Choice Hotels Opens Clarion Hotel The Hub in Oslo, Norway, Marking Largest Hotel in Portfolio

USA, Rockville, Maryland. April 30, 2019

Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) is pleased to announce the opening of the largest hotel in its portfolio - the Clarion Hotel The Hub in Oslo, Norway. The hotel offers 810 rooms, unique design, two bars, and a premium rooftop restaurant with stunning views in the heart of Norway's capital city.

"Clarion Hotel The Hub is a destination for those seeking creativity, inspiration, and enriching experiences in the center of Oslo. This is the largest hotel in the city, but it still curates a warm atmosphere, with people who are passionate about diversity, sustainability and going the extra mile for guests," said the hotel's General Manager Andre Schreiner.

Sustainability in its DNA Sustainability is an important part of the property's profile, as evidenced by its selection of energy efficient materials, systems and daily operations. For example, the hotel is the first in the Nordic region to use smart elevators. It is also home to the biggest rooftop meadow in Scandinavia, encompassing 200 square meters, which has been named GrowHub; the vegetables, herbs and edible flowers from the meadow are incorporated into the Clarion Hotel The Hub's food and beverage offerings.

A living collection of art and culture

Thoughtful design, art and architecture differentiate the Clarion Hotel The Hub. Prior to opening, the hotel collaborated with art curator Sune Nordgren to source artwork from numerous renowned artists including Hamish Fulton, Eric & Heater ChanSchatz and Anne Karin Furunes. The artwork is displayed on the hotel's walls and ceilings and enjoyed by both guests and community members. The hotel also entered an agreement with the Munch Museum to collaborate on future art exhibitions and events, and the hotel lobby houses a library as part of its relationship with Deichmanske Folkebibliotek (the Oslo Public Library). The library features local authors and stories that celebrate Oslo's art, culture, design, history or daily life.

The Clarion Hotel The Hub is one of 20 Clarion hotels open in Scandinavia, all of which are owned by Nordic Choice, Choice's Master Partner in the Scandinavian region who develops, markets and supports Choice's brands in their territories. They currently own, manage or franchise more than 180 properties representing more than 30,000 rooms. Their portfolio consists of Comfort, Quality, Clarion and Ascend Hotel Collection-branded hotels, and the company has plans to open several other hotels under the Choice Hotels umbrella throughout the region in the next year.

"Our focus has always been forging long-term relationships with high-quality developers and operators to grow our international footprint through proven brands," said Mark Pearce, senior vice president, international division, Choice Hotels. "We've been fortunate to work closely with Nordic Choice for many years to bring several outstanding hotels to fruition, and we know the Clarion Hotel The Hub - a true jewel in our family of Choice Hotels - is yet another outstanding addition to the Scandinavian market."

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.