Best Western International, Inc., operator of the Best Western Hotels & Resorts brand, operates over 4,100 hotels and motels worldwide. The chain, with its corporate headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, operates more than 2,000 hotels in North America. The brand was founded by M.K. Guertin in 1946. David Kong is the president and CEO of Best Western and Dorothy Dowling is the chief marketing officer.
In 1964, Canadian hotel owners joined the system. Best Western then expanded to Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand in 1976.
In 2002, Best Western International launched Best Western Premier in Europe and Asia. (The other hotels in the chain were known as Best Western.) In 2011, the chain’s branding system-wide changed to a three-tiered system: Best Western, Best Western Plus, and Best Western Premier.
The name “Best Western” was a result of most of their properties originally being in the United States west of the Mississippi River. By 1962, Best Western had the only hospitality reservations service covering the entire United States, and in 1963, was the largest motel chain in the industry with 699 member properties and 35,201 rooms. From 1946 to 1964, Best Western had a marketing partnership with Quality Courts, the forerunner of the chain known today as Quality Inns, whose properties were located mostly east of the Mississippi River, not in direct competition with Best Western.Best Western purchased WorldHotels in February 2019 adding a further 300 hotels to its portfolio.
Best Western GB
Best Western GB began in 1978 when Interchange Hotels of the United Kingdom consisting of independent hoteliers from key locations in the UK elected to trade under the brand name Best Western United Kingdom, effectively an affiliate of Best Western International in the US. Now there are over 260 Best Western hotels within Great Britain.
Best Western Australia and New Zealand
In 1981, Homestead Motor Inns of Australia affiliated with Best Western. This move put ‘International’ after the Best Western name. The company has since been known as Best Western International.
In early 2007, Best Western Australia took over the rights to operate Best Western properties in New Zealand from the previous company, the Motel Federation of New Zealand. This was a bold but beneficial move for the brand as it made way for better quality properties to be brought into the brand. Currently, Best Western Australia has 205 properties in the group (11 in New Zealand and 194 in Australia).
Best Western Myanmar (Burma)
As of 21 May 2013, Best Western International has announced that it will take over management of the Green Hill Hotel in Yangon, Myanmar. The acquisition will give the hotel Best Western’s brand name and place presence in Myanmar (Burma) as Best Western’s first hotel establishment in the country.