PHOENIX å—Best Western International, The Worldå‘s Largest Hotel Chainå?, is moving forward with its plans to expand into South America and anticipates adding as many as 30 hotels in the next 18 months in the region. Best Western Vice President of International Operations Suzi MacDonald, has recently completed an extensive visit to Argentina, Brazil and Chile, and is confident in the future growth opportunities that exist on the Continent.
“Best Western is poised to take on a more dominant hotel development position in South America. Previously, Best Western had regional representation through a local partner, however, that partnership agreement was set to finish this year. We see tremendous brand growth opportunity and expect to add significantly to our existing portfolio of 53 member hotels,” said MacDonald.
According to MacDonald, Best Western is currently in the process of establishing a presence in the region by establishing operations offices in Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires. “We believe this move will raise the level of services and better support our South American hotels,” she added.
As part of its expansion strategy, Best Western established sales offices in Argentina, Brazil and Chile and has plans to open offices in Peru and Venezuela in early 2003. The South American sales network has been established under the leadership of Cindy McCall, C. McCall and Associates, Inc., Miami. The Argentinean office located in Buenos Aires will be managed by Cristina Bernadi Representaciones; the office in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will be managed by Newton Vieira, South Marketing, Int’l and Liliana Labbe, Labbe Representaciounes will manage Best Western’s Santiago, Chile office.
Last December, Best Western added Spanish and Portuguese speaking agents to handle both reservations and customer service calls in preparation for the new sales and operations structure for the region.
“We have an aggressive sales and marketing effort in place to support our growth which includes a presence at all major trade shows and the re-launch of our global frequent guest program, Gold Crown Club International said Bob Gilbert, vice president of Worldwide Marketing and Sales. “The Best Western brand is stronger now than ever before, and the proof is in the member hotels who have made the commitment to remain a part of the world’s largest hotel chain as we continue our expansion in South America,” Gilbert added.
Best Western International is the World’s Largest Hotel Chain? with more than 4,000 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.