Best Western International continued its targeted expansion efforts adding 59 new hotels to the brand’s worldwide portfolio during the second fiscal quarter ending May 31. At the end of the quarter, Best Western has 4,049 hotels in 83 countries and territories.
In North America, 36 hotels were added between March and May compared to 35 added during the first quarter. International development was down slightly during the second quarter with 23 additions, however, Best Western’s development team continues to sign key hotels in line with initial 2001 plans.
Significant second quarter acquisitions in North America included Best Westerns in San Jose and Anaheim, Calif.; Richmond, Va.; Keystone, SD; Estes Park, Colo. and Charlotte, NC. Important international additions included the brand’s only hotel in Bolivia, the Best Western House Inn and Suites a six-story, full-service hotel located near downtown La Paz. Best Western also opened hotels in Poland, India and Bangladesh.
“At the beginning of the fiscal year we developed a strategic plan to acquire new Best Westerns in key markets where we had little to no representation including Asia, Europe and South America. At the halfway point in the year, we look at what has been accomplished and we’re very pleased,” said Suzi MacDonald, vice president of International Operations for Best Western. “Although overall additions were down during the second quarter, we remain encouraged and look forward to increased activity in the third quarter.”
During the third quarter, the brand will officially welcome its first hotels in Seoul, South Korea and Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Plans are also underway to develop a new Best Western in Malaysia. In North America, the hotel company signed a new, unique member in San Antonio, Texas whose lobby is built into an old, converted train station.
“The entire industry has faced an overall decline in occupancy and room rates this quarter,” said Mark Williams, vice president of North American Development for Best Western. “However, we are optimistic that our continued quality improvements such as the Best Requests program and our unique hotel offerings will appeal to the increasing number of travelers utilizing the mid-market lodging brands.”
Best Western is the world’s largest hotel chain with more than 4,000 hotels in more than 80 countries and territories. It is a membership association of independently owned and operated hotels that provides marketing, reservations and operational support to its member hotels.