Inbound/Corporate/Loyalty Up – New Brand Launch – Vibrant Pipeline
June 7, 2017
Rapid international tourism growth combined with excellent corporate and government demand propelled Best Western Australasia to a strong result for the year to March 31.
Leading the charge were international guests buying BWA’s ‘Hotel Pass’, sales of which rose 35% over the previous year, the best for a decade. This result is well ahead of the inbound market and down to the global strength of the Best Western brand which is now in 100+ countries.
Steve Richards, Head of Commercial at Best Western Australasia, pictured, attributed the brand’s success with international travellers to quality accommodation in key leisure markets, a softer dollar, a strong government tourism body and increased air capacity.
Best Western’s focus on the business market has also paid dividends with a 10% lift in corporate agency sales while Best Western Rewards achieved 9% regional growth and increased guest loyalty. BWR now has more than 30 million members.
“It’s been another huge year with lots going on at Best Western – we’ve broken revenue records, revamped our distribution technology network, overcome certain challenges and improved the overall quality of our properties,” Mr Richards said.
“Everyone has worked extremely hard and together we have built a solid platform for future growth.”
Other performance highlights include the addition of seven new properties, including the first Best Western Plus in New Zealand, growing member revenue by 9%, the record-breaking Free Breakfast campaign and the ‘Not Just a Hotel’ brand refresh.
Growing the Australasian network, which currently numbers 125 properties, is a major priority and Richards says there are more than 50 potential properties in the current pipeline.
“We are looking at a mix of properties and are confident of adding a number of quality hotels to our network in the coming months.”
Meanwhile, Mr Richards said Best Western has begun marketing the company’s latest brand, SureStay, a white label option for the budget market, to local hoteliers and received a positive response.
“SureStay is a great option for hoteliers looking to target the economy traveller through Best Western without the higher costs of full membership.”
Upgrading technology remains a high priority and Mr Richards said the Australian operation will migrate to the global Bestwestern.com internet platform in a major operation planned for August.
This follows the transition of all local properties to a two-way reservation system over the past year – a move resulting in immediate growth and one that huge opportunities for leveraging data.
“There are many opportunities and the future looks bright,” Mr Richards said.