SYDNEY - Best Western Australia enjoyed a remarkably successful year in 2002. Remarkable when you consider the state of the tourism and accommodation industries in general.
Market research commissioned by the AEC Research Group produced some very pleasing results for Best Western, indicating a strong market position.
Best Western Australia average occupancy rates fell only 0.8 percent compared to a fall of 7.1 percent across the industry*, while Best Western Australia’s average room rate has grown by 19.98 percent - 14 percent higher than the national average*.
Now the number one most recalled accommodation brand in Australia (indicated by 26.7 percent of leisure travelers and 25 percent of business travelers),* total brand awareness for Best Western in Australia has grown 34 percent in the last 12 months.
Best Western Australia has also been able to deliver even greater value to its properties with average turnover per room increasing 18.36 percent and the value of the Best Western brand growing 45 percent*.
Property numbers for the Best Western chain have continued to grow steadily in Australia with 23 new properties added since April 2002 and a further 11 new properties currently under negotiation.
Currently Best Western Australia offers 255 hotels, motels, resorts and apartments across Australia and is part of Best Western - THE WORLD’S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN® with 4,000 properties in over 80 countries.
“Part of the reason behind this strong performance may be that Best Western did not focus on the ‘doom and gloom’ and consistently looked ahead,” says Best Western Australia CEO Rodger L. Powell. “We didn’t start slashing rates; we just continued to offer our guests great value. The addition of BestRequests? - frequently requested guest amenities and services, to the already stringent global Quality Assurance program, have raised the bar of quality for Best Western worldwide and consumers are starting to recognize and appreciate the benefits of one global standard of quality, especially in times when other accommodation providers are reducing the value adds they offer their guests.”
In 2002, Best Western Australia made several new staff appointments expanding both sales and business development teams across Australia, launched a series of Wine Discovery packages, launched a Kids Discovery Club, joined the Qantas Frequent Flyer & Diners Club Rewards programs, implemented a new web based reservation system for all properties, conducted a national advertising campaign and provided each property with an advertising tool kit.
“Traditionally mid market brands do well in tough times as up scale travelers scale down for price, however, once they have tried us they continue to stay again and again. Best Western has proven this theory correct yet again,” stated Rodger L. Powell. “Despite the current economic environment, Best Western Australia is enjoying strong growth and success and making major advances forward. This coupled with some major new innovations to be introduced in 2003 will continue to see Best Western Australia well positioned.”
Continuing the strategy of forward planning in 2003, Best Western Australia will be launching two significant new products. First BestCheque, a function of MemberWeb - Best Western’s new online reservation system rolled out to all 4,000 properties worldwide. BestCheque is a global guaranteed travel agent commission system, which will help Best Western strengthen ties with the travel industry and grow business from this sector.
MemberWeb also includes many other new functions such as property-to-property reservations whereby Best Western properties are encouraged to book guests into other Best Western’s and will in fact receive a commission payment themselves for doing so. Considering the global spread of Best Western this has huge potential.
Also coming soon is the Best Travel Card - the first pre-paid, stored value card in the mid-market and the first paperless card in the industry. Consumers, agents and businesses can order the card online, receive a tracking number and use that number at any Best Western hotel in the world.