“Together We Are Best Western.” That was the theme of the hotel group’s annual North American conference and it was a theme that senior executives reinforced time and time again as they talked about where Best Western had been; where it is today; and where it is headed in the future, reports executive editor, Bob Mowat in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.
“I love the theme of this year’s convention,” David Kong, president and CEO of Best Western said in his address to delegates, observing: “It celebrates the success of our brand and pays homage to the collective contributions of our members worldwide. Through the hard work and dedication of each member, Best Western has grown to be the largest hotel brand in the world. We are an innovative leader in many areas. Thanks to our members around the world, we are also one of the most recognized brands.”
Kong also pointed out that: “Over the past 68 years, our world has gone through many cycles of ups and downs. Our brand has also suffered setbacks, faced challenges and weathered storms. Each time, we have emerged stronger and better. The collective courage, strength and resilience of our members define Best Western.”
He noted as well that the conference theme “also speaks to why Best Western is special. We are not some faceless corporation. What is unique and extraordinary about our brand is: we are an authentic brand. Best Western is comprised of amazingly kind and caring people. One will never find the passion and dedication of Best Western members in any other brand.”
Kong, who has held is post for the past decade, talked about the changes that have taken place during that time, point to tougher competition; increasing business complexity; the rapid evolution of technology and the distribution landscape; and the fact that Best Western’s guests have become more informed and have far higher expectations.
“I am glad our brand strategy has enabled us to not only keep pace, but also gain market share,” Kong stated. “I feel gratified that our brand strategy has resulted in us having some of the best years in the company’s history. Our collective hard work has paid off.”
However, he pointed out that today, the industry faces a huge challenge that it did not face 10 years ago. That challenge, he said, is the cost of distribution.
For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press by clicking here.