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


Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings: Demand is Trending Up
Corporations and businesses are once again renewing their investments in people, strategic planning, and training and development. As a result, all indicators point to 2016 being a robust year for the hotel group meetings business. Group demand is strong and rates, especially during peak periods, are trending up. Still, hotels must continue to evolve to meet the changing expectations of group meeting planners and their clients. There are several trends and factors that are driving decision-making which planners have identified as being essential to the process. Though geographic location and room rates continue to be the most important factors when selecting a host property, food and beverage choices are becoming increasingly influential. Planners understand the value of first-class culinary options as these are often used to facilitate networking experiences. Another critical factor is the availability of sufficient bandwidth for high-speed wired and wireless connectivity to the internet. In addition, in an effort to eliminate unsightly and unwieldy power cords, planners are requesting the installation of mobile-device charging stations. These portable charging stations (which do not require devices to be plugged in) can be conveniently placed in common areas or directly in meeting rooms. Finally, there is a greater emphasis on teambuilding activities that are intended to challenge groups, and bring them closer together. Some hotels are offering scenic walking trails, GPS-aided scavenger hunts, kayaking into secluded coves or rollerblading on oceanfront boardwalks, among many other recreational activities. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group business and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.