Best Western has unveiled a new white label franchise model through which is aiming to tap the potential of unbranded lower tier hotels.
SureStay Hotels, which comes in three separate brand tiers – SureStay Hotel (premium economy), SureStay Plus Hotel (lower midscale) and SureStay Signature Collection (a midscale “soft” brand) – is targeted at hotel owners who want to operate independently while also accessing Best Western’s support structure and distribution channels.
“In North America there are currently 17,000 branded hotels, and another 12,000 unbranded, in the economy and midscale segments. The white label approach allows Best Western to tap into this tremendous potential without compromising its brand image,” said David Kong, president & CEO of Best Western.
“Currently, many of these hotels have little to no consumer relevance. Their brands have very little potential to drive superior revenue, and the owners are incurring high franchise fees from brands that don’t provide the necessary support, service or value,” he added.
All three brands will be marketed under the SureStay umbrella, with no consumer reference to Best Western. This, according to the company, will allow it to tap a new revenue stream, taking advantage of the “vast opportunities that exist in the economy space”, without compromising the company’s reputation in the midscale an upscale tiers.
Owners will be provided a cloud-based PMS and a digital platform featuring Google 360 virtual reality tours. They will also be offered advice on how to manage their online reviews and social media platforms, as well as property-level sales coaching.
To ensure quality, hotels included in the SureStay programme must have achieved a TripAdvisor rating of 3.5 or higher. They will also be bound by a ‘SureStay Service Promise’.
“With SureStay, we are seeking to create a core group of hotels that will differentiate themselves from others in the market, focusing on delivering high quality and outstanding service,” said Kong.
Best Western revealed that it has already signed nearly 20 letters of intent for the SureStay programme since a soft-launch earlier this month. It expects to build a portfolio of 150 SureStay hotels within three years and 800 by 2026.