Driven largely by so-called blue collar business travel, Choice
Hotels International's corporate demand stayed the course in 2022, further
bolstering the leisure-focused company as it had throughout the pandemic. In
the company’s third-quarter earnings call, Choice executives said the brands
had seen “historic levels” of business travel, accounting for nearly 30 percent of stays in
It was on that backdrop that Choice CEO Patrick Pacious landed
one of the largest hotel industry deals this year, acquiring Radisson Hotel
Group Americas for $675 million from Chinese conglomerate Jin Jiang
International. Jin Jiang had purchased Radisson from Carlson Rezidor in 2016
and initially ran the Americas business unit but split the company into two
operating systems in 2021, under pressure from the U.S. government to protect
U.S. consumer data from the Chinese operation. Ultimately, the company opted to
get out of the Americas business.
The deal, which closed in August, moved approximately 67,000
rooms in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean to Choice’s portfolio
and instantly extended the company’s business travel strategy by
establishing a presence in the upper-upscale segment with properties like
Radisson Blu and Radisson Red along with the upscale Radisson and boutique
"lifestyle" brand Radisson Individuals.
The acquisition also will extend Choice’s footprint in the
midscale tier, with the vast majority of the acquired portfolio flying the
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson and Park Inn by Radisson flags.
Choice’s growth strategy also was evident this year through
Cambria openings in key markets, WoodSpring Suites’ expansion and a 21-hotel
development deal for midscale extended-stay brand Everhome Suites, which
debuted its first property this year after the company announced the brand in
Pacious expects momentum will continue, with “tailwinds from
business travelers,” whose business the company is clearly courting with a
targeted, but aggressive, growth strategy.