1. What is BWH Hotel Group and how does it differ from other international hotel chains?
- BWH Hotel Group is global hotels chain, which includes the following 3 separate hotel companies. Worldhotels Collection, Best Western Hotels & Resorts and SureStay Hotel Group. Such a big portfolio is a result that BWH Hotel Group is quite flexible brand in terms of hotels affiliation.
For example: if other well-known brands strictly consider only 100 and more room hotels, BWH Hotel Group due to the local market specifics, consider the small ones too, even family hotels can be a subject of discussion. So, It is not mandatory „Best Western“ hotel owner to be a major investor who has got real estate portfolio, it can be a relatively small hotel, which works well at the market, has an acceptable infrastructure and service quality. For example: minimum 40 room hotels can be considered to join the biggest hotel family in regions, only if it has interesting concept applies brand standards.
BWH Hotel Group Convenience lies also in the fact that it is designated as a franchise brand. It does not undertake the hotel’s management, on the contrary, all real estate related decisions are made solely by the owner. As a result, BWH Hotel Group consider experienced hotel owners who are truly able to manage a hotel as their partners. It makes life easier for the hotel owners.
While it knows what does qualified operational management stand for and has one of the brand of BWH Hotel Group chain on the roof, independent hotel actually turns into the member of the international sales system and receives all the advantages of the hotels international network, but at the same time the daily operational hotel management is under the hands of its owners, which gives economy unlike lots of big brands.
There are lots of other interesting nuances, for instance: BWH Hotel Group brands service prices. If you compare brand using cost to other global brands rates, between them you will find a significant difference .
2. What brand categories does BWH Hotel Group chain companies include and what is the difference between them? Which brands are suitable to certain types of hotels?
- BWH Hotel Group consist of 3 separate hotel companies and 18 different brands including economy, midscale and high class, also highest and luxury category brands (you can find their description according each company website) that gives us chance t consider any category and concept projects.
3. How does brand selection process happen?
brand is certainly selected by the candidate hotel owner or project manager team, according to their project location and concept. However, after the head office receives the necessary information for considering specific project at the inital stage, it is possible the first selected brand to be changed for other brand by our office.
4. What are those mandatory actions to be taken by hotels in order to join the BWH Hotel Group network?
- There are individual set standards for each network brand, which are very clear and distinct. Any hotel, having claim to international market presence, must comply with them:
The Standards are quite large books written down all the requests referring front of the house, the first expression. Rooms, restaurants, guest corridors, stairs, elevators. Everything must be in order, clean and in working conditions. In fact, this is the basic principle of the BWH Hotel Group standards.
Another peculiarity is that we often see , on the Georgian market, the spaces in the hotel building which are not a part of this hotel. For instance, when the fitness center is leased and regulated by third parties, or the store. Those spaces are subject of annual inspection. So, anu space, where guests can be inside the hotel building (garage, fitness center hired by the third party, or the store ) each of them must meet the quality requirements set by Best Western Hotels & Resorts
High quality hotels usually meet the brand requirements. Good hotels, who are considering to join the brand, does not have to change so much in order to meet the brand standard requirements.
Usually, brand has some requirements to the booking system PMS(Property Management System). Which leads to certain costs for the owner if he does not have such system in the moment of joining. But this additional investments are justified by the growth of the sales flow resulted by joining the international network.
Since we dont manage a hote, it is important for us to know who is going to manage it. is it hotel owner himself of experienced hotel management company while it has huge effect on hotel proper operation and accordingly on hotel revenue.which is very important not only for the hotel owner but also for BWH Hotel Group. Hereby We request that candidate hotel to collaborate with experienced management company.
5. If the hotel have met all the requirements and joined the BWH Hotel Group chain, What will be changed in terms of the visitors flow, number and quality ? What opportunities are given to the brand hotels?
- First of all, the hotel gets a right to use the international brands name. in large cities, independent hotels meet international requirements and hotel expactations, but in majority of regions, guests have no idea what to expect from the hotel. For instance, guest has to select one hotel from two same price segment category options, the first is called – “Kutaisi” and the second- “Best Western Kutaisi”, definitely the choice will be an international name, service quality and infrastructure he is aware of, while the hotel with no name is actually a Russian roulette. So, the brand adherence is a guarantee for growing the guests flow, both - individual or corporate. As for our region, first of all, it has an effect on international sales.
BWH Hotel Group sales team are working hard in search for corporate contracts all over the world so if something important is planned in our region, we can be sure that the brand sales department is working to receive corporate orders of this event.
If we compare brand hotels to its neighboring independent hotels, we will see that the brand hotel owner definitely has much more chances to expect a higher ADR(Average Daily Rate) because of the guests loyalty to the brand and therefore guaranteed higher profit, even when the level of infrastructure and service quality for both hotels are the same.
Thereby, we can easily say that joining the international chain directly effects on the sales, room prices and occupancy growth.
6. What opportunities arise to regional hotels with respect to the room reservations when joining BWH Hotel Group and does it cause some changes in working with OTA.
- BWH Hotel Group has a corporate agreement with major booking systems. If you happen to be an individual hotel- you operate under the terms of OTA (Online Travel Agency), but while you are a part of the brand, you will find the latter terms more advantageous. So, when joining the brand, you preserve the sales channel of OTA and at the same time, you are given a chance to work with more profitable conditions.
7. It is not a secret that we have a low level personnel training in Georgia. Few hoteliers are able to teach their employees on the international basis. By joining the BWH Hotel Group system Does the hotelier take any advantages in these terms?
