Choice Hotels Asia-Pac CEO Trent Fraser

Direct online bookings have averaged over the last three months of 2020 at a 65% improvement on the corresponding year, Choice Hotels Asia-Pac has announced.

According to booking data, the company said the figures – which also saw a 65% increase in website visits and 70% for the month of December alone – were a welcome beam of light in an otherwise dark year for the company and wider accommodation industry due to the impact of COVID-19.

The franchise company says its strategy to maintain market presence and visibility with digital advertising as movement restrictions began to ease resonated with travellers and helped in its achievement.

Comfort Inn City Centre Armidale has helped boost the regional network for Choice Hotels.

Choice Hotels Asia-Pac CEO, Trent Fraser, said 2020 was a year like no other but that the outlook for 2021 was encouraging.

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,” Fraser added.

Backed by the success of its direct booking channel, the company has undertaken a departmental restructure which has seen the creation of a Revenue Generation Unit, led by the newly promoted Senior Director of Strategy, Sales and Marketing, Kari Hunter. This will be supported by a Franchise Performance Unit led by Director of Performance and Revenue Management, Anthony Stanley.

Choice Hotels saw great success in its direct booking channels in the latter stages of 2020.

A number of additional senior appointments have been made to bolster the company’s sales and development channels, including:

  • Cameron Burke – Director of Investor and Portfolio Growth
  • Michael Thomas – Procurement Manager
  • Katie Cage – Manager Loyalty and Campaigns
  • Benjamin Ferry – Revenue Manager
  • Daniel Griffiths – Revenue Manager

“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,” Fraser said.