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March 25, 2013

Choice Hotels International CEO Recognizes Importance of Techonology in Industry

The CEO of Choice Hotels International is pretty excited about technology. At the MIPIM conference in Cannes, France, Steve Joyce said he wasn't just in the hotel business anymore, but in the technology business. Joyce said hotel teams have to continually scan the environment, recognizing changes in the economy, markets and society, and then accurately forecast how those changes will impact the industry and its guests.

Steve Joyce, Choice Hotels CEO

"I've been in the hotel industry for 30 years, and lately, I've come to understand I'm not just in the hotel business, I'm in the technology business. And that's pretty exciting," said Joyce. "Success in the hotel business requires knowing your customers. It demands a ubiquitous Internet and mobile presence, easy electronic booking, robust loyalty programs and a focus on meeting the increasingly universal demand for value."

Joyce stated that the key market Choice is focused on is Europe, noting that Europe is a market that is ready to be branded, is full of opportunities to support independent hotels and is where Choice Hotels is aggressively focusing its international expansion.

"For Choice Hotels, we see a big opportunity in Europe, with the fragmented European hotel landscape consolidating," Joyce said. "European hotels have historically been unbranded. That trend is changing. Competing in e-commerce, social media, loyalty rewards, and broader distribution to drive traffic to your hotel is expensive and labor intensive. Affiliating with a brand company allows operators to focus on the day-to-day challenges of running a hotel while capitalizing on the many benefits afforded by a recognizable brand and robust distribution platform."

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