Best Western International announced its growth plans for 2014. The hotel group already has a North American pipeline of 130-140 openings scheduled for the coming year. A large part of these openings, 45% will be new-build. This shows an increased emphasis on new-build properties, over the 40% portion of new-builds in 2013, and 35% in 2012.A similar pattern appears within the group's international pipeline, with over 60% of new openings to be new-build. Growth is largely concentrated in emerging and underserved markets such as Africa, Indonesia and Brazil, where 30 new properties are scheduled to open over the next five years. Emphasizing this focus, the group will make market entries in Erbil, Iraq and Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2014."We are seeing more developers embrace the idea of going with an international hotel brand, because of all the advantages it offers such as global loyalty programs, sales and marketing support and superior distribution channels", says Best Western Senior Vice President of Development and Member Services Ron Pohl, explaining the upsurge in development. Best Western is unique in that we offer all those big brand advantages, while still giving the owner or operator the freedom to customize their hotel to meet their specific market needs".
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