BERLIN, GERMANY å—Best Western International, The Worldå‘s Largest Hotel Chainå?, and the largest hotel chain in Europe, today launched a new strategy to more clearly identify a select group of its European properties which offer a higher level of amenities, services and unique features. The hospitality giant will add the descriptor, Best Western Premierå?, to the Best Western name on approximately 125-150 hotels.
“As the world’s largest hotel chain, we have a huge portfolio of quality product - more than 4,000 hotels in 80 countries and territories. Each Best Western is different, taking on the characteristics and charm of its geographic location. Best Western Premier hotels are not a new brand. The new Best Western Premier designation helps customers and travel agents better identify a unique group of Best Western hotels offering an expanded array of services and amenities,” said Jim Evans, president and chief executive officer.
Best Western Premier hotels are expected to be formally introduced to the public in Fall 2002. At that time, customers and travel agents will be able to book Best Western Premier hotels through the brand’s central reservation systems and all electronic distribution channels.
To qualify for the Best Western Premier designation, hotels must apply and are subject to a special design and quality review. Best Western Premier hotels will have 27 or more amenities and services than the already required BestRequests? product standards currently available at Best Western properties worldwide. Best Western Premier standards include such things as concierge service, recreational facilities, bar/lounge or in-room minibar, complimentary newspapers and full-service restaurants on site or within 150 meters (500 feet) from the hotel.
To date, Best Western has received applications for consideration as Best Western Premier hotels from current Best Western hotels in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. There are no immediate plans to extend the Best Western Premier descriptor outside of Europe.
“Adding the Best Western Premier product designation was important in Europe where we have hotels in castles and historical landmarks, and many four-star city center hotels. The Best Western Premier designation will help these hotels capture more clients who are looking for this level of style and amenities. Introducing Best Western Premier hotels actually is the second step we’ve taken recently to bring more clarity and consistency to Best Western globally,” Evans noted
“A few years ago, we conducted research in North America, Europe and Australia. The goal was to determine customers’ and travel agents’ perceptions of our brand. We learned that Best Western had opportunities to improve our business if we implemented two important initiatives, offer more consistency throughout all Best Western properties, and do something to help customers better understand the unique differences within Best Western. Best Western members took a giant step forward to improve brand consistency with the January 2002 global implementation of BestRequests—14 standard amenities and services (16 in North America) offered by Best Western hotels worldwide. Adding the Best Western Premier descriptor in Europe is another important step in boosting customers’ satisfaction with our brand,” Evans added.
Best Western International is the world’s largest hotel chain. As of the fiscal year ended Nov. 30, 2001, the company had 4,053 hotels in 80 countries and territories. Best Western is a membership association of independently owned and operated hotels that provides marketing, reservations and operational support to its members.