Choice Hotels launches technology arm

US: Choice Hotels International has launched SkyTouch Technology, a new division that develops and markets cloud-based technology for hoteliers.

The SkyTouch Hotel OS product “draws on the success of choiceADVANTAGE to offer chain and independent hotels a proven, cloud-based property and rate management system” for handling reservations, guest stays and rates on any device with an internet connection.

Choice says that choiceADVANTAGE has become the most widely used cloud-based property management system in the world, with more than 5,500 successful installations in Choice-branded hotels worldwide. SkyTouch Hotel OS offers many of the same functions of the choiceADVANTAGE property and rate management platform, as well as the ability to connect with other systems used by chain and independent hotels.

Stephen Joyce, president and chief executive officer of Choice Hotels International, said: “Since its introduction by Choice Hotels in 2003, choiceADVANTAGE has set the industry standard for ease-of-use, functionality and affordability. choiceADVANTAGE has been so effective for Choice franchisees that other hoteliers, including chains and independents around the world, have asked to use it. It’s a big milestone for the company that we can now offer a similar system via SkyTouch Hotel OS. Choice has made significant financial and strategic investments in a broad range of technologies – from emerging mobile platforms to central reservation system delivery – that play to the company’s franchising strengths. Those investments have positioned Choice to plant the seeds of new initiatives and accelerate the pace of innovation. We believe that launching SkyTouch Technology as a separate line of business apart from our core hotel franchising operations gives the division the independence it needs to offer custom solutions and high levels of support, service and security to all its users.”

Ric Leutwyler will lead SkyTouch Technology as division president. He said: “The industry is looking for affordable, full-featured, above-property solutions that offer proven performance and reliability,” said Leutwyler. “Choice Hotels identified that gap and filled it for its franchised hotels when it developed choiceADVANTAGE. Now the company has created SkyTouch to fill it for chains and independents. Thanks to Choice’s long history of successful technology innovation and the experienced team that joins the SkyTouch Technology division from other divisions of Choice, we’re ready to hit the ground running and immediately provide solutions that hotel operators need without the investment required by other software packages.”

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