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Choice Hotels Wins Prestigious Technology Visionary Award

Choice 12 April 2019
ROCKVILLE, Md. -- Building on its eight decades of innovation, Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) was named a Hotel Visionary Award winner by Hospitality Technology in the Enterprise Innovator category for the creation of choiceEDGE, a proprietary, cloud-based global reservation system (GRS) and distribution platform. The award, which honors hotels that deliver enterprise solutions, was presented to Choice yesterday at HT-NEXT 2019 in New Orleans. HT-NEXT is produced by Hospitality Technology and Hospitality Technology Next Generation.Introduced in 2018 as the industry's first new GRS in over 30 years, choiceEDGE supports 7,000 Choice hotels worldwide, connecting more than 200 million people to Choice Hotels' 570,000 hotel rooms, and handling more than $9 billion in transactions annually.choiceEDGE features:Faster-to-market new products, features, and third-party connectivity. Cloud-based scalability, stability, and performance delivered through a "reservation-as-a-service" model.Preconfigured, state-of-the-art connectivity with online travel agents, global distribution systems, and property management systems, enabling rapid onboarding of hotels and instant value delivery.Capability to add selling disparate inventory types in the future, including hotel rooms, meeting rooms, vacation rentals, and package offerings - or any space for any duration."choiceEDGE was the largest, most ambitious technology project in our company's history," said Brian Kirkland, chief technology officer, Choice Hotels. "Many travel companies have tried and failed to create their own systems, and choiceEDGE's successful rollout underscores our commitment to developing new technology in-house to meet guests' needs and help our franchisees succeed. We changed the paradigm and now have the industry's most advanced GRS and distribution platform - all with zero downtime for guests, hotel owners and partners during the transition, which is the ultimate measure of success."Choice has been an industry leader in innovation over the course of its 80-year history. It was the first hotel company to offer online booking, roll out a global iPhone application, and launch a soft brand in the Ascend Hotel Collection. More recently, Choice introduced Virtual Pay and the Group Management Platform -- both tools to help hotels capture corporate and group business. The company also pursues strategic relationships with best-in-class technology companies. It is in the process of migrating over 1,000 applications to Amazon Web Services, which will enhance its systems' performance, scalability, and reliability. Choice also became the first hotel company to work with Google to launch voice-enabled booking, in addition to enabling Book on Google, a tool that allows travelers to seamlessly search, select, and reserve hotel rooms at any of Choice's 12 hotel brands.

Choice Hotels Launches Online Group Management Platform Tool for Seamless Planning Experience

Choice 22 January 2019
ROCKVILLE, Md. -- Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) is making planning and booking group travel at its hotels easier than ever with the launch of the Group Management Platform, an online reservation solution.Through a new portal on ChoiceHotels.com, guests can seamlessly make reservations for groups, review details at a glance, select various payment options, confirm reservations, send customized emails inviting guests to book, and make room modifications at any time. The Group Management Platform is available to members of the award-wining Choice Privileges loyalty program who are looking to book 10 rooms or more.Through a new portal on ChoiceHotels.com, guests can seamlessly make reservations for groups, review details at a glance, select various payment options, confirm reservations, send customized emails inviting guests to book, and make room modifications at any time. The Group Management Platform is available to members of the award-wining Choice Privileges loyalty program who are looking to book 10 rooms or more."Choice is dedicated to streamlining the booking process across all channels. When we received feedback from guests about group planning and booking, we listened and innovated with proprietary technology to meet their travel needs," said Chad Fletcher, vice president of global sales, Choice Hotels. "The new Group Management Platform provides a seamless and centralized solution for group travel planners, giving them the ability to reserve, manage and plan group reservations with ease."When a room block is booked online, Choice Privileges members now receive an email confirmation with a custom link to the Group Management Platform on ChoiceHotels.com where they can:Easily Manage Group Reservations - Provides a quick overview of room confirmations, room availability for each night of the event, estimated price totals and room hold policies, along with the exact date the remaining rooms will be released back into inventory.Invite Guests to Book - Sends customized email invitations for guests to book and confirm their reservations within minutes.Modify Reservations in Real Time - Allows organizer to modify their booking details at any time, day or night.The Group Management Platform simplifies what has traditionally been a complicated process for travel planners coordinating accommodations for events, such as weddings, sports tournaments, family outings, business meetings, and more. It also allows Choice Privileges members to earn rewards, including bonus points, airline miles, or credits for premium coffee and shared rides through the Your Extras program, in addition to exclusive member rates when booking direct through ChoiceHotels.com. Along with the Group Management Platform, travel agents will now be able to book commission-eligible groups on ChoiceHotels.com.Throughout its 80-year history, Choice Hotels has set the standard in hospitality, pioneering countless technological innovations. The company recently launched a virtual payment option on ChoiceHotels.com to create a seamless booking experience for corporate travelers, and enabled Book on Google - making it possible for travelers to seamlessly search, select, and reserve hotel rooms at Choice hotels in a few clicks.

