Silver Spring, Md.,// PRNewswire-FirstCall // -- More and more consumers are managing their travel plans wirelessly, which can sometimes be challenging. To help ease the travel planning process for the millions of iPhone users, Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) continues to be a pioneer in the emerging channels of hospitality eCommerce with the launch of the Choice Hotels Locator iPhone application. This free-of-charge application allows users to book rooms anytime, anywhere using one of the most popular wireless devices available on the market.
"The new iPhone app extends Choice's position in the hospitality industry as an eCommerce innovator," said Chris Malone, chief marketing officer for Choice Hotels. "Choice has taken its highly successful distribution platform and extended its reach to customers using mobile and GPS devices around the world."
Customers can now find and book Choice properties worldwide via a wireless version of ChoiceHotels.com available through any web enabled mobile device. Travelers can also locate our hotels around the world on the majority of Global Positioning Devices in use in cars, hand held devices and even on golf carts. This new application now provides over 11 million iPhone users with unprecedented access to over 5,800 hotels right in the palm of their hand.
Out of the more than 10,000 different iPhone applications currently available, this is the first global App to come from a major hotel company. Created to give Choice Hotels guests an easy-to-navigate mobile method of searching for and making reservations at Choice brand hotels worldwide, the Choice Hotels iPhone application is free for all consumers. One of the application's biggest benefits is its GPS capabilities, allowing users to find hotels based on location, get door-to-door directions, and look at street view images, all on an iPhone.
Within the first weeks of its launch, the app was downloaded more than 2,000 times from consumers in more than 40 countries, including Taiwan, Italy, Russia, Great Britain, France and Canada. As part of the initial version of the product launch, Choice is conducting extensive consumer testing and actively soliciting feedback through a number of forums, including a survey available through the iTunes App store.
"This consumer testing will guide us in creating future versions of the Choice iPhone App," said Chris Brya, director, user experience & eCommerce projects. "Listening to our customers and gaining their feedback is critical in developing mobile applications that best meet customers' needs."
Features of the initial release of the Choice Hotels iPhone App include the ability to:
The application is currently available at Apple's online store.
Choice Hotels International franchises more than 5,800 hotels, representing more than 470,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 countries and territories. As of December 31, 2008, 987 hotels are under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States, representing 78,915 rooms, and an additional 121 hotels, representing 10,190 rooms, are under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in more than 15 countries and territories. The company's Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands serve guests worldwide. In addition, via its Ascend Collection membership program, travelers in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean have upscale lodging options at historic, boutique and unique hotels.
Choice Hotels, Choice Hotels International, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn are proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International.
2009 Choice Hotels International, Inc. All rights reserved.
SOURCE Choice Hotels International, Inc.