Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 22

Best Western's new frontier Best Western internationally, notes that he fully expects the hotels to also grow outside the borders of the United States. And while there won't be a direct advertising campaign, he said the corporation would be pushing the chain through its marketing and he expected online travel agency (OTA) bookings to enhance SureStay's ability to snag the budget traveler. Online bookings are huge, he said, and he noted that Best Western has an advantage with the online sites that can turn them from a major cost to a cost-efficient draw because of the lower commissions its members have to pay, therefore enhancing profit for hoteliers. Currently, however, a lot of those hoteliers outside the Best Western family may be getting slammed on fees because OTA booking is so prevalent, Kong said. "I wouldn't be surprised if hotels in these segments get 40 percent of their business from sites like Expedia," he said. "In the next few years, most of our efforts [for SureStay] will be in sales, meaning we will leverage our worldwide sales efforts to drive business." * Advisory committees that allow for hotel feedback and recommendations. * Standards of quality that are well-defined and uniformly and fairly enforced. * Allowing hotels to purchase the vast majority of products from vendors of their choosing. EVERY DEAL HAS A POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE SureStay proprietors won't be getting all the help that a Best Western owner can expect. For instance, the hotel chain won't be doing much - if any -advertising to promote the new brand. One-hundred and fifty hotels simply will not justify an advertising campaign, Kong said, in a chain that has more than 4,000 locations in more than 100 countries. Competitor Choice Hotels International, which has been migrating some owners from Comfort to Sleep or to Quality inns, has an advantage in advertising since it lists its economy along with higher-end brands in its national ads. In that regard, Best Western is saddled with the fact that its corporate umbrella is its brand name, which is an asset in general but clumps all the entities together. Nor will the SureStay franchise holders necessarily benefit from the lucrative partnerships that Best Western has formed with such groups as Harley Davidson, Disney and AAA to boost room reservations - which have proven successful even during economic downturns that can play havoc with hotelier returns. The Best Western partners are being approached about developing relationships and agreements with SureStay, but it is too early to comment on whether they will happen or, if they do, what form they will take, Kong said. "I think there are great opportunities for us," he said. Still they expect to be up to 800 SureStay hotels within a decade, and Kong, who has been aggressive at expanding 2 2  | OCTOBER 2016 | TODAYSHOTELIER.COM SURESTAY STANDARDS WILL PROTECT THE GUEST AND THUS THE BRAND Kong says the cost efficiencies will benefit the hotelier and traveler alike, insisting that the new brand will not be cheap but simply serve the thrifty. The SureStay hotels will be held to strict standards for cleanliness, customer services and the amenities appropriate for that level of price, Kong said. That should reassure the customer who is mostly looking for a bed in a clean room and proprietors who want assurance that the brand will develop a good name. The goal is that quality-control will make guests gravitate to SureStay as the best of the budgets - accomplishing for the economy chain what Best Western Plus did for the chain's upper-mid business travel. In fact, SureStay's goal might be to become the chain for the business person who travels on his or her own dime. Eventually, Kong said, when SureStay moves from conversions to construction to grow the brand, the focus will be on ensuring hotels have comfortable suites with separate bedrooms, he said. Kong describes the potential SureStay guest as someone unsure about their choices at the economy level - perhaps someone who has run into unclean rooms in the past - who can be wowed by the welcoming environment Best Western envisions for SureStay: clean and comfortable rooms, friendly and professional service, free and reliable internet free and good quality breakfast, and great value. The SureStay hotels will be required to score at least a 3.5 on TripAdvisor and agree to a service guarantee that if anything goes wrong, hoteliers will take care of it, Kong says. That formula of standards and support should ensure happy travelers, and happy travelers should ensure more profits in the long run. "Guests can be sure about their stay at SureStay," Kong said. ■ http://www.TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Today's Hotelier - October 2016

Letter From the Chairman
Letter From the President & CEO
News Bytes
AAHOA Spotlight
Best Western’s New Frontier
Government Affairs
The Uneven Playing Field: Hotels & Airbnb
Finding Opportunity in the Old
Development & Renovation
Living Legends: Wisdom From Industry Trailblazers
Finance Q&A
The Latest Tech Tools for Hospitality
Guest Experience
AAHOA Events
AAHOA Founding Members
AAHOA Vendor Partners
Classifieds
Advertiser Index
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - cover1
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - cover2
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 3
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 4
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 5
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 6
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 7
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Letter From the Chairman
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 9
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Letter From the President & CEO
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 11
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - News Bytes
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 13
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - AAHOA Spotlight
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 15
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 16
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 17
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Best Western’s New Frontier
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 19
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 20
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 21
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 22
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 23
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Government Affairs
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 25
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 26
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 27
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 28
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 29
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - The Uneven Playing Field: Hotels & Airbnb
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 31
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 32
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 33
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 34
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 35
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Development & Renovation
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 37
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 38
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 39
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 40
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 41
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Living Legends: Wisdom From Industry Trailblazers
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 43
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 44
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 45
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 46
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 47
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 48
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 49
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Finance Q&A
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 51
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 52
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 53
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - The Latest Tech Tools for Hospitality
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 55
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 56
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 57
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Guest Experience
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 59
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 60
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 61
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - AAHOA Events
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 63
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - AAHOA Founding Members
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 65
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - AAHOA Vendor Partners
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 67
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 68
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 69
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 70
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 71
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 72
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 73
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 74
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 75
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 76
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Classifieds
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 78
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 79
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 80
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 81
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 82
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 83
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 84
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 85
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - Advertiser Index
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - cover3
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - cover4
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - outsert1
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - outsert2
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 91
Today's Hotelier - October 2016 - 92
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