November 12 2009 by Chris McGinnis
You may not know this, but Best Western is not a franchising operation, but a membership organization. All Best Western hotels are independently owned, and owners opt to join Best Western as Members.
Every year several thousands of these Members gather with Best Western's top brass for a big powwow known as "Convention." Since many readers of this blog spend much of their lives at Best Western hotels, I thought they'd be interested in an outlook gathered from some of the most important speeches and presentations at the latest Convention held in Phoenix last month.
- Enhancing Best Western Rewards® is a key initiative for 2010. Elite level members can expect more than just bonus points for each stay--you'll likely see more welcome gifts or room upgrades. Similar to what you saw this year, you can expect at least four big bonus point promotions in 2010. Plus, a new Best Western Rewards credit card will make it even easier to fatten your account balances.
- You can opt in to Best Western's social media efforts like this blog and its Facebook and Twitter pages. A Best Western iPhone app is in the works and you'll likely see Best Western popping up on more GPS devices.
- Bestwestern.com will continue to grow in importance, and you'll see more properties upgrading their photos, virtual tours and adding new videos. Visits to Bestwestern.com are growing fast: for example from summer of 2008 to summer of 2009, site traffic increased by 20 percent.
- You'll be hearing and seeing a lot more Best Western advertising next year, as well. Twenty percent more was spent on advertising and promotions in 2008 than in years past, and that percentage is expected to increase an additional three-plus percent in 2010. This strategy is bearing fruit: Since 2005, Best Western has outperformed the industry in a number of metrics.
- Best Western is growing fastest in Asia, where it will have more than 200 hotels open by the end of 2010.