Phoenix (May 19, 2016) – As part of Best Western® Hotels & Resorts’ transformative brand refresh, the company will provide guests with an immersive 360 degree look into its hotel offerings. Through use of the Best Western Virtual Reality Experience (BWVRE), travelers will be able to view guest rooms, hotel lobbies and amenities prior to arriving at a property.
For the past three years, Best Western has partnered with Google Street View to gather 1.7 million photos of its 2,200 North American hotels. Using Google Street View Technology along with customized narration and music, BWVRE creates an engaging, story-telling experience and sets a new industry standard for virtual reality. By summer of 2016, every Best Western branded hotel in North America will have implemented the BWVRE.
“Walking into a lobby or guest room leaves an indelible impression on what kind of experience will follow, but photos aren’t enough,” said Dorothy Dowling, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “The Best Western Virtual Reality Experience transports consumers into our hotels and a customizable narration will guide them through the experience.”
Best Western is the first major company of its size and scale to launch this cutting-edge technology setting a new industry standard for how virtual reality can be used to enhance the customer experience. BWVRE videos are being developed in 8K resolution, the current highest ultra-high definition video available and will be available on all platforms that are supported by HTML5, including Google Maps, Google Search, YouTube and Facebook. The technology allows for the broadest distribution of video assets and gives Best Western the ability to enhance the experience over time.
Additionally, BWVRE is part of Best Western’s recently launched brand refresh created to highlight the hotel company’s decades of success. During this time, Best Western hotel owners have invested $2 billion in property improvements and renovations across North America, including a reimagined brand identity to help clarify its exceptional offerings and broaden the appeal with a contemporary, energetic and relevant look. The company has introduced a new master brand logo and new logos for Best Western, Best Western Plus and Best Western Premier, as well as its other brands to help underscore the unique differences between its seven hotel offerings.
Best Western is also outpacing the competition in RevPAR (revenue per available room) and has committed to the evolving of needs of Today’s Traveler – including improvements in social engagement, technology integration and consistent service.
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ABOUT BEST WESTERN HOTELS & RESORTS
Best Western® Hotels & Resorts headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a privately held hotel brand with a global network of 4,100* hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Best Western offers seven hotel brands to suit the needs of developers and guests in every market: Best Western®, Best Western Plus®, Best Western Premier®, Executive Residency by Best Western℠, Vīb ®, BW Premier Collection® and GLō℠. Now celebrating 70 years of hospitality, Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales and marketing support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 26 million travelers are members of the brand’s award-winning loyalty program Best Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can be redeemed at any Best Western hotel worldwide. The brand’s partnerships with AAA/CAA, Minor League Baseball, and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. Best Western continues to set industry records regarding awards and accolades, including Business Travel News naming Best Western as the best midscale hotel brand in 2014 and Best Western Plus as the best upper mid-price hotel brand in 2014 and 2015, four consecutive Compuware Best of the Web gold awards for best hotel website, and seven consecutive AAA/CAA Hotel Partner of the Year awards. Nearly sixty percent of Best Western branded hotels earned a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award in 2015.
* Numbers are approximate, may fluctuate, and include hotels currently in the development pipeline.