ROCKVILLE, Md., April 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The integration of technology and community outreach has earned Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world's largest hotel companies, a prestigious distinction. Hospitality Technology Magazine has honored Choice Hotels with a 2013 Visionary Award for utilizing its industry leading choiceADVANTAGE web-based technology platform to redistribute AMBER Alerts to help in the search for abducted children. The Visionary Award recognizes companies that are taking creative approaches to innovation and are leveraging technology in compelling ways.
The AMBER Alert Program is designed to quickly galvanize the public in the search for an abducted child by providing information about the child, their potential abductor, and any vehicle that may have been used in the abduction. The U.S. Department of Justice coordinates the AMBER Alert program on a national level and has asked the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to develop a network of secondary distributors with the ability to help deliver the alerts to a larger audience. Working with NCMEC as a secondary distributor, Choice Hotels is helping to broaden the reach of the AMBER Alert system. The arrangement allows for AMBER Alert messages to post on the computer screens of choiceADVANTAGE property management system users in the area of active alerts almost as soon as they have been issued by law enforcement and redistributed by NCMEC. Since 2009, when this arrangement began, choiceADVANTAGE has processed more than 600 alerts nationwide.
"The first few minutes are the most critical in finding a missing child. And with the technology Choice Hotels has developed in collaboration with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, we are able to get this information front and center – in near real-time -- at the more than 5,100 Choice Hotels franchised properties where choiceADVANTAGE is used nationwide," said Todd Davis, chief information officer of Choice Hotels International. "It reaches every desktop computer, every laptop in the area of an active AMBER Alert where our franchisees use choiceADVANTAGE. So when they are checking a guest in or out, looking up the housekeeping status of a room or anything else related to managing their hotels, they will see the AMBER Alert and will be able to act if necessary.
AMBER Alerts are successful when an individual or law enforcement recognizes the vehicle, the child, or the abductor from the AMBER Alert and contacts the authorities. Since it was created in 1996, the AMBER Alert program has helped recover 637 abducted children. For more information about the AMBER Alert program, visit www.AMBERAlert.gov.
About Choice Hotels
Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchises approximately 6,200 hotels, representing more than 499,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 other countries and territories. As of December 31, 2012, 394 hotels, representing more than 31,000 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States. Additionally, 88 hotels, representing approximately 7,800 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 at its Ascend Hotel Collection membership program, serve guests worldwide.
Choice Hotels International offers the Choice Privileges® rewards program. With more than 17 million members worldwide, it is one of the fastest growing loyalty programs in the travel industry.
Additional corporate information may be found on the Choice Hotels International, Inc. website, which may be accessed at www.choicehotels.com.
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1984. Designated by Congress to serve as the nation's clearinghouse on issues related to missing and exploited children, the organization operates the toll-free 24-hour national missing children's hotline which has handled more than 3,716,000 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 183,100 children. The organization's CyberTipline has handled more than 1,868,000 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 87,742,000 child pornography images and videos. The organization works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To learn more about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or visit its web site at www.missingkids.com
About Hospitality Technology
Hospitality Technology (HT) is the only publication dedicated to covering the role of information technology in improving business performance for hotel and restaurant operators. The Hospitality Technology editorial portfolio includes: a print publication that publishes nine times annually and reaches more than 16,000 hospitality industry executives, three networking and educational events (MURTEC, Hotel Technology Forum and Restaurant Executive Summit), a comprehensive website, e-newsletters, web seminars, and several exclusive annual reports and studies. Visit Hospitality Technology online at www.htmagazine.com. Hospitality Technology is published by media company Edgell Communications, headquartered in Randolph, N.J.
Choice Hotels, Choice Hotels International, Choice Privileges, 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.
SOURCE Choice Hotels International, Inc.