MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — “I’m charged up,” is the slogan at Choice Hotels Canada’s fall conference, which is bringing together more than 200 franchisees from across Canada to the Hilton Toronto Airport hotel this week to attend education and marketing sessions.

In the conference’s opening session, Tim Oldfield, managing director, Franchise Performance for Choice Hotels Canada, congratulated his group of franchisees on generating a bump in room nights. “So far this year we’ve delivered over 900,000 room nights, an incredible 113,000 more than last year,” he said, adding that “GIS scores are higher than ever before, and, although we saw the expected dips in the likelihood to recommend scores (LTR)s during the summer months, strong staff service and our overall experience scores have really come up.” He also honoured franchisees for recognizing elite members, naming the Quality Inn & Suites in Victoriaville, Que., the Comfort Inn in Parry Sound, Ont., and the Comfort Inn in Gatineau, Que.

Oldfield continued on to explain how the company upped its game this year, spending $1 million in advertising this summer. The money was used to advertise in various mediums and to launch a campaign with the National Post. In addition, this year the company partnered with RoomKey.com, an online travel agency, which has received more than 14-million unique visitors.

The second half of the opening session gave franchisees an industry overview. Brian Leon, managing director, Franchise Growth and Administration, reviewed Canada’s economic environment as it pertains to franchise growth, emphasizing that this year, the company has 54 hotels under construction and expects to open 36. He predicted Ontario will lead the way in hotel openings through 2014 and sees growth in extended-stay and luxury brands.

To wrap up the opening session, Choice Hotels welcomed Bobby Bowers, SVP of Operations of the Nashville-based Smith Travel Research, to the stage to give an in-depth look at the Canadian lodging industry.

The conference wraps, today, Oct. 4.

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