PRNewswire SAN ANTONIO Nov. 3 :
Best Western`s President and CEO Tom Higgins and CIO Mike Kistner
announced plans today for the hospitality industry`s largest rollout of
high speed Internet access (HSIA) impacting more than 2,300 hotels in the
United States, Canada and the Caribbean.
Wireless and hard-wired high speed Internet access will be available at
every hotel in both the public areas and at least 15 percent of all guest
rooms. As an additional service wireless access cards will be available at
the front desk. This service will be free to all hotel guests and
supported by a Best Western staffed 24-hour toll-free customer hotline.
A recent survey by Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell showed that 65
percent of business travelers agree that free access to the Internet from
their room is extremely or very desirable.
The HSIA proposal is coupled with replacement of every hotel`s current
front desk computers with 2.4 Ghz Pentium IV processors including DVD/CD
player and 17-inch screen monitor.
Prior to the proposed upgrades, Best Western hotel owners must pass a
ballot by simple majority vote that is expected to go out in December.
Installation would begin after the first of the year and is slated for
completion by September 1, making it not only the largest, but also one of
the fastest technology implementations in the industry.
“Before we undertake a major initiative such as this one, the management
team has a responsibility to do its homework and present a compelling
business case to our membership,” emphasizes Higgins. “Best Western hotel
owners by their entrepreneurial nature understand the importance of
keeping a competitive edge in the marketplace and Internet technology
figures prominently in the equation,” he adds.
Best Western International is THE WORLD`S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN(R) with more
than 4,100 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.