Australia: Choice Hotels is mulling a move in to the Australian serviced apartment market.
Choice is the third largest hotel operator in Australia, behind
Accor and Matra. It added 1100 new hotel rooms to its portfolio
during the past financial year
The franchise business, whose brands include EconoLodge, Comfort, Quality and Clarion has an Asia Pacific portfolio of more than 270 hotels and 11,000-plus rooms.
Choice Hotels Asia-Pac chief executive Trent Fraser said there are opportunities for Choice to expand into the serviced apartment market in Australia, leveraging off its global loyalty program, Choice Privileges, which offers accommodation in more than 5500 properties.
"We've not quite figured it out, but we have a couple of brands that play in that space [globally] and we feel we could offer something to serviced apartment owners," he said.
The company has also launched its own vacation rental platform in partnership with independent vacation rental management companies, offering loyalty members longer-term non-hotel accommodation alternatives.
"Vacation Rentals is one option we're possibly looking at. We remind out franchisees that our loyalty program is a real point of difference, as is our amazing service and the amenities we provide like restaurants, bars and gyms. This is something that is hard for the sharing economy to provide, but we could do a better job promoting these benefits," said Fraser.