Business & Finance

Choice Hotels Signs Development Agreement with GVK Enterprises for Five Hotels in Greece

ROCKVILLE, MD. December 20, 2016 - Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) announced today it has signed a multi-unit development agreement with GVK Enterprises, a hospitality management and development firm, to introduce and establish a hotel portfolio in Greece.

Choice anticipates the first property under the agreement will open by the summer of 2017 under the Comfort® brand flag in Athens, and four additional properties will be developed on the Greek mainland and islands under the Comfort®, Quality® and Clarion® brands.

"We are thrilled to be expanding our European portfolio to Greece, an important travel and tourism destination that has shown signs of strong recovery and positive forecasts," said Mark Pearce, senior vice president, international division, Choice Hotels. "Choice wants to support and participate in this recovery and we have every confidence that our brands will thrive in such a dynamic market."

"I'm delighted to work with Choice Hotels and bring their Comfort, Quality and Clarion brands to the Greek capital and islands. We look forward to helping Choice develop a portfolio of hotels that will appeal to international travelers visiting Greece for either business or pleasure. We are extremely proud to be able to bring Choice to a land filled with so much history and culture. Greece has always been one of the most popular tourism destinations and we look forward to sharing the food, hospitality and beaches with the rest of the world through the millions of guests of the Choice family," said George Kontos, President, GVK Enterprises.

This agreement follows several other EMEA market portfolio expansions that Choice has announced in 2016. In April, the company announced it had signed an agreement to deliver approximately 25 hotels and 8,000 rooms in UAE and Saudi Arabia by 2021. Other deals signed include establishing multiple hotels in Belgium and the co-branding of 19 properties in Germany, Austria and Hungary under the Comfort and Quality brands. Choice recently launched its upscale Ascend Hotel Collection® brand in the UK and France, with Turkey to follow in 2017.

About Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) is one of the world's largest lodging companies. With more than 6,400 hotels franchised in more than 40 countries and territories, Choice Hotels International represents more than 500,000 rooms around the globe. As of September 30, 2016, 745 hotels were in our development pipeline. Our company's Ascend Hotel Collection®, Cambria® hotels & suites, Comfort Inn®, Comfort Suites®, Sleep Inn®, Quality®, Clarion®, MainStay Suites®, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel®, Econo Lodge®, Rodeway Inn®, and Vacation Rentals by Choice HotelsTM brands provide a spectrum of lodging choices to meet guest needs. With more than 28 million members and counting, our Choice Privileges® rewards program enhances every trip a guest takes, with benefits ranging from instant, every day rewards to exceptional experiences, starting right when they join. All hotels and vacation rentals are independently owned and operated. Visit us at www.choicehotels.com for more information. © 2016 Choice Hotels International, Inc. All rights reserved.

Contact:
Scott Carman
scott_carman@choicehotels.com
301-592-6361

Coming Up In The February Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Social Media: Interacting with the Hotel Customer
Consider these astonishing numbers: 1.49 billion active monthly Facebook users. 1.1 billion active monthly YouTube users. 320 million active monthly Twitter users and nearly 400 million registered users on LinkedIn. 400 million active monthly Instagram users and 200 million active Google+ users. The power and reach of social media is an awesome force and it has transformed how hotels interact with their customers. In the past year, social media advertising spending increased 33.5% to nearly $24 billion dollars. Social networks are being utilized by hotels to reach more visitors, expand brand awareness, enhance brand reputation and to establish more direct and personal communication with their customers. Savvy hotel operators are adopting a comprehensive social media strategy, and there are several emerging trends to note. Video continues to be a powerful and influential element in social media marketing, with 70% of companies saying that it is their most effective marketing tool. Video generates a 62% higher engagement rate than photographs alone, and with new social sites like Meerkat and Periscope which offer live video streaming, those numbers will only increase. Sponsored content is another growing trend. Though advertorials have been around for decades, hotels are finding new ways to maximize the visibility of their content. Some are placing sponsored content on Facebook, or on influencer blogs. Another trend is the integration of a “Buy Now” button into social media websites. Customers will be able to make purchases without ever having to leave their favorite social sites. This development is a major convenience for customers and should also be an additional revenue source for hotels. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.