SILVER SPRING, Md., March 28, 2013 (hospitalitybusinessnews.com) — Choice Hotels International Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world’s largest hotel companies, today announced the launch of SkyTouch Technology, a new division that develops and markets cloud-based technology products to help hoteliers industry-wide improve their efficiency and profitability. SkyTouch Technology launches with the market introduction of SkyTouch Hotel OS, a new property and rate management solution that draws on Choice’s award-winning choiceADVANTAGE property management system for handling reservations, guest stays and rates on any device with an Internet connection.
Under Choice’s development, choiceADVANTAGE has become the most widely used cloud-based property management system in the world, with more than 5,500 successful installations in Choice-branded hotels worldwide.
SkyTouch Hotel OS offers many of the same functions of the choiceADVANTAGE property and rate management platform, as well as the ability to connect seamlessly with other systems used by chain and independent hotels. Choice franchisees will continue to enjoy the exclusive benefits of choiceADVANTAGE, including integration with ChoiceHotels.com, Choice central reservation systems, the Choice Privileges® loyalty program and other Choice systems.
“Since its introduction by Choice Hotels in 2003, choiceADVANTAGE has set the industry standard for ease-of-use, functionality and affordability,” said Stephen P. Joyce, president and chief executive officer of Choice Hotels International. “choiceADVANTAGE has been so effective for Choice franchisees that other hoteliers, including chains and independents around the world, have asked to use it. It’s a big milestone for the company that we can now offer a similar system via SkyTouch Hotel OS.”
“Choice has made significant financial and strategic investments in a broad range of technologies – from emerging mobile platforms to central reservation system delivery – that play to the company’s franchising strengths,” Joyce said. “Those investments have positioned Choice to plant the seeds of new initiatives and accelerate the pace of innovation. We believe that launching SkyTouch Technology as a separate line of business apart from our core hotel franchising operations gives the division the independence it needs to offer custom solutions and high levels of support, service and security to all its users.”
Ric Leutwyler, an accomplished executive who brings decades of experience in the hospitality and technology industries, will lead SkyTouch Technology as division president.
“The industry is looking for affordable, full-featured, above-property solutions that offer proven performance and reliability,” said Leutwyler. “Choice Hotels identified that gap and filled it for its franchised hotels when it developed choiceADVANTAGE. Now the company has created SkyTouch to fill it for chains and independents. Thanks to Choice’s long history of successful technology innovation and the experienced team that joins the SkyTouch Technology division from other divisions of Choice, we’re ready to hit the ground running and immediately provide solutions that hotel operators need without the investment required by other software packages.”