Choice Hotels heads to St. MaartenPOSTED: 07/13/12 11:52 AM
St. Maarten – The franchisor for eight hotels in the Bahamas, Curacao, Grand Cayman and Puerto Rico, Choice Hotels, has its sights set on St. Maarten as a primary target destination for its expansion. The company currently has projects under development in Anguilla, Dominica and Haiti and is in the final stages of negotiation to award a franchise to a hotel development here.
Speaking to reporters at the recent Choice Hotels convention in Las Vegas, Stephen P. Joyce, president and CEO of Choice Hotels International said, “While we have still have room to grow, clearly our path for significant growth is internationally.”
Earlier this week South Florida Caribbean News.com reported that Joyce says that Europe and Brazil were seeing more Choice Hotels activity, “but the Caribbean is one of our primary targets because we view the region as an extension of what we’re doing domestically.”
Additionally the hospitality chain chief saw lots of reasons for expanding in the Caribbean.
“It’s the number one destination requested by our guests, so we see a great overlap with our product here – our ability to generate customers, our massive scale and our distribution systems.”
Joyce contends the growth of Choice Hotels, with its combined systems booking millions of room nights a year, would directly benefit the region through its ability “to drive customers into the Caribbean market.”
With an online presence which garners a staggering number of hits a year, Choice Hotels, he added, can also boost promotion of the region.
“The good thing is the Caribbean needs it. The Caribbean is a value that’s not being communicated well to the rank and file customer out there.”
Furthermore, offering more options in the Caribbean would also be advantageous for loyal Choice Hotels guests.
“It’s a good combination because we’re able to get our customers down there to the places they love for a value they perceive – and help out a lot of hotel owners at the same time,” Joyce posited
Joyce, who has been at the helm of Choice for the past four years, assured Caribbean hoteliers the company is also interested in “smaller properties with 40, 50 rooms, lots of different room types. For most hotel companies – that drives them nuts. For Choice Hotels – that’s what we specialize in.”
The Choice Hotels president recognized the allure of smaller properties but asserted, “we see the need and the desire (for them) to move to a branded concept. So we think that’s going to be a good, long-term proposition for us.”