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Choice Hotels reveals the top findings from its annual summer poll of American leisure and business travelers 

ROCKVILLE, Md., June 30, 2016 -- With gas prices down and more money in the pockets of Americans, Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world's largest hotel companies, reveals the findings from its annual summer travel survey, which tracks the travel habits of American leisure and business travelers.

Here's what Americans are considering when making their summer travel trip plans:

Leisure travelers are out in force.

  • Loyalty programs drive trip decisions. Almost two-thirds (61%) of travelers say that loyalty programs and points impact where they choose to stay on vacation. And 57% say they save up all their hotel loyalty points to use toward a summer vacation.
     
  • Road trips are in. 72% of travelers are going by car this summer – road tripping to their destinations.
     
  • Doing it for the Instagram. Almost one in 10 travelers say their summer travels are motivated by the opportunity to brag to friends and family on social media.
     
  • Mighty maids. Almost half (42%) of travelers like to stay in a hotel during the summer because they don't have to clean the bathroom.
     
  • Cuba in the pipeline. 58% of Americans say they are likely to visit Cuba once the travel embargo lifts, however 42% say they would not visit in the first year.
     

American travelers are having a hard time getting away from work.

  • Loyalty points in the bank. Almost half of American travelers (44%) have a lot of hotel loyalty points stashed up, but no time to use them.
     
  • Work. Work. Work. Work. Play. Three in five (62%) business travelers add leisure vacations onto their business trips.
     
  • Kids? What kids? Nearly seven in ten (69%) business travelers extend their business trips with leisure time as a way to have free time away from their spouse and/or kids.
     

Travel Archetypes
The survey also uncovered different travel personality archetypes of American travelers, who they enjoy travelling with, and who they can't stand traveling with.

  • Experience Travelers (26%): These travelers are all about the experience and activities while traveling. It's about the journey, not the destination, for these adventurers.
     
    • Who they enjoy traveling with: Experience, Local, Nature
    • Who they can't stand traveling with: Control Freaks, Luxury, Social
       
  • Budget Travelers (19%): While these travelers may not get everything on their wish list, they maximize their opportunities within their budget.
     
    • Who they enjoy traveling with: Budget, Experience, Local
    • Who they can't stand traveling with: Control Freaks, Luxury, Social
       
  • Luxury Travelers (16%): These Americans like high-end vacations, with luxury treatment from start to finish, from dining at the best restaurants to shopping at the high end stores.
     
    • Who they enjoy traveling with: Luxury, Experience, Social
    • Who they can't stand: Luxury, Control Freaks, Budget
       
  • Nature Travelers (9%): Exploring the outdoors and having nature experiences like camping while traveling is what these travelers prefer.
     
    • Who they enjoy traveling with: Nature, Experience, Local
    • Who they can't stand: Control Freaks, Social, Nature
       
  • Local Travelers (9%): Authentic experiences and steering away from tourist traps drive these travelers. Going off the beaten path to explore hidden gems that locals hold as best kept secrets makes for a great trip.
     
    • Who they enjoy traveling with: Local, Experience, Social
    • Who they can't stand: Control Freaks, Luxury, Social
       
  • Social Travelers (8%): It's all about beefing up their social media game for these travelers. They travel for social media bragging rights.
     
    • Who they enjoy traveling with: Social, Experience, Local
    • Who they can't stand: Control Freaks, Budget, Social
       
  • History Travelers (7%): These adventurers seek out trips that have rich history to experience and explore. They love standing where famous people once stood and integrating themselves into the culture.
     
    • Who they enjoy traveling with: History, Experience, Local
    • Who they can't stand: Control Freaks, Social, History
       
  • Control Freak Travelers (6%): Organizing and planning every detail of the trip is what these travelers live by. And when things don't go according to plan, the stress kicks in.
    • Who they enjoy traveling with: Control Freaks, Luxury, Experience
    • Who they can't stand: Control Freaks, Luxury and Local
       

"As we swing into the summer travel months, Choice is here to help travelers go from work to play. American travelers are finding it difficult to make that work/life balance distinction which gives us a great opportunity to help make the transition from business to leisure traveler convenient," said Pat Pacious, President and COO, Choice Hotels. "With three in five business travelers saying their only vacations are when they tack on leisure trips to their business endeavors, brands like Choice work hard to offer the best of both worlds at our properties from business centers and free WiFi to craft beer bars and properties in key vacation destinations."

Survey Methodology
Research findings are based on a survey fielded in the United States in March 2016. For this survey, 1,000 adults 18+ who have traveled in the past year for leisure were asked about their thoughts regarding various aspects of travel and specifically summer travel. Of the 1,000 leisure travelers, those who had traveled for business in the past year were also asked a series of questions. The survey was completed through Lightspeed GMI's double opted-in panelists who have registered to participate in online surveys. 

About Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) is one of the world's largest lodging companies. With more than 6,400 hotels franchised in more than 40 countries and territories, Choice Hotels International® represents more than 500,000 rooms around the globe. As of March 31, 2016, 685 hotels were in our development pipeline. Our company's Ascend Hotel Collection®, Cambria® hotels & suites, Comfort Inn®, Comfort Suites®, Sleep Inn®, Quality®, Clarion®, MainStay Suites®, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel®, Econo Lodge®, Rodeway Inn® and Vacation Rentals by Choice Hotels™ brands provide a spectrum of lodging choices to meet guests' needs. With more than 26 million members and counting, our Choice Privileges® rewards program enhances every trip a guest takes, with benefits ranging from instant, every day rewards to exceptional experiences, starting right when they join.  All hotels and vacation rentals are independently owned and operated. Visit us at www.choicehotels.com for more information.

Contact: Scott Carman

scott_carman@choicehotels.com / 301-592-6361

About Lightspeed GMI

Lightspeed GMI is an award-winning global digital data collection enterprise. Founded in 1996, its innovative technology and proven sampling methodologies deliver operational excellence throughout the online research process. With more than 5.5 million online research respondents in 40+ countries, Lightspeed GMI's proprietary panels deliver unparalleled quality, capacity and targeting.

Headquartered in Warren, New Jersey, Lightspeed GMI is part of Kantar, the data investment management division of WPP, the world leader in marketing communication services. For more information, visit www.lightspeedgmi.com.

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