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 June Online Hotel Business Review




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Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.