|As our readers have acknowledged, Best Western International grabs the trophy this year for Best Resort/Hotel Chain for Value, but what they might not be aware of is the tremendous growth the company has enjoyed over the last several years, both here and around the world.|
“Best Western’s distribution is unrivalled and continues to grow. We have over 4,000 hotels globally, including 2,200 in North America, 1,600 in Europe and 300 in Asia. Our individual hotel owner-operators have the ability to ensure each property reflects local culture and standards,” says Wendy Ferrill, Best Western International’s managing director, worldwide sales. “This means that there is great diversity in our portfolio, a tremendous strength provided that give agents and guests a way to find the right hotel for each stay. That’s why we introduced three descriptors in 2010—Best Western [midscale], Best Western Plus [upper midscale] and Best Western Premier [upscale]—and are now rolling them out globally. It was a huge priority for us to make sure that our travel agent partners had a chance to learn about the descriptors prior to the general public.”
Ferrill also points out that brands must evolve and listen to their customers if they want to stay relevant in the marketplace. “As I mentioned, our travel professional partners and guests told us that we needed to make it easier for them to find and book the right Best Western hotel from our diverse portfolio. That’s why we introduced these three new tags for Best Western hotels.”
Ferrill says the difference between these types is as much about expected service as physical product. For example, she explains, “Best Western hotels carry our promise of service and great value, for a clean, comfortable stay. In addition to everything offered at a Best Western, Best Western Plus hotels have contemporary furniture and spacious rooms, with upgraded bedding and special bath amenities. We currently have more than 800 Best Western Plus hotels in North America, and will have 100 in other global destinations. Best Western Premier hotels offer guests a luxurious experience at the right price. These hotels have a ‘wow’ factor. All furnishings, amenities and facilities are highest quality, with larger fitness rooms, meeting space and onsite dining, as well as personalized guest services.
“Currently, we have 15 Best Western Premier hotels in North America, with dozens more in the development pipeline. Internationally, we have 100 Best Western Premier hotels, with most located in Europe and Asia.”
In terms of its Best Resort/Hotel Chain for Value award, Ferrill says, “We’re thrilled that Recommend’s readers have recognized Best Western with this honor. We pride ourselves on providing extraordinary value and service to travelers, and we cannot do so without high, wide and deep relationships with travel agents. Our job is to make sure agents have the tools they need to succeed, and to feel great about recommending our brand. A big part of that is ensuring that agents know all the ways Best Western provides guests with more for every dollar—free Internet, parking and breakfast typically included, and our global Best Western Rewards program, which gets folks to that free night faster.”