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Best Western targets Southeast Asia for development

Best Western International is emphasizing South Asia as a key development market in 2014. Particularly, the group is focusing on the countries of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which are both seeing record tourist arrivals.BWI entered the Bangladeshi market in November 2013, with the 51-room Best Western La Vinci Hotel in Dhaka. However, further development is planned for the country, with the Best Western Plus brand. Two Best Western Plus establishments are expected to open this year, a 232-room property in Cox's Bazar and a 56-room hotel at Dhaka Airport. In 2015, the hotel group also plans to open a 448-room Best Western and 720-room Best Western Premier in Cox's Bazar. "With rising incomes, strong growth in domestic travel, and a shortage of internationally-branded hotels, we believe Bangladesh represents a major opportunity", says BWI's Vice President of International Operations for Asia & the Middle East, Glenn de Souza.In Sri Lanka, Best Western is planning to make its debut within a few months with a 60-room Best Western in Colombo. "The potential for tourism in Sri Lanka is huge", explains Mr. de Souza. "International arrivals are multiplying year after year, and with all parts of this beautiful island now open to tourists, the country offers incredible opportunities".Best Western has a current portfolio of more than 200 hotels in Asia, and expects to increase this number to 300 in the coming years.

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