless devices available on the market. This translates to a win-win situation for both consumers and for Choice Hotels, putting the company’s franchised hotels at guests’ fingertips. There is no sign of slowing for the emerging trend of mobile travel purchasing—mobile revenue for Choice was up more than 250 percent year-over-year in 2011.
“In this super-connected world, booking options for consumers have grown while the booking time window of consumers has gotten smaller,” said Christopher Brya, director of mobile and emerging channels for Choice Hotels. “Our customers have embraced the mobile platform and it’s our job to extend the reach of Choice Hotels into those channels as they grow and evolve, when and how our guests need us.”
When introduced in 2009, the Choice Hotels Locator app was the first global iPhone app for the hotel industry. The company recently celebrated the one-millionth download of that app in September 2011, which generates thousands of reservations every month and is used by more than 1,500 consumers on a daily basis.
“Enhancing our existing apps and launching our iPad app empowers customers and adds value to franchisees by extending Choice’s distribution reach,” added Brya.
The Choice Hotels iPad and iPhone apps enable consumers to:
Search and book nearby hotels using GPS technology
View hotel details, amenities, and photos
Access their Choice Privileges account or sign-up
View or cancel upcoming reservations
Access Customer Service contact information
In addition, iPhone and iPad app users now can view their hotel search results in a list and map view as well as filter and sort their hotel search results, view local points of interest on the hotel search results map, and share their hotel via social media, text, and email. iPad app users have the added capabilities of being able to compare specific hotels and save a Choice Hotels property as a favorite through their Choice Privileges account.
The Choice Hotels Android app similarly enables consumers to locate hotels by city, address, ZIP code, airport, or popular attraction, view hotel photos, get hotel details and amenities, access their Choice Privileges account, and use mapping functionality. Recent upgrades to the Android app include improvements for speed, navigation and efficiency as well as search result filtering capabilities by both features and amenities.
The hotel company also launched a completely redesigned new mobile website in September 2011, incorporating great new features to meet changing guest demands, such as GPS-based search functionality, one-touch calling, and more hotel photos and amenities. The mobile site redesign came about through an extensive research process of listening and responding to feedback from both guests and franchise hotel owners.