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Microtel Inns & Suites and World Congress & Expo on Disabilities

Jan 3, 2005


Microtel Inns & Suites and World Congress & Expo on Disabilities Announce Results of Joint ‘Survey of Travelers with Disabilities’

ATLANTA (Dec. 20, 2004) – Microtel Inns & Suites, the all-newly constructed chain of budget/ economy hotels, and the World Congress & Exposition on Disabilities (WCD) have announced the results of their jointly-sponsored ‘Survey of Travelers with Disabilities.’ The survey was conducted at the WCD Expo earlier this year in order to expand initiatives to educate the industry about the needs of travelers with disabilities, and to encourage hotels to better serve this market.

The majority of respondents took several trips a year, traveled by car (several used a van) to destinations around the U.S., and had disabilities requiring the use of a wheelchair. More than one third of participants booked their hotel accommodations via the web, followed by calling the toll-free number or contacting the hotel directly. Nearly 100 WCD attendees responded to the survey.

When asked about their experience when staying at hotels in general, following are highlights:

· “How can hotels improve service levels or services offered to make your stay more enjoyable?” Respondents said, ‘by being more service-oriented’ and ‘by having more room to maneuver easily.’ Several also indicated, ‘by being more sensitive to the needs of the disabled, and more understanding about their needs.’

· “In addition to those items required by the ADA, what would make your hotel stay more comfortable?” Several respondents again mentioned the ‘need for more space’ and also ‘an accessible bathroom that includes a roll-in shower.’

· “What influences your decision on where to stay?” Respondents indicated that ‘hotel rates’ were most important, followed by ‘those ADA features offered,’ ‘helpful employees,’ and the ‘type of room.’

· “Do you require an open bed frame?” More than two-thirds of respondents did not.

“We are excited to join with WCD Expo to gain valuable insight from our disabled travelers relative to their travel needs,” said Roy E. Flora, senior vice president, franchise operations of U.S. Franchise Systems, Inc. (USFS), parent company of the franchisor of the Microtel Inns & Suites brand. “We are especially pleased to know that the disability etiquette training implemented in all Microtel hotels is consistent with the expectations expressed by the respondents to the survey.”

Microtel Inns & Suites is the only budget hotel chain to implement the training program known as Opening Doors® systemwide. Opening Doors®, developed by W.C. Duke Associates of Woodford, Va., is a value-added training tool used to enhance the chain’s customer service initiatives, so that staff can practice “attitude accessibility.” Opening Doors® emphasizes disability etiquette skills training that includes interactive activities and role playing using wheelchairs, blindfolds, earplugs and taped hands so employees can practice how to service customers with disabilities. For more information, visit

www.wcduke.com.more…/Microtel Inns & Suites - WCD Expo Survey Results…2/


With approximately 20% of our nation's population living each day with a disability, the WCD Foundation provides support to children and adults with disabilities and their families in the U.S. and worldwide. From pediatrics to geriatrics, some of the most important issues and topics in the disability arena are presented via the annual World Congress and Exposition on Disabilities. Next year’s event will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pa., from Dec. 1 to 3, 2005.
For more information, visit http://www.wcdexpo.com.

Microtel Inns & Suites is committed to addressing the needs of all its guests, and has made great strides in accommodating travelers with disabilities. The brand offers three ADA-room designs (single queen,
double queen, and suite) throughout the chain, and a consistency of services to fit guests’ needs. Microtel Inns & Suites is a sponsor of The Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH).

For the third consecutive year, Microtel Inns & Suites has been ranked highest in guest satisfaction among economy/budget hotel chains by J.D. Power and Associates. All hotels offer complimentary continental breakfast, and members of the free MicroPass™ frequent guest program earn a free night’s stay after just nine night stays at any location. Microtel has raised the bar on the scope of value and amenities that hotels offer guests, with all properties soon to provide free local and free long distance phone calls, and free wireless high speed Internet access in every guestroom. There are currently 273 Microtel hotels open or under construction worldwide. For reservations, contact 1-888-771-7171 toll-free, or visit Microtel online at http://www.microtelinn.com. All Microtel hotels are independently owned and operated.

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Contacts:
Barbara Wiener-Fischhof
US Franchise Systems, Inc.
Corporate Communications
(404) 235-7400
barbara.wiener.fischhof@usfsi.com

William Schwaninger
President
WCD Expo, Inc.
201) 226-1446
bill@wcdexpo.com