Best Western eyeing expansion in Thailand

Best Western, one of the most successful hotel chains in the United States, opened its first SureStay hotel in Bangkok this month and company executives said last week they plan to capitalize on Thailand’s relentless growth in tourism by eventually opening hotels from all three of its SureStay sub-brands across the Kingdom in coming years.

Olivier Berrivin, Best Western Hotels and Resorts managing director for international operations in Asia, said travelers want globally branded, standardized budget accommodations, and there is more demand than supply for that in Thailand now, creating opportunities for Best Western.

Thailand has enjoyed robust tourism growth with a nearly 6 percent increase in tourist arrivals so far this year and the government forecasting that somewhere between 33 million and 34 million tourists will visit the Kingdom in 2017. Although Thailand is home to some of the most legendary and luxurious hotels and resorts in the world, the sheer volume of tourists means accommodations are needed at every class and level to keep up with demand.

“Obviously Bangkok is a key market, but we would consider all major destinations within the country. We hope to be able to reveal more SureStay Hotel Group developments in Thailand in future,” Berrivin said. “With Thailand’s booming tourism industry and a large but disparate economy hotel sector, we see significant opportunities.”

Although Best Western has only three hotels in Thailand at the moment, the chain has a strong reputation and track record across the region. Earlier this month, Best Western was named as Asia’s “Best Mid-Range Hotel Brand” for the 11th year in a row at the Annual TTG Travel Awards, which were held in Bangkok.

Best Western is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, and is a privately held hotel brand with a global network of over 4,100 hotels in more than 100 countries and territories worldwide. It has created 10 sub-brands to capture the full range of niches in the market.

Berrivin said that SureStay Hotels appeal to travelers making weekend or last-minute trips and are designed to offer “comfort and value” with brand standard amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi and a “business corner” providing professional services such as printing and copying.

The next level up, SureStay Plus hotels will feature fitness facilities and a swimming pool, while the level above that, SureStay Collection properties, are full-service hotels with all of the aforementioned amenities along with on-site dining facilities.

“Broadly speaking, we have seen occupancy and rates gradually increase across Thailand in recent years, which is giving hoteliers and developers confidence,” Berrivin said.