Fast Company today announced its annual ranking of the world’s Most Innovative Companies (MIC), honoring Best Western Hotels & Resorts with a spot in the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in AR/VR category. The brand was recognized for its two-prong approach to VR/AR – including the Best Western Virtual Reality Experience (BWVRE), which uses virtual reality to reinvent the way guests view and shop for hotels; and its I Care® Every Guest Every Time employee training, which leverages virtual reality to transform communications between front desk staff and guests. These initiatives positioned Best Western as the first company of its size and scale to utilize this cutting-edge technology in these ways.
“We are honored to receive this prestigious, highly sought-after recognition from Fast Company,” said David Kong, President and CEO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “As a brand, Best Western is committed to using the latest technology to meet the needs of today’s travelers, and I am pleased that our virtual reality programs have set a new standard in customer care and the industry at large. We look forward to continuing our position as a frontrunner in innovation and a leader in hospitality.”
Through BWVRE, travelers can experience every element of the most essential hotel areas in advance of their booking or stay. With three-dimensional 360-degree videos, customized narration and music, guests can embark on interactive tours of each hotel’s pool, lobby, fitness center and room types. They are transported into the spaces and can inspect everything from the layout of the space to the quality of the furniture, or the size of the television. Travelers can also now virtually explore every one of Best Western’s 2,200+ properties across North America. Tours are available on all platforms that are supported by HTML5, including Google® Maps, Google Search, YouTube® and Facebook®.
Best Western’s I Care Every Guest Every Time initiative uses a live hospitality virtual simulator that enables front desk, housekeeping, maintenance, and breakfast staff to practice and develop their interpersonal and guest communication skills in realistic, lifelike scenarios. Best Western properties utilizing the training program, with avatars and conflict resolution modules have already seen major boosts in areas of guest satisfaction within the brand’s Medallia customer survey results.
The 50 Most Innovative Companies were curated from Fast Company‘s Top 10 lists, which recognize pioneering companies across 36 categories, from artificial intelligence to wellness. More than three dozen Fast Company editors, reporters, and contributors surveyed thousands of companies—many of which were identified by a new MIC submission process—to create these lists. Most Innovative Companies is Fast Company’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. It provides both a snapshot and a road map for the future of innovation across the most dynamic sectors of the economy.
“This year’s Most Innovative Companies list is an inspiring and insightful window into how many companies have embraced innovation and are working to make meaningful change,” said Fast Company deputy editor David Lidsky, who oversaw the issue with senior editor Amy Farley.
Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies issue (March-April 2018) is now available online at www.fastcompany.com/MIC, as well as in app form via iTunes and on newsstands beginning February 27.
For more information on Best Western Hotels & Resorts, visit BestWestern.com.
About Best Western® Hotels & Resorts
Best Western Hotels & Resorts headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is a privately held hotel brand with a global network of 4,200* hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Best Western offers 11 hotel brands to suit the needs of developers and guests in every market: Best Western®, Best Western Plus®, Best Western Premier®, Vīb®, GLō®, Executive Residency by Best Western®, BW Premier Collection®, and BW Signature Collection by Best Western; as well as its recently launched franchise offerings: SureStay® Hotel by Best Western, SureStay Plus® Hotel by Best Western and SureStay Collection by Best Western. Now celebrating more than 70 years of hospitality, Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales and marketing support, and award-winning online and mobile booking capabilities. Best Western continues to set industry records regarding awards and accolades, including 64 percent of the brand’s North American hotels earning a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award in 2017, Business Travel News® ranking Best Western Plus and Best Western number one in upper-mid-price and mid-price hotel brands, and Best Western receiving seven consecutive Dynatrace® Best of the Web awards for its leading hotel website. Best Western has also won nine consecutive AAA®/CAA® Lodging Partner of the Year awards, recognizing the brand’s commitment to providing exceptional service and great value to AAA/CAA’s nearly 58 million members in the U.S. and Canada. Best Western-branded hotels were top ranked in J.D. Power’s 2017 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study – ranking first in breakfast (food and beverage category) for midscale; and second in overall guest satisfaction. Over 32 million travelers are members of the brand’s award-winning loyalty program Best Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can be redeemed at any Best Western hotel worldwide. Best Western’s partnerships with AAA/CAA and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. Through its partnership with Google® Street View, Best Western is the first major company of its size and scale to launch a virtual reality experience for customers, setting a new industry standard and reinventing how guests view hotels.
* All Best Western and SureStay-branded hotels are independently owned and operated.
* Numbers are approximate, may fluctuate, and include hotels currently in the development pipeline.