Best Western enhances online options

Best Western International is debuting two new customized travel options at www.bestwestern.com.
Through a relationship with Travelport, formerly Cendant Travel Distribution Services, the hotel chain has implemented the company’s private label dynamic packaging solution, which allows guests to book hotel rooms, flights and rental cars together at great savings. The real-time feature provides total pricing (inclusive of all taxes and fees) on hundreds of travel choices for a given itinerary.

In a separate agreement, Best Western has also joined forces with Viator to present sightseeing tours, destination activities, event tickets and attraction passes for purchase at bestwestern.com. Saving valuable time by allowing guests to plan their travel activities before ever leaving home, the program offers a wide array of experiences throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Pacific. With more than 4,500 packages to choose from, options range from tickets to Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera, to a Sumo wrestling tour and tournament in Tokyo.

“In today’s hectic environment, more and more travelers are asking for a fast, convenient and reliable online booking process that addresses their individual wants and needs,” said Karmela Gaffney, director of e-commerce for Best Western. “Through our partnerships with Travelport and Viator, we are able to bring added value to bestwestern.com customers by providing a one- stop-shopping source that touches every aspect of the travel experience, saving our guests time and money.”

Added Flo Lugli, senior vice president, Airline Solutions, Travelport, “We’re pleased that Best Western has expanded its business relationship with us and has joined leading clients such as Yahoo!, as well as leading airline and car rental companies, in utilizing Travelport’s proven, state-of-the-art technology to provide their loyal customers with comprehensive travel choices and value-added services. Travelport’s supplier-centric system is a win-win solution for all parties resulting in greater choice with better pricing for travelers, increased control for suppliers and more options for travelers.”

“At Viator, we believe every trip starts with the customers’ experience making their reservations online,” said Rod Cuthbert, founder and CEO of Viator. “By adding Viator’s vast portfolio of destination activities to its consumer Web site through our flexible and customizable private label solution, Best Western is ensuring its customers will be able to experience more out of every trip by saving precious time at their destination for enjoyment, not planning. This partnership opens up an important distribution channel for our worldwide network of hand-picked local operators while also providing Best Western with a new revenue opportunity.”

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Earlier this year, Best Western unveiled an innovative redesign of its consumer Web site, introducing new navigational tools and search criteria to simplify the booking process. Guests can now select the standards by which they prefer to view hotel options, such as by lowest rate, distance or availability. Advanced qualifying searches using zip codes or airport cities are also offered. Once the hotel has been decided upon, guests can request the format in which they would like to view pricing while selecting their room type—including charge per day; average daily rate; or total stay.

Recently, Best Western also completed its extensive online imagery initiative, and now offers 360-degree virtual tours and photographs for all of its 2,400 North American properties. Visitors to the site can view panoramic displays of a hotel’s exterior, a standard guest room, and a deluxe room/suite, in addition to two other areas representative of each property, such as a pool, meeting room or restaurant.
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