ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Stephen P. Joyce, CEO of Choice Hotels, announced today that Choice is entering the vacation home rental industry, bringing a new level of quality and service to this high growth segment of the lodging industry by working with experienced and professional management companies. Vacation Rentals by Choice Hotels™ will be integrated with the Choice Privileges® rewards program and offer distinctive benefits for consumers, homeowners and management companies.
“Choice Hotels has a 75 year history dedicated to connecting the world through the power of hospitality. We are drawing on that heritage to become the first hotel brand to partner with local vacation rental management companies to help ease the uncertainty and inconsistency associated with the vacation rental industry,” Joyce said. “We’ve seen strong demand from vacation rental managers for distribution, branding and technology solutions, and at the same time, we’ve had increasing demand from consumers who desire longer term stays and larger accommodations with the amenities of home. With these trends in mind, we’ve created Vacation Rentals by Choice Hotels™.”
The vacation rentals market is a $23 billion market* in the United States and is dominated by distribution companies that commonly offer peer-to-peer connections between consumers and individual property owners. The Choice model is different, relying instead on relationships with the nation’s best property management companies who can offer quality products and services to consumers.
Premier Advantage: Partnering with Vacation Rental Management Companies
With so many properties being rented by individual owners, consumers often do not know what kind of service or assurances, if any, they will receive when they arrive for their vacation. Vacation Rentals by Choice Hotels™ is the first major brand to work with independent management companies to provide consistent service standards and offer guests access to live assistance, 24/7.
“What the consumer typically sees when shopping online is not always what they get especially when reviews are not verified,” Joyce said. “It’s often difficult to know who is behind the transaction. Is it managed professionally? That can make a world of difference in the vacation experience of the guest.”
With Vacation Rentals by Choice Hotels™, consumers will enjoy the unique and diverse experiences that vacation rentals deliver. To ensure quality, Choice Hotels is selectively forming relationships with vacation rental management companies that have established reputations for great service and high quality product portfolios. Adding further value to these relationships, Choice will offer customer reviews, detailed descriptions, and images of each property that will build confidence and transparency. In doing so, Vacation Rentals by Choice Hotels will combine broad geographic distribution with the confidence that comes from renting with a national brand – without sacrificing the individual character that makes the vacation rental experience so appealing to guests.
Management companies will benefit from a world-class reservations delivery platform, founded on technology provided by Maxxton®, a leading enterprise solutions provider for the vacation rental industry, and built from the ground up to meet the unique needs of the vacation rental market. Choice will provide an unmatched level of customization and offer a comprehensive suite of tools including dynamically driven guest portals, a unique homeowner management application, and innovative automated processing that enhances interactions with owners and guests. Management companies expect to see results in the form of increased bookings, cost savings from Choice’s supplier community, and exclusive access to world-class training and business services.
A Brand Boost for Choice Hotel Franchisees
This program provides unique but complementary lodging products to Choice’s traditional hotel brands. At times, guests seek longer stays, larger family accommodations and actual furnished homes. By introducing vacation rentals into the Choice portfolio, guests will find options to satisfy a broader range of trips while continuing to benefit from staying within the Choice portfolio.
“This new offering is designed to deepen the relationship with current Choice customers while also bringing more people into the Choice brand family,” Joyce said. “As consumers seek new vacation experiences, we want to ensure they can experience the quality and consistency that our brands have to offer. Extending the Choice Privileges rewards program — that already serves over 25 million members — to vacation rentals will reinforce our brand’s value to guests and appeal to consumers who tend to travel more frequently, stay longer and spend more.”
Choice is launching the new service in eight U.S. locations, including Orlando, Aspen, Destin, FL, Panama City Beach, FL, Williamsburg, VA, Shenandoah, VA, Phoenix, AZ, and Big Bear Lake, CA. The initial Vacation Rentals by Choice Hotels members include well known management companies Magical Memories, Sterling Resorts, and Bluegreen Resorts. Given strong industry interest, Choice expects to rapidly add locations and management company members in 2016.