The hoteliers of Best Western International enjoy a number of significant advantages over their competitors. First, they are part of the world's largest chain with a 49-year tradition of remarkable success and stability.
With over 3,400 properties in 63 countries (over 2,000 in North America), Best Western dominates the industry with more properties than Holiday, Sheraton, Hilton and Radisson combined and has dearly established itself as the mid-market leader. Members also have the distinct advantage of retaining their independence while reaping the benefits of a full-service, international chain affiliation at a fraction of the cost paid by major chain franchisees.
With no shareholders or corporate profit goals to satisfy, members' fees are returned to them in services. The other profit-driven chains charge royalty, advertising and, usually, reservations fees on gross rooms revenue -- consuming six to nine percent of room sales. In contrast, Best Western's low membership fees are based on cost recovery for the services provided and for the reservations delivered through the system.
Another unique advantage is the one-year, renewable agreement, with no penalties for withdrawal, no legal fees and an incredible voluntary renewal rate of over 99 percent each year.
Best Western also exceeds otherchains in its range of support services. Some services build business, others reduce costs:
* Global Reservations Network: $821 million in annual room sales and almost 12 million room nights from the North American system alone.
* The STAR Reservations System: Every North American property can make property-to-property and worldwide reservations in 30 seconds.
* International Advertising and Marketing Programs: Including the four-million-copy Road Atlas and Travelers' Guide; the Gold Crown club frequent traveler program; a Group Tour Manual for motor coach and group business; a Meetings and Conference Facilities Guide; a 10-percent Mature Market discount plan; Fly Drive/FIT package programs, etc.
* Consumer Advertising Program: Generates millions of impressions daily in a multimedia mix and substantial discounts oN travel trade advertising. Cooperative advertising programs in 55 states and Canadian provinces strengthens members-regional presence.
* Advertising Services: Assists members in creating and placing print, billboard, Yellow Pages and advertising and promotional materials.
* Sales Offices: In North America (12) and in 33 countries -- professionally staffed.
* Education and Training: On-site orientations for new properties; training aids and seminars.
* Quality Assurance: 24 quality control professionals conduct inspections twice a year.
* Operational Advice: Experienced industry professionals assist members with operational, marketing and management issues.
* Marketing Research, Corporate Communications and more.
Best Western also provides cost-saving programs:
* B-W Supply Division: Maximum purchasing discounts oN FF&E items and operating supplies.
* Design Department: Professional design staff assists members with newand renovation.
* Credit Card Discounts: Contracts with all major companies give members the lowest discount rates.
* Insurance: Full-range of programs available.
* Technical Services: Consulting on all aspects of automation and telecommunications systems.
* Financing Programs: Custom plans for refinancing, acquisitions or renovation.