Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) , one of the world's leading lodging franchisors, has been selected as one of the top 50 franchises for minorities by the National Minority Franchising Initiative (NMFI), an organization which serves to expand the number of minorities in franchising, for the third consecutive year. According to NMFI's official selections, recently published in the annual USA Today - Franchising Today, Choice Hotels was yet again chosen based on the company's continued commitment to the recruitment and advancement of minorities within the Choice Hotels system and the hospitality industry overall.
"We are extremely honored to receive this recognition for the third consecutive year," said Brian Parker, vice president of emerging markets and new business development for Choice Hotels. "Diversity and inclusion is vital to our organization's success and long-term growth therefore we are fully committed to the recruitment, development, and retention of our minority franchisees."
Reviewed among hundreds of other franchising companies, the NMFI chose Choice Hotels as one of its elite 50 organizations based on the company's overall minority recruitment program, the percentage of minority franchisees currently within the Choice Hotels system, and the percentage of minorities in key positions within corporate management. Other selection factors utilized by the NMFI in their selection process included market dynamics, franchisee satisfaction, brand identification, on-going support, financial stability and historical performance.
"We are extremely pleased to see that, even in this poor economy, so many franchisors still have an active interest in attracting more minority franchisees," said NMFI Co-Founder Rob Bond. "Given this huge underserved market, there is still a great deal of work that has to be done to bring minorities up to parity with the market."
Giving Choice Hotels its edge over the competition was the company's emerging markets and new business development team, which has worked to steadily increase the number of minority Choice Hotels franchisees over the past few years. The ongoing progress of this group is due in part to its number of successful initiatives, including a minority incentive program for new franchisees and a dedicated recruitment website.
Reflective of the company's recent strides in minority recruitment is the creation and growth of the Choice Hotels African American Owners Alliance and the Choice Hotels Hispanic Owners Alliance - franchisee-lead organizations designed to provide additional support for franchisees, serving as a forum to share knowledge and best practices, and a platform for recruiting new minority business owners into the Choice system.
The full list of NMFI's Top 50 Franchises for Minorities was published in the October 2, 2009 issue of USA Today - Franchising Today. For more information on Choice Hotels and its emerging markets division, please visit www.choicehotelsfranchise.com/emerging_markets/.
About Choice Hotels
As of June 30, 2009, Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchised more than 5,900 hotels, representing more than 479,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 other countries and territories. On September 22, 2009, the company announced it had opened its 6,000th franchised property. As of June 30, 2009, more than 800 hotels are under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States, representing more than 64,000 rooms, and an additional 110 hotels, representing approximately 8,700 rooms, are under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in more than 15 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 serve guests worldwide. In addition, via its Ascend Collection membership program, travelers in the United States and the Caribbean have upscale lodging options at historic, boutique and unique hotels.
Additional corporate information may be found on the Choice Hotels International, Inc. Web site, which may be accessed at www.choicehotels.com.