Best Western has launched a new hotel brand designed to target the new generation of “millennial” travellers.
Unveiled at an event in Bangkok on Thursday, Vib (pronounced ‘Vibe’) is marketed as a “chic, hip boutique concept” that will be positioned in the upper-midscale sector.
“We believe that the stylish design of Vib combined with the concepts business model and low cost to build will be very appealing to developers and investors throughout Asia,” said Best Western’s president & CEO David Kong.
In terms of target market, Kong said Vib would attract “millennial” travellers who are “looking for new experiences”, while typical facilities will include large social lobby areas with virtual concierges, automated check-in, room services that can be activated by smartphones, international plug sockets and free Wi-Fi.
Asia’s first Vib hotel will be launched in the Gangnam area of Seoul in 2017. As well as the brand’s standard features, the 150-room new-build hotel will feature a rooftop pool, “grab and go” restaurant and bar.
Future Vib hotels will be rolled out to urban locations across Asia, and Best Western said it is currently pursuing development opportunities in Bangkok, the Malaysian cities of Kuching and Shah Alam, and the Philippine city of Ortigas.
Responding to questions from Travel Daily, Best Western’s senior vice president of brand management, Ron Pohl, said the price point of Vib would be closer to the upscale Best Western Plus brand than the classic midscale Best Western, although hotels will also be “inexpensive to construct and cost-efficient to operate”.
2015 marks a year of significant expansion for Best Western; as well as Vib, the company is also planning to introduce its new Executive Residency concept for long-stay guests and the luxury “soft brand”, BW Collection.
Currently, Best Western operates approximately 4,000 hotels worldwide under its three brands: Best Western, Best Western Plus and Best Western Premier.