LOS ANGELES—With 130 to 140 properties expected to be added in 2014, Best Western International continues to experience robust growth in the brand’s North American development pipeline, the brand announced at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS).
The percentage of new-build hotel projects are also on the uptick, as almost 45% of Best Western’s 2014-15 pipeline will be new construction, up from 40% in 2013 and 35% in 2012.
“The new hotel construction market continues to see a steady rebound in North America, particularly in the midscale and upper-midscale markets,” stated Best Western President and CEO David Kong. “Because we offer distinctly different hotel types within those categories, we are really in that ‘sweet spot’ for lenders and developers where we can offer them the type of projects they are looking for right now.”
Of the new projects in Best Western’s North American pipeline, nearly 65% are expected to be Best Western Plus or Best Western Premier hotel types. The diversity of the brand’s hotel offerings has also helped open new development doors in key gateway and getaway destinations. In 2013 Best Western opened its first Premier property in Manhattan, the Best Western Premiere Herald Square, and new properties in Toronto and Fort Lauderdale will open in 2014.
A similar growth story is playing out for Best Western globally, where more than 60% of the hotels in the pipeline are new construction. Among the fastest growing markets for the brand are Africa, Indonesia and Brazil—where Best Western recently announced plans to add 30 new properties in the next five years. Meanwhile Erbil, Iraq and Colombo, Sri Lanka are among the emerging hotel destinations where Best Western will open the brand’s first property in 2014.
“Around the world we are seeing more developers embrace the idea of going with an international hotel brand, because of all the advantages it offers such as global loyalty programs, sales and marketing support and superior distribution channels. Best Western is unique in that we offer all those big brand advantages, while still giving the owner or operator the freedom to customize their hotel to meet their specific market needs, “ said Ron Pohl, SVP of development and member services, Best Western.