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Worldhotel Grand Juna Wuxi (photo: Worldhotels)

Best Western buys luxury with WorldHotels

The collection of 300 hotels and resorts will lift Best Western’s already huge portfolio into the upper upscale and luxury segments.

Best Western Hotels & Resorts has bought WorldHotels, just two years after it was taken over by the US-based hospitality sales and marketing consortium Associated Luxury Hotels. The price was not disclosed.

The brand, which represents a collection of some 300 hotels and resorts around the world, will now play a “critical role” in enhancing Best Western’s already huge portfolio to include the upper upscale and luxury segments.

WorldHotels will maintain its individuality while benefiting from the hospitality giant’s scalable e-commerce platform, partnerships, loyalty programme, sales and marketing support, global distribution network and revenue engines.

“Best Western is one of the largest, most respected and trusted hotel brands,” said Geoff Andrew, chief executive of WorldHotels, who will continue in his position.

“As we join forces, the combined power of our brands sets the stage for a bright future for both Best Western and WorldHotels. Through its established senior leadership team and regional presence in each market, Best Western brings a new level of expertise that will help grow the WorldHotels brand in key markets.”

David Kong, president and CEO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts, commented that “there is tremendous synergy between Best Western and WorldHotels. By joining forces in this new partnership, we will create competitive advantages for both companies.”

Soft brands
The travel analysis site Skift wonders if this the beginning of a new cycle of global hotel chains buying independent hotel groups. As competition intensifies for soft brands, it says, more consolidation like this is likely.

Only a week ago, InterContinental Hotels Group bought the ultra-luxury Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas in a $300 million cash acquisition.

Global hotel companies have been entering the area of independent groups by launching a number of soft brands – in Best Western’s case like the BW Premier Collection, the SureStay Collection and the BW Signature Collection. But Skift writes that this is the first time a hotel group has bought one of them outright.

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