Best Western Coupons coming soon
Best Western International began as an informal link between California hotels recommending each other’s establishments . In the days when phone books were only for local businesses and internet access was still a thing of science fiction, travelers booking out-of-town hotel accommodations often relied on chance, and often with varying results. In 1946, Hotel proprietor M.K. Guertin recognized this need and established a small consortium of independently-owned hotel owners who referred guests to other hotels in the Best Western Motels chain. It was Guertin’s vision to create a hotel affiliation in which “guests are treated like family,” presumably without the nagging to pick up your socks or get a job.
While Best Western began with unofficial word-of-mouth advertising. Guertin shocked the business industry in 1951 when he proposed advertising motel properties to the general traveling public. By 1963, this innovative thinking made Best Western the largest hotel chain in the industry with 699 properties. And today Best Western International still holds that distinction with over 4200 hotels in 80 countries. Best Western is also still pushing the advertising envelope by becoming the first-ever official hotel of NASCAR. Other corporate partnerships Best Western has formed include those with AAA, AARP, MasterCard and several major airlines.
Though legally the Best Western chain is now considered a franchise, the corporate offices in Phoenix, Arizona serve less as a parent company than as a giant consortium of independently-owned hotels. Whether a Midwest roadside inn or a European castle built by Napolean, each hotel also offers the same 14 global amenities, from the more common practices of complimentary toiletries and ironing boards, clocks and coffee makers in every room to more specialized services such as photocopy facilities during normal business hours and bottled water available 24-hours a day. All Best Western Hotels in North America also offer free high-speed internet access, free local calls under 30 minutes and free long distance access. Those staying at one of 80 Best Western Premier hotels also enjoy an additional 27 services or amenities, including porter/bellhop, turndown and dry cleaning services.
This uniformity is very important to Best Western’s branding because they’re not just selling hotel rooms; they’re also selling comfort, familiarity and friendship. These are concepts listed not only on bestwestern.com, but also echoed in the company’s 2006 Annual Report, in which Chairman Charles Helm and President David Kong urge their 1139 corporate employees worldwide, “to create emotional connections with out guests.”
And what about the traveler who’d like an “emotional connection” on a budget? A google search will not offer any Best Western coupons, but there are online bargains through discount travel bookings, such as Priceline and Expedia, as well as through Best Western’s own corporate programs. The Best Western Gold Crown Club is a tiered point system which offers repeat guests rewards such as free or discounted lodging, car rentals, airline miles and even U.S. savings bonds. For companies who annually book 500 nights domestically or 1,000 nights globally, the Best Business Worldwide program offers frequent business travelers special amenities such as free breakfasts, incoming faxes and bigger workstations at discounts as much as 20% off the standard corporate rate.
There are other hotels, of course, that might dispute Best Western International’s claim as the world’s largest hotel chain,. Most notably, Choice Hotels International, the parent company of ten global chains including Econolodge, Clarion and Comfort Inn, has over 5300 hotels to Best Western’s 4200, but are represented in only 40 countries to Best Western’s 80. Choice Hotels’ 2006 Annual Report shows a stock increase of 27% over 2005, due in part to ambitious marketing. In fact, in 1941, five years before Best Western formalized its referral system, Choice Hotels were the first chain to provide travel directories. Choice’s marketing efforts continue today in emphasizing its many pet-friendly franchises, reaching a growing demographic that Best Western has mostly ignored. While it hasn’t matched Best Western’s name recognition, Choice Hotels’ aggressive rewards program and corporate affiliations make them Best Western International’s most dogged competitor.
Article written by Betsy Thurston
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