I'm now into my third year working with Best Western on this blog. I've learned a lot about the brand and its customers along the way. Here are a few highlights:
- While a lot of folks may still think of Best Western as a chain of roadside motels, the brand has come a long way from the freeway exit in recent years. For example, last year I was wowed by the central, modern and cosmopolitan BEST WESTERN Shinjuku Astina Hotel Tokyo and raved about the mod renovation of the BEST WESTERN President Hotel at Times Square in New York City. I was glad to bed down at the BEST WESTERN Sonoma Valley Inn & Krug Event Center in California's Wine Country instead of driving back home to San Francisco. And I'm looking forward to a stay later this month at the recently renovated BEST WESTERN Sol Ipanema, which is located right on the beach in the center of the action in Rio de Janeiro. (I wonder if it will impress me as much as the BEST WESTERN Coconut Waikiki Hotel in Honolulu did last winter.) None of these hotels fit into the old "motel" model.
- I used to think most business travelers flew to their meetings wearing trench coats and carrying briefcases. Since working with Best Western, I've learned that, in fact, more business travelers move about by car than by plane. That's definitely the case among the real road warriors who bed down at Best Western. In a recent survey of the chain's top business customers, 63 percent said that less than a quarter of their business trips involve air travel, with many saying they don't travel by air at all. Only 11 percent said "most" of their business trips involved air travel.
- Contrary to what a lot of folks think, Best Western is not a franchise organization, but rather a membership organization of hotel owners from all over the world. Like the majority of its business traveling guests, these owners live in small towns and run or work for small- and medium-sized companies. In many cases, the manager of the hotel is also its owner and not an employee of a distant corporation.
Categories : Road Warriors
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