“At the introduction of the Internet it gave independent hotels the opportunity to be out there for people to find them like they hadn’t done before. So there was this sense that I can be independent and get a lot of the advantages that I didn’t get before unless I joined the system because I didn’t have reach. There was a sense that the Internet provided that reach,” Joyce said recently during a break at Choice’s annual convention. “The difficulty with that now is that the consumer is on such a rapidly moving trend in terms of how they reach the Internet that if you’re an independent hotel you can’t match it.” Joyce pointed to technological advances Choice has made as an example of why joining its franchise system keeps hotels on the forefront and drives additional revenue. “We were the first one that had the iPhone app, and we were downloaded in a million phones before anyone else had one,” he said. “We realized within six months that we were getting a lot of non-PC-based bookings that weren’t coming from the iPhone, they were coming from the iPad. So we had to run and do an iPad app. “And so it’s a lot money,” Joyce continued. “They’re expensive applications, and you can’t do it as an independent hotel.” Get the full story at HotelNewsNow.com