BEST Western International's prominent stock of three-star hotels in Asia, which comprises 60 per cent of its total portfolio in the region, has proven to be a boon in its pursuit of the Chinese traveller market.
Paul Suvodip, the company’s regional manager, sales & revenue, Asia & Middle East, told TTG Asia e-Daily that Best Western properties in Asia have been seeing “exponential growth” out of China, a result of the country’s “huge middle-income population”.
Today, China is among the company’s top source markets, which include Russia, Germany, the UK and South Korea, for its Asian property portfolio.
Suvodip said: “The middle-income Chinese are travelling a lot more today, and they tend to stay with mid-range properties. It helps that the bulk of our hotels in Asia are in the three-star category. As the Best Western brand is well-established in China now, Chinese travellers are willing to book with us when they head to Asia.”
The chain has more than 30 hotels in operation across China today, as well as two each in Hong Kong and Macau.
He added: “Chinese travellers are also exploring more of Asia. Most of our bookings out of China used to be for our Bangkok hotels. Now, we are seeing more demand for our hotels in Phuket and Malaysia.
“That said, Bangkok is still popular with the Chinese market. A Thai travel consultant we work with told me recently that he handles 40-50 busloads of Chinese travellers every month. They would stay two to three nights each time. And this is just coming from one travel agency, so you can imagine how well our travel agency partners can help to fill our hotels with Chinese travellers.”