Home' Hotel Management : HM FEB 2017 Contents Best Western Hotels and Resorts has had a remarkable few years leading up to 2017, with
our historic brand refresh, billions of dollars in property improvements, expanding from
one brand to six, and launching our new global digital platform to better connect with our
guests. Our outlook for 2017 centres around driving these major new initiatives which will
provide our guests with better experiences and our member hotels with increased revenues.
Our brand was also the first of its size and scale to launch a virtual reality experience,
which reinvented the way guests view hotels online and set a new industry standard in
the hospitality field. We also significantly added to our global portfolio of hotels with
impressive developments in Asia, Africa and Europe. These initiatives along with many
others have helped shape our brand to meet the needs of today ’s traveller.
Bleisure travel has quickly become a buzzword signifying travellers that combine a business
trip with leisure. We are expecting significant growth from this market segment with most
falling into the 45- to 54-year-old age group. More importantly, the second largest group seems
to be the 25- to 35-year-olds, representing millennials accustomed to a blurred, digital lifestyle.
One of the biggest obstacles we anticipate in 2017 is land costs and construction
costs, which are currently at an all-time high. If interest rates are to increase significantly,
many projects will not pencil out.
Additionally, a significant challenge facing hotel owners is the rising distribution
costs and overdependence on online travel agencies (OTAs). OTAs have increased their
share of total room nights every year, and there have been many mergers and acquisitions
among OTAs leading to a duopoly. This gives them even greater leverage and control –
leading to higher commissions.
The likes of Airbnb continue to bring great concern to the hospitality industry around
the world. While we have no issues with the sharing economy, it is noteworthy that Airbnb
provides the platform for commercial hosts to operate as hotels. These operators skirt
health and safety regulations, zoning ordinances and are not paying their fair share of taxes.
These commercial hosts are creating nuisances for neighbourhoods and are taking away
union jobs. Best Western has been a strong advocate in support of the hotel industry.
Japan is a key area of development, with new Best Western properties having
opened recently in Tokyo and Okinawa, while the Best Western Plus brand is driving
development in The Philippines. In Malaysia, a new Best Western Premier hotel
is coming to the Genting Highlands and a Best Western Plus is rising in Kuching.
Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos are all set for further development.
We’re seeing more regional areas of Australia, New Zealand and Asia starting to
invest in their local airport infrastructure to accommodate longer-haul flights, particularly
from China and their growing middle class market. This will present a huge opportunity
for hotels to capture this increase in inbound tourism as room demand grows quickly.
As it relates to our development objectives for 2017, Best Western will continue to
focus on expanding its presence on a global scale with new property developments and
openings in key emerging markets across the world – particularly Asia.
Thailand will see perhaps the most expansion, as we recently signed a landmark deal
for three hotels in the popular destinations of Pattaya and Hua Hin, comprising more
than 4,000 rooms.
The biggest development for Best Western in 2016 was the addition of new brands,
taking us to six brand offerings for key market segments. Our new tagline is For
Wherever Life Takes You, Best Western Is There, and the addition of these new brands
truly signals this.
In March 2016, Best Western International inked a master franchise agreement with
Delhi-based Sorrel Hospitality. Sorrel is responsible for the brand’s future positioning,
growth and development across India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Our brand’s portfolio
is expected to grow to 50 properties in India over the next few years.
SNAPSHOT: BEST WESTERN
HOTELS AND RESORTS
Number of hotels & rooms (Globally):
3,717 hotels / 295,100 rooms
Number of hotels & rooms (Asia-Pacific):
290 hotels / 25,355 rooms
Number of hotels & rooms (Australia, New Zealand
and South Pacific): 150 hotels / 5,714 rooms
Number of employees (Globally): 1,384
Year first hotel opened (Globally): 1946
Year the company was founded: 1946
Brands in the organisation: Best Western, Best
Western Plus, Best Western Premier, Executive Residency
by Best Western, Vib, BW Premier Collection and Glo
Head office location (Globally): Phoenix, Arizona, USA
We also relaunched our loyalty program in 2016 and
made this programme even stronger and more appealing
to consumers. The programme now boasts over 30 million
members worldwide and is delivering us over USD$2.1
billion in revenue to our membership.
Best Western Hotels and Resorts is aiming to more
than double its Asian inventory in the next 12 months,
with the addition of multiple high-quality hotels,
including many new-builds all across the region. Much
of this expansion will be driven by Best Western’s newest
brand concepts, including Executive Residency – an
extended stay concept as well as Glo, which is a boutique,
lifestyle brand designed for the new generation of tech-
savvy travellers, and BW Premier Collection, a premium
collection of independent upscale hotels.
Best Western has already signed the region’s first ever
BW Premier Collection hotel near the popular Thai
resort town of Pattaya. In addition to this the company
continues to develop its portfolio of midscale Best
Western, upper-midscale Best Western Plus and upscale
Best Western Premier hotels across Asia.
While we are excited about 2017 and optimistic about
the opportunities that lie ahead of us, we are also aware of
the major challenges in the hotel industry at present that
we’ ll need to navigate and overcome.
As we usher in 2017, we are excited about our
industry ’s future and the bright prospects of Best Western
International. The record number of industry awards
and accolades (including 50 HSMAI awards in North
America) that Best Western has won backs up what our
new logo is intended to convey – that Best Western is a
relevant and refreshed brand. We believe our best is yet
President & CEO – Best
Western Hotels and Resorts
Head of Commercial – Best
36 HM The Business of Accommodation
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