Leading hotel franchise group, Choice Hotels Asia-Pac (CHAP), has experienced a strong end to what has been a challenging year for the accommodation industry.
CHAP has seen significant increases across its 2020 direct bookings, as well as a slew of new appointments within the business set to bolster its strong position entering into 2021.
CHAP data reveals its direct online bookings have soared – up 65 per cent year-on- year in December 2020, as well as averaging 65 per cent for the last three months compared to the same three months last year.
Visits to the CHAP website have also increased in the last three months by over 65 per cent, and up 70 per cent year-on-year for December. With Choice Privileges loyalty guests now representing 20% of CHAP’s contribution, direct online business continues to grow and provide significant value to its network of franchisees.
CHAP opted to maintain its visibility in-market, driving a strategic integrated marketing strategy throughout the year. This included an investment in above the line and digital advertising as restrictions initially began to ease across the region in June. CHAP’s consistency in-market promoting offers encouraging direct bookings for domestic travel which resonated well with consumers has contributed to its direct online performance versus bookings via online travel agencies (OTAs).
It’s these results that have attracted an additional six hotels into the portfolio in the final months of the year.
Even with some recent changes to state borders, the domestic travel industry starting to rebuild and rebound, the outlook for 2021 according to CEO of Choice Hotels Asia-Pac Trent Fraser, is very encouraging.
“2020 was a year like no other. I am in awe of our network of Choice Hotels Asia-Pac franchisees who have dug deep throughout the pandemic and now are emerging with a new-found sense of optimism and confidence as we see people regaining the confidence and desire to travel once again,” he said.
“Despite being an industry that has been one of the most impacted during this pandemic, we have experienced a sharp, upward trend across direct and leisure hotel bookings. We’re further encouraged by continued positive booking activity every week as we move into the new year,” added Fraser of the uplift CHAP has experienced.
As the Choice Hotels Asia-Pac network in Australia and New Zealand looks towards the future, this strong performance comes with an exciting organisational re- alignment for the business that is set to bolster the group further.
CHAP will continue its sharp focus on business delivery to its franchisees with the development of a Revenue Generation Unit (RGU), which will be lead by Kari Hunter after a promotion to Senior Director Strategy, Sales & Marketing.
Furthermore, a newly established Franchise Performance Unit (FPU) will combine with its Franchise Services and Revenue Management & Distribution teams which will be headed up by Director of Performance and Revenue Management, Anthony Stanley.
To further enhance their strategic expertise and drive growth in 2021, Choice Hotels Asia-Pac has made several key appointments. Cameron Burke has been appointed as Director of Investor and Portfolio Growth, where his focus will be on growing Choice Hotels’ network of properties through strategic initiatives designed to gain multi-unit deals and aligned opportunities. Cameron brings his extensive corporate background
to the role – he was previously special council with AJ & Co. Lawyers in Brisbane where he advised on cross-border acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic partners and asset management and has also spent time as a senior legal counsel for Wyndham Hotels Worldwide in London.
Newly appointed Procurement Manager Michael Thomas, previously Director of Procurement at Hyatt Hotels, brings significant experience and hospitality relationships to the brand. Thomas will be responsible for the development and implementation of strategies to create better value for franchisee relationships.
Katie Cage joins the marketing team as Manager Loyalty and Campaigns. Previously, Katie held the position of Marketing Manager at BIG4 Holiday Parks and brings a wealth of marketing experience across regional accommodation, leisure and franchising.
There have also been several additional key appointments to the CHAP team, including new Revenue Managers Benjamin Ferry and Daniel Griffiths.
Ferry joins from IHG where he spent several stints in revenue management roles across Japan and Abu Dhabi. In addition to extensive experience managing rooms revenue, Ferry has also managed revenue for food & beverage and casino operations for the Star Entertainment Group.
Griffiths joins after serving his most recent role as Cluster Manager for The Ascott Ltd, including working across properties such as Citadines on Bourke, Somerset On Elizabeth, Citadines Connect Sydney Airport, Somerset on the Pier and Citadines St Georges Terrace Perth.
“I am thrilled to welcome and congratulate our new team and look forward to working with them to deliver strong results for our franchisees in 2021,” added Fraser.