As the world’s largest hotel chain and the fastest growing in Asia, Best Western International places great importance on not only keeping in touch with new and emerging trends in the hospitality industry, but in staying at the forefront of these trends as a pioneering force in accommodation in Asia and the Middle East.
The company has identified a growing segment of modern travelers who are more sophisticated and seeking accommodation choices which offer lifestyle options along with the traditional bed and breakfast elements. They are those who want new travel experiences with plenty of value-added offerings. Yet this doesn’t necessarily mean they want to pay top dollar on luxury arrangements, not when today’s mid to upper-range choices are better than ever.
To capture this growing market, the chain plans to launch an entirely new brand of hotels in 2011. Positioned between its existing midscale BEST WESTERN hotels and resorts and the luxury BEST WESTERN PREMIER brands, the new BEST WESTERN PLUS will offer upscale and chic hotels which are modern, stylish, eco-friendly, energetic and lifestyle-oriented all at the same time. Boasting central city locations, they will be targeted at the FIT (Free Independent Traveller) segment both leisure and business-oriented, such as trendy-minded holidaymakers and mid-management executives.
“The BEST WESTERN PLUS brand was designed to offer the characteristics demanded in a hotel by this increasing sector of trendy, yet value-conscious traveler. Synonymous with the Best Western name, these properties will incorporate local charm, design and heritage with comfort and friendly service in strategically chosen locations which enable guests to easily enjoy their destination” said Best Western International’s Vice President of International Operations for Asia and the Middle East, Glenn de Souza.
BEST WESTERN PLUS properties will take their place in Best Western’s ever-growing hotel and resort portfolio. The first property to carry the refined upscale brand is BEST WESTERN PLUS @ 20 in Sukhumvit Soi 20, scheduled to open its door on March 15, 2010.
In line with the strategy to offer guests more lifestyle-oriented elements during their hotel stay, Best Western Premier hotels feature the chain’s very own in-house spa brand Bhuvana My Spa. Designed to further enhance the Best Western Premier luxury experience on offer, these exclusive spas blend the best of Oriental wisdom with modern health knowledge and the healing power of nature in a welcoming, soothing environment. In Thailand, Best Western Premier Signature Pattaya recently opened a Bhuvana My Spa, following the first outlet at Best Western Premier Solo in Indonesia. Ten more locations are to open at selected properties throughout Asia and the Middle East by the end of 2011.
The chain’s international expansion continues with strength, there now being 166 properties across Asia and the Middle East in operation, in the process of rebranding and under construction. That places the chain well on its way to realizing its goal of 300 properties offering 60,000 rooms by 2015. Achieving this will make Best Western Asia’s largest international chain as well as the world’s.
While this expansion is naturally seeing more properties added in existing destinations, it will also see the addition of new exotic destinations to the Best Western portfolio, such as Mauritius, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The Best Western growth is felt everywhere in the region. In Japan, the chain is opening its 14th property, which makes Best Western the second largest international brand and the fastest growing brand. In addition, the largest hotel group is already the biggest chain in both Malaysia and South Korea’s capital Seoul. On a global scale, tophotelchains.com in 2010 ranked Best Western as having the most number of rooms worldwide, with over 309,000 rooms at 4,000 hotels and resorts in 80 countries – over 69,000 rooms more than the second placed chain.
In Thailand, Best Western International currently operates 11 hotels and resorts in Bangkok, Samui, Krabi, Pattaya and Phuket. Due to open within the next six months are another three new properties – BEST WESTERN Bangkok Hiptique in Sukhumvit Soi 13, BEST WESTERN PLUS @ 20 in Sukhumvit Soi 20 and BEST WESTERN Phangan Resort in Koh Phangan, adding wider choices to one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations.
Yet in tandem with Best Western’s expansion in number of properties, comes a commitment to quality and the need for each hotel to meet the chain’s product and service requirements. A strong believer that superior service is key to success, its customer care initiatives include a centre dedicated to capturing guest feedback and sharing this with the respective property. Best Western seeks to constantly develop its training programs with a focus on quality excellence.
This commitment to quality on both the product and service fronts does not go unnoticed. Quite the opposite, in fact. For four consecutive years, Best Western has been named ‘Best Mid-Range Hotel Brand’. The chain’s hold on Best Mid-Range Hotel Brand represents an uninterrupted winning streak – Best Western is the only hotel company to have ever won the title since it was introduced in 2007.In addition, the chain’s impressive expansion and marketing initiatives have won the chain ‘Best Marketing & Development Effort Award’ at the prestigious TTG Travel Awards for the second year running.
“It is a powerful statement that Best Western is the leading player in quality, value-for-money accommodation in Asia. Particularly so, when considering these awards are decided on by both our industry peers and the travelling public. These are the very people who experience our product and that places them in the best position to identify and appreciate the high standards the awards celebrate” said Mr. de Souza.