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Best Western launches two new brands at it looks towards urban travellers

05 March 2015 by
Best Western launches two new brands at it looks towards urban travellers

Best Western has introduced two new hotel brands as it looks to appeal to urban travellers.

It has launched soft brand BW Premier Collection to attract operators who want the marketing power of a hotel giant without the branding, along with Vib - a new build concept aimed at the modern urban traveller.

Speaking at the launch of the brands at the International Hotel Investment Conference (IHIF) in Berlin, Best Western GB chief executive Richard Lewis said that BW would allow operators to take advantage of the Best Western booking engine while remaining independent.

"There are a number of hotels that, for a variety of reasons, don't want to be branded by anybody," he said. "We've got a $4.1b [£2.7m] booking system behind us - which many of the soft brands don't have - so we can drive the revenue for those that don't really want any flag and would rather remain independent."

Lewis added that those under the BW soft brand would pay on performance, after the joining and membership fee.

Meanwhile, Best Western also launched Vib, a modern brand aimed at millennial travellers who want the option of a technology led experience.

Lewis said: "Vib is taking us, for the first time in 69 years, to a completely different place. It's an urban chic, style led brand which give us an opportunity for investment from those who want to develop."

The rooms will be smaller than usual, but guests would be encouraged to interact in "eclectic social areas", Lewis said.

The concept will be mainly new build, although Lewis said that it might suit some office refurbishments.

"Traditionally we've grown eclectically with one's and two's, but in this case we're looking for investors. We've love to get some critical mass and traction in Europe," he said.

"We've already had real interest at IHIF. One investor has a fund of $750m [£492m] and he's looking at the UK as one of two countries to invest in. So there are openings. Hotel and real estate is considered a good asset class and this is a great opportunity."

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