Best Western International, THE WORLD`S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN(R) will add
approximately 380 hotels to its system in 2004 despite challenging
“Our global growth strategy remains unchanged, which is to identify
regions both throughout North America and internationally where the Best
Western brand is under represented,” says Tom Higgins, Best Western
president and CEO.
In North America, Best Western has projected adding 160 hotels to the
system in the coming year through a combination of conversions (60
percent) and new construction (40 percent) according to Mark Williams,
vice president of North American Development for Best Western. “We
continue to see a strong demand for hotel developers looking to affiliate
with a brand that offers consistency and value,” added Williams.
Several U.S. cities have been identified as excellent growth opportunities
for Best Western which includes: Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago,
Cleveland, Cincinnati, Denver, Kansas City, Orlando, Pittsburgh and
Canadian provinces targeted for expansion include: Manitoba, New
Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. As
of the end of 2003, Best Western had 165 hotels and 15,272 rooms in Canada.
Additionally, the Caribbean continues to be a prime market for Best
Western where it currently has six hotels open.
International expansion will account for an estimated two-thirds of Best
Western`s planned growth.
“Internationally, we continue to develop cautiously and intelligently,”
adds Higgins. “Asia, Europe, the South Pacific and South America are all
regions that continue to provide good expansion opportunities for the
In Asia, Best Western plans to add more than 50 hotels over the next two
years with the most aggressive growth planned for China according to David
Kong, senior vice president-Marketing and Development. Currently the hotel
chain maintains two development offices in Asia, one in Beijing and the
other in Bangkok.
“While hotel branding is still a relatively new trend in Asia, Best
Western has identified strategic markets that would benefit from a
value-priced global brand,” said Kong. Those regions include the Pearl
River Delta, the Yangzhi River Delta and the Baohai Bay Region. Major
leisure destinations include Haikou, Shanya Island, Guilin and Shuzhou.
Best Western Asian hotels opening in 2004 include: the 200-room Best
Western Premier Changchun Yongzhe (August) and the 140-room Best Western
Premier Xian Jiazheng (September). In all, Best Western has more than 50
hotels currently open throughout Asia, India and the Middle East.
In South America, Best Western is gearing up to add 20 hotels according to
Suzi Yoder, vice president of International Operations. “In just a year`s
time after opening our development office in Sao Paulo we have already
made significant progress adding Best Western hotels in Brazil, Panama and
Paraguay,” Yoder said.
Four hotels have already been added to the system in 2004. They include:
the Best Western Casablanca Golf Resort at Iguazu Falls, Ciudad del Este,
Paraguay; the Best Western San Marino Hotel, Salvador, Brazil; the Best
Western Norte Palace Hotel, Florianopolis, Brazil, and the Best Western
Mara Inn, Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela.
Other international regions slated for significant growth in 2004 include
Australia where the chain projects it will add 45 hotels, in France where
it expects to add 20 hotels, and Great Britain where the brand plans to
add 12 hotels.
Best Western, THE WORLD`S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN(R) ended the 2003 fiscal
year with 4,110 hotels in 83 countries and territories. Best Western
International is a membership association of independently owned and
operated hotels that provides marketing, reservations and operational
support to its member hotels.