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Choice Hotels International, one of the world’s largest hotel franchisors, has promoted Abhijit Patel to Vice President of Marketing and Distribution Strategy and Operations. In this role, Patel will oversee the company’s marketing and distribution functions, including property management systems, third-party distribution channels, and vendor relationships to increase revenue and improve performance and profitability for franchisees. He will also work closely with Choice’s technology and business intelligence organizations to refine booking and shopping functionality, mobile evolution, and loyalty contribution.
“At Choice Hotels, we excel at creating best-in-class resources and staying ahead of evolving customer preferences to improve revenue for our owners,” says Robert McDowell, Chief Commercial Officer at Choice Hotels. “Abhijit is an innovative leader with extensive industry experience and knowledge of the changing distribution landscape, making this promotion well deserved. His solutions-driven approach will enable our team to continue improving our franchisees’ bottom line while ensuring Choice remains at the forefront of technology in the hospitality and franchising sectors.”
Patel joined Choice Hotels in 2015 as Director of Business Planning and, throughout his tenure, has held roles of increasing responsibility. Immediately prior to his promotion, Patel served as Senior Director of Product Management and Operations, where he led the implementation of new products and technology initiatives to fuel midweek business across the Choice portfolio.
The brand, which dates back to 1939, runs over 6,800 hotels in over 35 countries. It is currently based in Rockville, Maryland. The company is known for its Choice Privileges loyalty program, which offers members benefits ranging from everyday rewards to “exceptional experiences.”
The Choice family of hotel brands provides business and leisure travelers with a range of lodging options from limited service to full-service hotels in the upscale, midscale, extended-stay, and economy segments.
The company owns the hotel and motel brands Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Hotel & Suites, Mainstay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, and Ascend Hotel Collection.
Choice has a sizable tech department and is focused on innovation. According to the company’s website, it is “revolutionizing hospitality with cloud computing, AWS, big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and mobile application development.” Furthermore, the company “fosters a culture where innovation is welcome, disruptive thinking is encouraged, and sharing ideas is constant.”
Before arriving at Choice, Patel supported global marketing at Mars Drinks, a division of Mars Inc., where he helped evolve the company’s merchandising strategy to improve customer experience and brand awareness. Earlier in his career, he held various positions at GEICO. Patel earned a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland.
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