Appointments & Promotions

Best Western Appoints Michael Muir VP of North American Development

PHOENIX - March 18, 2014 - Best Western International has announced the appointment of Michael Muir as Vice President of North American Development. An industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience, Muir will bring his expertise in strategic growth and development to the Best Western brand.

"We are delighted to welcome Mike to Best Western," said David Kong, CEO and President of Best Western International. "His extensive experience and knowledge of our industry will be integral in helping us to continue to grow our brand presence in North America."

Having worked with such brands as Holiday Inn®, Hawthorn Suites® and Microtel Inn & Suites®, Muir's proven track record of growing new and established brands in the midscale market, including extended stay products, will be a tremendous asset to Best Western. Muir's experience and leadership will be a great addition as Best Western continues to develop its Best Western PLUS and Best Western PREMIER hotel products as well as its new extended stay offering, the Best Western PLUS Executive Residency.

"Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working with some of the great leaders in the hospitality industry. To now have the opportunity to join the iconic Best Western brand and to work with David Kong and his team, is an opportunity I could not pass up. Over the last several years, Best Western has orchestrated a renaissance of the brand, elevating it in both the eyes of developers and consumers. I am proud to be joining Best Western and I look forward to leading the development team," said Muir.

About Best Western International, Inc.

Best Western International, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a privately held hotel brand made up of more than 4,000* Best Western®, Best Western PLUS®, Best WesternPREMIER® hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Now celebrating 68 years of hospitality, Best Western welcomes hundreds of thousands of guests nightly. Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales, marketing and promotional support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 20 million travelers are members of the brand's award-winning loyalty program program Best Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can be redeemed at any Best Western hotel worldwide. The brand's partnerships with AAA/CAA, Minor League Baseball, and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. In 2013, Best Western earned our highest level of brand recognition, including our fifth AAA/CAA Hotel Partner of the Year award, second Compuware Best of the Web Gold award, fourth No. 1 ranking in Brand Keys Consumer Loyalty Engagement Index for midscale hotels and seventh TTG Asia Best Mid-range Hotel Brand. Forty-one percent of Best Western hotels worldwide won TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence for customer satisfaction. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit www.bestwestern.com.

*Numbers are approximate and may fluctuate.

Coming Up In The September Online Hotel Business Review


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Hotel Group Meetings for 2015
As the economy continues to improve, hotels are finally luring back business travelers, including those who are participating in group meetings and conventions. According to The Global Business Travel Association, group travel spending has grown 5.3% to $117.1 billion in 2014, a figure that well exceeds previous expectations. Given that group business accounts for as much as 30-40% of total revenues for a hotel operation, this is welcome news indeed. Still, this is no time for complacency. Savvy hoteliers are incorporating new creative ideas into their operations in order to satisfy their clientele and to differentiate themselves for their competition, with the ultimate goal of making meetings easier, more comfortable and even more fun. The emphasis seems to be on making group meetings “less institutional” and “more residential”. One hotel chain has created meeting spaces that are more like lounges than standard conference rooms. Another offers its guests unusual food options like make-your-own trail mix stations and smoothie bars. Still another provides its guests with mobile apps that will let them make requests — from ordering coffee and food to changing the room temperature — without ever leaving the meeting room. Technological innovations are also of paramount concern as meeting planners are demanding that the latest innovations be available to attendees including universal wireless Internet access, videoconferencing capabilities, charging stations, and a secure protected environment in which to conduct proprietary business. Finally, some hotels are offering more breakout rooms in order to encourage smaller and more intimate interchanges among attendees after long group sessions throughout the day. The September Hotel Business Review will examine what some hotels are doing to facilitate this segment of their business and to meet the expectations of their guests.