Sponsored by Best Western Hotels & Resorts
By Michael Morton
Investing in and developing a hotel is an exciting opportunity—and one that can reap significant financial rewards. But as hoteliers, even if a property looks good on paper, we are all too aware of the potential pitfalls that exist, as well as how important it is to choose just the right asset.
The all-important question that is asked time and again is: How can one be sure an investment opportunity is the right one—one that will produce the return we’re seeking?
The answer is a formula that may sound simple, but is the holy grail of a profitable hotel project. Select the right site for the market, have an effective distribution strategy in place, have access to a reputable (owned) distribution channel, and have the ability to market under a trusted brand umbrella, which will help drive sales.
Location is key. Best Western Hotels & Resorts sees emerging markets heating up, including Tampa Bay, Fla.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Pittsburgh and the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. Choosing the right site in these locations can be exceptionally lucrative. Site selection is where movement toward profitability begins. Hoteliers must identify locations that boast multiple demand generators and understand how to utilize these money-making opportunities to their advantage. Choosing a brand that will garner the most attention from travelers visiting that particular market will ensure a hotel is well-positioned to capitalize on the opportunity, seeing the highest return over the long haul. To help determine the best site, it helps to have a supportive brand partner with a long history of success in development, and one who is well-versed in the unique market challenges and opportunities that exist.
Invest in an excellent distribution network. In addition to sharing members’ availability with all major Global Distribution Systems, Best Western’s award-winning website puts hotels at the fingertips of millions of travelers worldwide via their desktops, tablets and mobile devices. Investing in a powerful central reservations system and dynamic online distribution channels has been a major point of focus to enhance the brand’s value. Every day, the system drives millions of dollars in revenue to member hotels—driving 40.2 percent of bookings combined with total brand contribution of 62.3 percent YTD (through February 2018). In addition, the support of a 33M-member-strong loyalty program, with value-rich benefits and innovative promotions—Best Western Rewards—ensures more room nights are booked by travelers from around the world.
Name recognition seals sales. Today’s Best Western has a new look, with its now 11 brands, fresh design, enhanced services and amenities. That innovative position, combined with the company’s 72-year history of driving results to hoteliers, has earned the company positive recognition amongst consumers. The reputation of a powerhouse brand can be a determining factor that gives consumers the confidence to click “book” when making the decision about where to stay for leisure vacation or business trips.
Best Western Hotels & Resorts—with its transformational brand refresh, record RevPAR Index, industry recognition and unprecedented guest satisfaction scores—has the systems in place to help hotel developers ensure a winning outcome. It’s not easy, but with the right brand partner and by following the outlined critical path, a hotel investment can generate impactful, successful results.
Michael Morton serves as vice president, owner relations for Best Western Hotels & Resorts and serves on the AH&LA Educational Institute Training & Education Advisory Council.
Learn more at www.BestWesternDevelopers.com