ROCKVILLE, Md., May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world's largest lodging franchisors, announced today that it has entered into a relationship with buuteeq, a leading cloud-based digital marketing provider for lodging operators.
The new qualified vendor agreement gives 5,000 Choice Hotels franchisees in the United States access to buuteeq's products and services that provide the capability to create and manage their own property-level websites with direct booking capabilities. Now, franchisees can gain a competitive edge with industry-leading tools designed to maximize their online marketing efforts and streamline the booking experience for their guests.
The new platform, called the Digital Direct Program, features a direct integration between the Choice Hotels central reservation system and the buuteeq Cloud Digital Marketing System (CloudDMS). Franchisees who take advantage of the program will be able to deploy and manage their own SEO-optimized websites seamlessly across Web, mobile, and social channels. The direct booking capability function is expected to be made available this summer. Once implemented, guests will be able to book directly and book smart from a franchisee's property-level website using up-to-the-minute information on room availability and rates. Additionally, the Digital Direct integration will arm franchisees with robust digital marketing insights delivered through buuteeq's 360 Analytics dashboard.
"With the ever-changing landscape of online marketing, booking and property management, it's crucial for Choice Hotels to stay ahead of the game and deliver experiences that meet the needs of our franchisees and their guests," said Robert McDowell, senior vice president, global distribution and loyalty for Choice Hotels.
"Our relationship with buuteeq provides our franchisees access to leading-edge tools that can enable them to strengthen their online presence and facilitate the booking experience for guests," McDowell added.
More than 25 Choice franchisees have already launched property-level websites through a pilot version of the program. The formal Digital Direct Program that buuteeq custom-designed for Choice Hotels will be available to all the 5,000 Choice brand hotels in the United States beginning May 14 and will become available for international properties later this year.
"Working with the new platform could not have been easier," said Sam Patel, owner of the Comfort Inn North Knoxville, and one of the franchisees who participated in the pilot program. "We were able to launch our new website in less than a week, from start to finish. Having a great-looking new website and full control over my online marketing, I believe, will put my hotel way ahead of the local competition."
Choice Hotels and buuteeq crafted Digital Direct subscription tiers to serve a wide breadth of marketing needs of Choice Hotels franchisees, ranging from jumpstarting the online presence of entrepreneurial properties to supporting savvy marketers looking to boost an already robust digital footprint.
"As the provider of the leading digital marketing system for hotels, buuteeq is thrilled to be working with Choice Hotels to help keep their brand at the forefront of technology in the hospitality sector," said buuteeq CEO Forest Key. "The Digital Direct Program provides the opportunity for a much needed direct marketing benefit to Choice Hotels franchisees. Plus, with each property site that goes live, the Choice Hotels footprint on the Internet grows."
About Choice Hotels Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchises over 6,200 hotels, representing more than 500,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 other countries and territories. As of March 31, 2013, 395 hotels, representing more than 30,000 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States. Additionally, 81 hotels, representing approximately 7,000 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in more than 20 other countries and territories. The company's Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands, as well as its Ascend Hotel Collection membership program, serve guests worldwide.
Additional corporate information can be found on the Choice Hotels International, Inc. web site, which may be accessed at www.choicehotels.com.
Choice Hotels, Choice Hotels International, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, and Ascend Hotel Collection are proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International.
© 2013 Choice Hotels International, Inc. All rights reserved.
About buuteeq buuteeq is the world's first Digital Marketing System (DMS) for hotels. Its offerings fuse technology ingenuity with online marketing savvy to improve a hotel's presence on the web, mobile devices, and social channels, driving direct engagement with prospective guests that leads to higher hotel occupancy and reduced booking fees. buuteeq's Cloud DMS includes a content management system, multi-channel digital marketing, content publishing, integrated business intelligence and the ability to leverage a property's existing Central Reservation and Property Management Systems. More than 4,000 hotels worldwide have adopted buuteeq's solutions since the company's public launch in January 2011. www.buuteeq.com
SOURCE Choice Hotels International, Inc.