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Best Western Upgrades Online Guest Experience

6/5/2008

BEST WESTERN UPGRADES ONLINE GUEST EXPERIENCE WITH NEW FEATURES
Focus Group, Customer Survey Feedback Spurs Enhancements to bestwestern.com

PHOENIX (June 5, 2008) – Best Western International today announced a number of upgrades which have been made to www.bestwestern.com, including enhanced mapping features and expanded search options, to better assist travelers researching destinations and booking hotel rooms.

These enhancements are a combined result of feedback received during Best Western-led focus groups as well as through results from an industry survey that revealed how hotel chains could best communicate with their guests.

“With the overwhelming majority of our 400,000 nightly guests around the world booking their reservations directly through www.bestwestern.com, so each new online feature or enhancement will impact their overall Best Western experience before check-in,” said Karmela Gaffney, managing director of eCommerce and advertising for Best Western International.

Multiple upgrades made to www.bestwestern.com include:

• Enhanced Area Map Graphics – Powered by Microsoft Visual Earth, the interactive map on the Hotel Search Results page lays out the location of each Best Western property in a particular area via a larger, more explicit display.
• Expanded Search Options – As a result of a recent usability study which revealed that travelers did not understand how properties were displayed in a search, Best Western hotels are now listed in order of distance to the city center.
• Expanded Search Radius – The City Search application has been modified so that it now highlights search results within a 100-mile radius from the original search point. This upgrade provides travelers with more property options from which to choose.
• New Amenity Icons – Modified to a monochromatic look, letting visitors easily locate and compare hotel amenities with other Best Western hotels nearby.
• Redesigned Hotel Information Boxes – This modification will better streamline the hotel search results page by increasing the visibility of key property information so that it now combines nightly room rate details with the Check Availability button. This change, which encourages a stronger call to action by the user, is expected to increase the percentage of searches that are turned into actual reservations.
• Upgraded ‘Sort By’ Field Display – A new drop down menu allows travelers to sort by price or distance from the city center, giving them better ability to find the exact property that meets their needs.

ABOUT BEST WESTERN INTERNATIONAL
Best Western International is THE WORLD'S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN®, providing marketing, reservations and operational support to over 4,000* independently owned and operated member hotels in 80* countries and territories worldwide. An industry pioneer since 1946, Best Western has grown into an iconic brand that hosts 400,000* worldwide guests each night. Best Western's diverse property portfolio, its greatest strength, stems from a business model designed to give owners maximum flexibility to address market-specific needs. Equally committed to the business and leisure traveler, Best Western recently embarked on a five-year mission to lead the hotel industry in customer care. Since 2004, Best Western has served as the Official Hotel of NASCAR®. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit www.bestwestern.com.

*Numbers are approximate and can fluctuate.