COVID-19 impact roundup: Best Western US properties welcome healthcare staff

by | 27 Apr 2020 | Portfolio

Best Western is supporting both frontline staff and its franchisees. (Picture: Best Western)

Best Western closes many properties in Europe, but in North America, many properties remain open and have begun welcoming essential workers.

COVID-19 is keeping guests at home and out of hotels the world over. Like many other global hotel companies, Best Western has been strongly impacted by the crisis.

However, the company is sending strong signals to the rest of the industry by supporting those fighting against the coronavirus on the frontlines and its franchisees.

We find out how Best Western has been impacted and how the company is supporting essential workers.

COVID-19 impact on Best Western Hotels & Resorts

The drastic drop in domestic and international travel has led to occupancy levels plummeting across the Best Western portfolio.

In Europe, many properties have had to close due to government restrictions on travel. This has led to staff being furloughed until further notice. In North America, many properties remain open and have begun welcoming essential workers

Mitigation measures taken by Best Western

With countless properties shutting down temporarily or facing very low occupancy rates, Best Western’s franchise partners have been struggling. The company has announced several measures to support them and help them get through this difficult time.

50% of monthly fees and property revenue management fees have been waived. Best Western Rewards loyalty point fees have also been reduced for hotels without lowering the points awarded to program participants. In turn, redemption compensation for loyalty guest stays has been increased by 50%. On top of this, co-op marketing fees have been waived entirely.

“I am proud that our Board of Directors and Executive Team have implemented measures that will provide immediate relief to our hoteliers,” said Peter Kwong, Chairman of the Board, BWHR.

“In the coming weeks as this crisis unfolds, we will continue to listen to the voice of our hoteliers and respond to their struggles in meaningful ways.”

Supporting healthcare staff and other essential workers

Recently Best Western made a special discounted rate plan available for frontline healthcare providers, transportation and infrastructure professionals across North America. From now on, they can receive at least 10% off at participating Best Western hotels by presenting their employment ID upon check-in.

The company is also offering these workers an upgrade to the Elite status of its loyalty program which gives them access to exclusive offers and further discounts.

Finally, current loyalty program members can also support frontline staff more easily now by donating reward points (which are then converted to cash) to Best Western’s charitable organisation Best Western for a Better World or the Red Cross.

“Each and every day we see essential workers, from healthcare providers and first responders to transportation workers and infrastructure professionals, putting their own health at risk to lead the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said David Kong, President and Chief Executive Officer for BWHR.

“These frontline workers are making tremendous sacrifices for the greater good. While no token of appreciation will ever be enough, we are proud to show our respect and gratitude by keeping our doors open in their time of need, extending a loyalty upgrade and supporting the relief efforts through donations.”



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.