Choice sees Europe as absolute key to global growth
 
Choice sees Europe as absolute key to global growth
23 JUNE 2017 8:38 AM

In response to comments that questioned its growth ambitions in Europe, a Choice executive gave some details on the company’s development plans on the continent.

AMSTERDAM—Choice Hotels International has seen recent substantial growth in Europe and has further plans to develop on the continent, according to one of the company’s top global executives.

“Choice is very focused on increasing our European footprint. In fact, international growth is one of our company’s key strategic growth opportunities,” said Mark Pearce, SVP, international division, Choice Hotels International, via email.

Pearce outlined Choice’s development goals in Europe in response to a recent video published on Hotel News Now featuring Torgeir Silseth, CEO of Nordic Choice Hotels, who said he had concerns about the speed of Choice’s growth on the continent. Nordic Choice has a master franchise agreement with Choice Hotels International to develop the Choice’s brands in the Nordic region.

Pearce said Choice has made meaningful and ambitious strides into the rest of Europe.

“We currently have 408 hotels open in Europe with 51,406 rooms, an increase of 4,341 rooms over the past two years,” he said. “Our growth strategy continues to focus on larger, more profitable and high-quality hotels in key markets to enhance our progress in the region.”

Choice also has recently restructured as part of a pan-European approach, Pearce said, and that key executive roles were added.

“These changes have already returned positive results with agreements in new markets, like Austria, Belgium and Hungary,” he said. “Recent strategic partnerships include Star Inn, which has already added nearly 2,400 rooms in the last 15 months, and new-build Comfort expansion across key German markets, totaling 648 rooms.”

Star Inn is a Choice brand in Austria and Germany with a dozen open properties. Choice has assets in 11 European countries, not including the six countries where Nordic Choice represents them.

Last December, Choice signed a multidevelopment agreement with GVK Enterprises to enter Greece with five properties, including a Comfort hotel in Athens, which will open this summer.

“The European pipeline is very strong and will continue to grow in key markets,” Pearce said.

Nordic Choice Hotels has 190 hotels, all of which are in the Nordics, with the exception of two properties in Latvia and Lithuania.

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