Based on system-wide results that outpaced the overall industry, as well as positive growth projections for hospitality in the months ahead, Choice Hotels International, Inc. kicked off its annual conference with a theme of “Go” and provided plenty of reasons for optimism to its roughly 5,000 franchisees on hand.
The company’s 66th annual convention got started earlier this week at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Patrick Pacious, President and CEO, Choice Hotels, touted the company’s recovery efforts in the wake of the pandemic and its outlook for the future to its franchise partners.
“Not all hotel companies weathered the storm quite as well as we did, but because of our history together, some smart financial decisions and an unyielding commitment to your success, Choice Hotels was able to continue to invest in our owners and in our brands at a time when you needed it most. In short, when other hotel companies said ‘stop’ Choice said ‘go,’” he said.
Pacious added, “we’ve emerged through this time of uncertainty as one of the best positioned hospitality companies and franchise systems in the world.”
The CEO further noted that in 2021 Choice generated a 2.5 percent RevPAR increase system-wide over 2019 levels. In addition, in the fourth quarter of 2021 RevPAR was up some 14 percent over 2019 and the company outperformed the overall industry by a combined 19 percent for the year.
“We’re poised for the future and we did it together so now is the time for us to build on that lead. Now is the time for us to “Go” because things are looking up and people are ready to travel again,” said Pacious, who referenced a recent study that revealed that 9 out of 10 Americans say they are ready to travel in 2022.
Pacious also underscored the company’s ongoing efforts to reduce operating expenses for owners and increase profitability. As an example, implementing housekeeping by request has resulted in substantial savings.
“We’ve identified over a dozen different ways for the average hotel to lower operating costs by nearly 15% since we began this initiative back in 2020 and we aren’t finished with trying to improve franchisees’ bottom line. We’re aiming to get to a full 20% in average cost savings by 2023,” he said.
Meanwhile, emphasizing its commitment to diversity, the company also unveiled the launch of its HERtels initiative. Choice’s emerging markets development program has been dedicated to extending the opportunity of hotel ownership to underrepresented populations, including women entrepreneurs.
The newly enhanced program will provide dedicated training, education, mentorship, and financial assistance to advance and empower women entrepreneurs, according to the company.