Choice Hotels launches vacation rental business

Choice Hotels International is entering the vacation home rental industry, launching Vacation Rentals by Choice Hotels, which is forming selective relationships with vacation rental management companies.

Choice is launching the new service in eight U.S. locations, including three in Florida – Orlando, Destin and Panama City Beach; Williamsburg and Shenandoah in Virginia; Aspen, Colorado; Phoenix, Arizona; and Big Bear Lake, California. The initial Vacation Rentals by Choice Hotels members include Magical Memories, Sterling Resorts and Bluegreen Resorts. Choice expects to rapidly add locations and management company members in 2016.

Choice will offer customer reviews, detailed descriptions and images of each property to help build confidence and transparency. The program will also be integrated with the Choice Privileges rewards program and offer benefits for consumers, homeowners and management companies.

“Choice Hotels has a 75 year history dedicated to connecting the world through the power of hospitality,” said Choice Hotels CEO Stephen Joyce. “We are drawing on that heritage to become the first hotel brand to partner with local vacation rental management companies to help ease the uncertainty and inconsistency associated with the vacation rental industry.

“We’ve seen strong demand from vacation rental managers for distribution, branding and technology solutions, and at the same time, we’ve had increasing demand from consumers who desire longer term stays and larger accommodations with the amenities of home.”

Choice said in its statement that the vacation rentals market is a US$23 billion market in the United States and is dominated by distribution companies that commonly offer peer-to-peer connections between consumers and individual property owners. Choice said its model is different, relying instead on relationships with property management companies who can offer quality products and services to consumers.