Choice Hotels Goes All-In on AWS

Choice 14 January 2019
Today, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced that Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) is moving its infrastructure to AWS--going all-in on the world's leading cloud--to boost its technology leadership position in the hotel industry. Choice Hotels, which develops some of its own technology, will migrate over 1,000 applications to AWS, moving off legacy systems to help improve performance, scalability, and reliability. As Choice Hotels continues to expand its international footprint, the hospitality leader will be able to deploy new cloud-based systems globally in minutes for stronger regional performance, availability, and fault tolerance to help create more value for its franchisees and guests.AWS is already home to some of Choice Hotels' primary business applications, including its global reservation system (GRS) and distribution platform, property-management system, and data analytics platform. Choice Hotels has teamed with the Amazon ML Solutions Lab to identify uses for machine learning across its businesses, and guide its teams in the development of new machine learning-enabled features, products, and processes. By leveraging AWS machine learning and analytics services, Choice Hotels will be able to provide more personalized experiences for its customers, use trend analysis paired with data analytics to identify systems issues, and interpret and resolve those issues without human intervention."Choice Hotels is an established leader in innovation, and the migration of the company's infrastructure to AWS will help build upon Choice's legacy of technology innovations and industry firsts. Choice began working with AWS in 2014. Shortly after, we embarked on the largest IT project in the company's history to replace our central reservation system and distribution platform with a new cloud-based global solution - choiceEDGE, the industry's first new GRS from a hotel company in over 30 years. We have continued to expand our strategic relationship with AWS ever since," said Brian Kirkland, Chief Technology Officer at Choice Hotels. "We closely evaluated several public cloud providers and found that AWS was the best fit for our cloud-first approach, delivering the broadest and deepest portfolio of cloud services, and innovating at a faster pace than the rest of the industry. With AWS, we will also be able to leverage the industry's leading machine learning and analytics services to fuel real-time decision-making across our business and transform the way that we deliver our services to franchisees and customers.""As consumer behavior evolves, the hospitality industry is changing rapidly, and customers are pushing an unprecedented volume of room and service requests through digital channels, which is driving leaders to turn to the cloud to transform their customer engagement, service, and business models," said Mike Clayville, Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Sales at AWS. "Choice Hotels was the first hotel company to create their own cloud-based reservation system on AWS for more than 6,900 hotels worldwide, exceeding performance requirements and lowering costs. This gave the Choice Hotels leadership team the confidence to move forward with new initiatives, and go all-in on AWS. We are excited to expand our strategic relationship as we work with Choice to embed machine learning and analytics across their business."About Amazon Web ServicesFor over 12 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world's most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS offers over 165 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 60 Availability Zones (AZs) within 20 geographic regions, spanning the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Sweden, and the UK. AWS services are trusted by millions of active customers around the world--including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies--to power their infrastructure, make them more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit aws.amazon.com.About AmazonAmazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.

Choice Hotels Introduces Lodging Industry's First Major Central Reservation System In 30 Years

Choice 25 January 2018
Building on a legacy of innovations, Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), announced today the transition to choiceEDGE, the first new global reservation system (GRS) from a hotel company in over 30 years. The state-of-the-art distribution platform supports more than 6,500 Choice Hotels properties globally. The choiceEDGE platform leads the way for the industry's shift towards accelerated global digital communication and guest experience personalization through data analytics.choiceEDGE and its cloud-based, technically advanced design is built to effectively handle the current and future volume on digital channels, and is the most advanced GRS in the lodging industry. The platform manages all distribution for Choice Hotels, optimizing rate, inventory, availability, shopping, booking and reservations for its website, mobile apps and third-party distribution partners.This transformational project, which began in 2014, is led by the Choice Hotels technology innovation team, based in Phoenix, Arizona, and is a milestone initiative for the company and recently appointed President and CEO Pat Pacious."There has been an explosion of growth in shopping requests and digital travel sales worldwide over the last decade. The industry's old reservation systems are not designed to handle the volume and velocity of transactions we see today in the digital space," said Pacious. "choiceEDGE harnesses the power of cloud computing and big data analytics to help deliver value to both guests and franchisees, and leads the industry in capabilities. Through personalization and machine-learning, we are now able to create the intuitive experience guests want and provide data-driven, holistic solutions to boost efficiencies for our franchisees and throughout our value chain."Flexibility, scale and speed to market are critical components of the choiceEDGE platform's unprecedented design. As Choice Hotels continues its growth in the upscale and midscale segments, and internationally, the choiceEDGE product will support its expanded system size, as well as multi-channel distribution and mobile strategies.choiceEDGE features:Faster-to-market new products, features and third-party connectivity.Cloud-based scalability, stability and performance delivered through a "reservation-as-a-service" model.Preconfigured, state-of-the-art connectivity with online travel agents, global distribution systems and property management systems, enabling rapid onboarding of hotels and instant value delivery.Capability to add selling disparate inventory types, including hotel rooms, meeting rooms, vacation rentals and package offerings - or any space for any duration."This new platform showcases our talent and the forward-thinking, fast-paced and collaborative nature at Choice Hotels, mirroring that of any leading technology incubator," said Brian Kirkland, vice president of engineering at Choice Hotels. "choiceEDGE strengthens our core capabilities, and positions us and our franchisees to capitalize on the growth our industry is experiencing, while enabling the efficient future delivery of new initiatives."Choice has already onboarded multiple distributors onto the advanced platform. Traci Mercer, senior vice president, global lodging, ground and sea, Sabre Travel Network, stated, "The new global reservation system, choiceEDGE, is helping Choice Hotels and Sabre gain seamless distribution of the broad and rich content for our buyers."The choiceEDGE platform is the latest innovation by Choice Hotels and is part of a portfolio of tools and technology-driven solutions. Choice Hotels has pioneered some of the industry's greatest developments, including the first online booking platform and first mobile app.

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