Since its notable mobile technology milestone two years ago when it announced the hotel industry’s first global iPhone app, Choice Hotels International, Inc. recently celebrated a number of new advancements in the mobile segment. On August 31st, the company launched its free Andriod app, opening up the benefits of mobile travel to an entire new group of smart phone users. Choice Hotels also launched a completely redesigned new mobile website, incorporating great new features to meet changing guest demands, such as GPS-based search functionality, one-touch calling, and more hotel photos and amenities.
“This is another big step forward in the mobile space not only for Choice Hotels but for the hotel industry overall,” said Chris Brya, director of mobile and emerging channels for Choice Hotels. “More and more guests are using mobile technology for their travel purchases and that number will only increase. We want to supply our guests with everything they need, wherever they are, so that they can have the best booking experience possible on their mobile devices.”
The new Choice Hotels Android app gives consumers access to more than 6,000 hotels anytime, right in their back pocket. The app offers users simple functionality to find and book a hotel room instantly on their phones. It features GPS technology and mapping functionality to help travellers find the nearest Choice Hotels properties to any given location while traveling. Other highlights for the app include easy access to consumers’ Choice Privileges rewards account, hotel property details such as amenities, features and photos, and hotel searching capabilities by city, airport, popular attraction and more.
These features are also available on the company’s iPhone app, which recently celebrated one million downloads among consumers from around the world in more than 80 different countries. The Choice Hotels Locator app, which was the first global iPhone app for the hotel industry and one of Apple’s “New and Noteworthy” apps after its initial launch in 2009, also works on iPod Touch and iPad. The free app generates thousands of same-day and next-day reservations every month and is used by more than 1,500 consumers on a daily basis. A free Choice Hotels app for Blackberry users is also planned.
For consumers lacking apps on their phone, the company also provides a new, richer mobile experience through its updated mobile website. When accessing ChoiceHotels.com on the Internet browser of their mobile devices, consumers will now experience features like GPS-based search functions, multiple room rates with room descriptions, a photo gallery, one-touch calling, lists of property amenities and features, single-sign-on for rewards accounts, multi-currency display and more. The mobile site redesign came about through an extensive research process of listening and responding to feedback from both – guests and franchise hotel owners. The resulting new infrastructure will allow the company to scale for the future growth in mobile use that management anticipates.