Further solidifying its position as THE WORLD’S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN®, Best Western’s worldwide development team finished the year strong by signing 83 new hotels to the brand during the fourth fiscal quarter ending Nov. 30. During the quarter, 42 hotels were added in North America and 41 were signed internationally.
The chain ended the fiscal year with 4,060 hotels in 81 countries across the globe. In all, the company’s worldwide development team brought 282 hotels into the brand.
In North America, the company welcomed their largest hotel system-wide. The Best Western Tuscany Suites and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. features 716 guest suites. The hotel is located just two blocks from “The Strip” and offers 7,000 square feet of meeting space, concierge service and a full-service restaurant.
In October, the company also opened the Best Western Greenwood Inn and Suites in Beaverton, Ore. The hotel has 217 guestrooms and is the largest Best Western in the Oregon-Washington state area.
Other key additions included: Best Western Ramkota Hotel, Bismarck, ND (306 rooms); Best Western Kennedy Airport, Jamaica, NY (91 rooms); Best Western Prairie Inn, Galesburg, Ill. (139 rooms); Best Western Marathon Resort and Suites, Marathon, Fla. (79 rooms) and the Best Western Burlington Inn and Suites, Burlington, Ontario, Canada (56 rooms).
“We accomplished what we intended,” said Mark Williams, vice president of North American Development for Best Western. “Our development team worked strategically to grow the brand in our targeted markets and they did that better than we had anticipated. Prospective members continue to respond positively to our efforts because we offer them better value and services than our competitors.”
Williams continued, “Not only did we meet our goal of attaining new members, but we also maintained our current membership base at a renewal rate of 99 percent for the seventh year in a row.”
Over the past few years, Best Western’s goal has been targeting areas where the brand is under-represented. While the hotel industry has been criticized for over saturating markets, Best Western’s new additions consisted primarily of conversions in North America and venturing into sparsely branded areas across the globe.
“We developed cautiously, but intelligently around the globe in 2002,” said Suzi MacDonald, vice president of International Operations for Best Western. “One of our goals was to further expand Best Western’s presence in South America this past year. To support that effort, we added a South American sales office, including reservation services which have truly benefited that region.”
During the last quarter of 2003, Best Western officials recruited five new members in South America. Throughout the year their focus had been the recruitment of a quality and highly visible member hotel in Sao Paulo, one of the continent’s major markets. During the month of November, two new members were recruited in Sao Paulo, one of which, the BW Regent Park Hotel, is a 70-room, four-star property located in the city`s most prominent business and entertainment district.
Internationally, Best Western also welcomed first time additions in Macedonia, Yemen and New Caledonia. The brand also grew with an added five hotels in France, five in the United Kingdom, three in Italy and three in the Netherlands.
Best Western is THE WORLD’S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN® with more than 4,000 hotels in 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.
For more information, visit Best Western’s Newsroom at www.bestwestern.com/newsroom.