Choice Hotels Launches Franchisee Focused Group for Black Hoteliers

Choice Hotels has relentlessly kept its longstanding pledge to promote diversity in the last fifteen years through its Emerging Market program. The group made yet another commitment in December 2020, following the launch of Choice Hotels Owners African American Alliance (CHOAAA). This has become the industry’s first franchisee-group that is committed to supporting Black hoteliers.

“The racial and social inequality challenges facing our nation and industry have moved us as a company to do more, building on the work we’ve been committed to for decades,” said Patrick Pacious, President and CEO of Choice Hotels, in a statement.

As part of its commitment to supporting Black hoteliers, the CHOAAA will provide beneficiaries with significant representation, support, and advocacy for these underserved and underrepresented entrepreneurs. The organization’s objectives are as follows:

  • Ensuring that Black and African owners are fully engaged in all the benefits associated with owning Choice-brand hotels.

  • Incorporating Black and African American owners, hotel employees, and vendors fully into the Choice Hotels system.

  • Collaborating and recognizing the importance of Blacks and African Americans in the overall success of the Company.

  • Advising Choice leadership in areas such as communication, innovation, ideation, creativity, and decision making.

The regional VP of Emerging Markets, Franchise Development and Owner Relationships, John Lancaster told Black Enterprise that the aim of the Emerging Markets program is to assist minorities with the necessary application and ownership process required to become an owner.

“Creating CHOAAA further underscores our commitment to support and advocacy, Lancaster said. “It tells potential owners that by coming into Choice you’ll be in business for yourself, but not by yourself. It provides African Americans an opportunity to engage with executives on key initiatives and make their voices heard. We are here with you every step of the way.”

According to statistics from the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD), as of May 2020, there were 57,466 hotels in the US, but less than 1% of the number are owned by African Americans and Latinx: 1,000 and 500, respectively. Choice says it is committed to seeing that the numbers increase significantly. So far, Choice has awarded over 250 franchise agreements to its beneficiaries.

“We’re here to educate and provide opportunities. While the financial capital can be challenging, it’s something that can be solved. Often times, it’s the intellectual capital that’s the real challenge for new and existing owners and what we hope to resolve through CHOAAA,” said Lancaster.

In addition to its diversity enhancement programs and group, Choice Hotels said it has ongoing plans to introduce a hospitality internship programs at HBCUs which is set to start this year. The organization’s commitment to diversity in the hotel industry has placed it in the lead position in closing the racial gaps that exist in the industry.

“As the only lodging company with a team dedicated exclusively to growing a diverse franchisee base, we take great pride in our history of inclusion. However, we recognize there is always room to do more. The creation of CHOAAA is a vital step towards achieving our vision,” Lancaster said in a statement.”

For more information about the CHOAAA and the Choice Hotels Emerging Markets program, visit:

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