Best Western Announces Pledge to UNICEF

Best Western International announced
today that the global children’s organization, UNICEF, will be the second
recipient of funds from its $1 million pledge to aid victims of the South
Asia Tsunami as part of its “Best Western for a Better World” initiative.
The donation will be used to assist UNICEF in its long-term recovery
efforts throughout the region. UNICEF joins Habitat for Humanity International as Best Western’s primary
charitable partners, both receiving immediate donations totaling $100,000
from the world’s largest hotel chain. From February 1 through March 31,
Best Western will also encourage its more than 4,100 member properties
around the globe to donate $3 per room to the campaign. In addition, Best
Western guests will have the opportunity to make donations online by
visiting http://www.bestwestern.com/.

From the money raised, 20 percent will be earmarked for Best Western
employees and their families who have been affected by the disaster. The
remaining 80 percent will be divided between UNICEF and Habitat for
Humanity to assist in rebuilding and meeting the continuing needs of the
South Asian people.

The December 26 Tsunami impacted two Best Western hotels in Thailand—
the Best Western Premier Bangtao Beach Resort & Spa in Phuket and the Best
Western Palm Galleria in Phang Nga. Currently closed for repairs, the
Premier Bangtao is scheduled to reopen on February 1, while the Palm
Galleria is expected to be operational by October 1. All other Best
Western properties in South Asia and India, which are located further
inland or along the opposite side of the coast, have not been affected.
Many of these hotels have already been contributing to the relief efforts,
such as providing accommodations to those displaced by the tragedy.

“Best Western International selected UNICEF as its charitable partner due
to its strong international reach,” said David Kong, Best Western
president and CEO. “With so many vulnerable children affected by this
tragedy, UNICEF represents their hope for a brighter future. We are proud
to support their ongoing efforts on behalf of the youth of South Asia.”

“The scale of the destruction caused by last month’s Tsunami exceeds
anything we have seen in modern times,” said UNICEF Executive Director
Carol Bellamy. “The region will need significant help for many months and
years to come. We applaud Best Western for making this long-term
commitment to support children in the reconstruction effort.”

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“Best Western for a Better World” is a multi-faceted community service
program dedicated to providing assistance to Best Western neighbors in
cities and countries across the globe. Through financial contributions,
product donations and volunteer activities, Best Western, its members,
employees and guests work together throughout the year, making a
difference by helping those in need.
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