- BWH Hotel Group has an entire system of training. It is a pre-opening primary trainings for learning the brand and additionally sales, revenue management, etc. there is set training schedule which is constantly joined by the employees from various departments of the hotel.
As for the trainings for general managers, the brand university has separate section and studying is compulsory when the hotel join this network. It is important for general managers to have an opportunity learn about the corporate culture of BWH Hotel Group and establish our international standards regardless of the hotel location.
8. Does the hotel become more attractive for the job seeker high-class personnel?
- Definitely. While being a potential employee, where would you choose to work and what would you like to write in your resume: “I worked in the hotel “Kutaisi” or “I worked in “Best Western Kutaisi” even in the region - ? International hotel work experience is a big advantage for the employee. So, in this case, the owner probably hires more qualified staff.
9. Does BWH Hotel Group assist the hotels who are willing to join the brand in some ways (training or consulting) when hiring personnel?
- Training assistance is provided explicitly, but it is permitted at the last stage of the hotel opening. While consulting help is allowed at the selection and subsequent stages as well, we repeat once again that BWH Hotel Group do not regulate hotel, we only give advice.
If the head of the hotel or GM at some point need professional help: how to set prices today, how to solve guest’s problem, our door is always opened for friendly consultations. Experienced hoteliers working with our brand for many years will confirm that we have very friendly relations with every owners and they can always count on our assistance.
So, we do not participate in the team selection process officially. But unofficially, we are happy to give advice and some references to certain candidates.
10. In terms of development, BWH Hotel Group involves only in finished projects. Are there any chances the brand to be involved at the time of preparation, at the moment of the hotel construction?
– BWH Hotel Group has got 2 approaches:
First option: Adjoin already operating hotel to the network which has tight requirements. As long as the hotel fails to pass quality inspection, it has no right to promote itself as Best Western.
Second option: easiest way to join the network is from the moment of construction. When the corporate team gets involved in planning and design. Hotelier gets all standards from the very beginning, enable to plan his hotel accordingly. It is very important indeed, earlier hotelier gets those standards, easier becomes to continue construction.
For example, there are certain standards for the building heating and air-conditioning and if they are not fulfilled, the hotel loses pre-opening estimate scores, which has such a big importance that it can be resulted to the hotel's failure to pass the quality inspection. Therefore, earlier hotelier is informed about the type of heating and air conditioning, easier will be to get the right of the brand usage.
11. For the potential investor willing to get involved in the hotel construction process, at what stage is allowed to apply for BWH Hotel Group-?
- The sooner the better. Obviously, we have a certain perception of the market and if the matter goes to the land plot choosing, we can share our thoughts to the investor indeed. However, there are different cases- when the owner addresses on the planning moment or during construction. It is definitely in the interest of the owner to receive a consent as early possible in terms of working with banks. Branded hotel is a big advantage for any bank, as they prefer brand projects over independent ones.
12. Every brand has certain requirements for hotel arrangements, lining materials, furniture, plumbing, etc. will the hotel after joining the BWH Hotel Group, receive some kind of preference for purchasing any foreign equipment, furniture, materials etc.?
- Comparing with other brands, which have very rigid requirements for equipment specifications and work only with pre-approved brands, BWH Hotel Group policy in this matter, is very flexible. Important is quality, does not matter the logo of the particular device.
If device quality meet the minimum requirements which we ask for a particular project, the brand name is not determinative. This issue is subject for discussion of the owner team leader. If he believes that locally produced furniture meets the Best Western requirements, we have nothing against.
13. As for the software ensuring, is it required some kind of standardization like inclusion in the common global data management system?
- Yes, in this case, we have a very rigid requirement. It is virtually the only aspect in which we require specific software installment. It is necessary to be in full communication with the sales central office, central reservation systems and specified hotel reservation system
However, we say once again that it is not one sole system, but approved set of suppliers. The owner, solely makes a choice between that 6 or 7 companies to whom we are ready for cooperation, which would be more interesting to work with on the project.
14. Do the hoteliers have an opportunity to exchange the information on the hotel market situation in a particular region by affiliation to the BWH Hotel Group?
- In this case, central office works very actively as well as the revenue management of the central office. This work includes collecting all of this information and distributing it to the rest of the regions in order to learn the market situation, to set prices properly on certain seasons, hold some events, boost revenue and as already mentioned above, we are always ready for daily advisory relationships on a variety of issues.
15. In 2016, the state program “Produce in Georgia” has been added a new component, which refers to the hotel industry development and enables the population to develop the hotel industry, create jobs, attract more tourists and promote region development.
What is interesting in this new component for the hotel owners who consider to join one of the brand of the BWH Hotel Group and accordingly to unite this international network?
- Truly a very important decision, which will significantly contribute to the development of the hotel industry in Georgia and increase the service quality. As benefits envisaged by this decree are very attractive financially to both local and foreign investors, especially for the use of the international brand.
According to this decree loan co-financing terms with no international brand are the following:
For the commercial bank newly issued loan percentage rate co-financing during the first 36 months, and for active beneficiars, in case of restructuring, for additional 12 months
- Agency cofinancing percentage for the loan is calculated by Georgian national bank refinancing rate (at the time of loan issue) plus 3%( 11% as of today)
- Minimum loan amount – 50,000 GEL
- Maximum loan amount – 4 000 000 GEL
- Minimum 50% of the loan amount must be directed for the main and capital expances and no more than 50% for purchasing the turnover capital.
Whereas the use of international brand offers even better conditions:
- For the use of international brand (franchising /management contract) financing of so called Royalty Fees compensation during the first 36 months, (300, 000 GEL per year).
- Bank loan percentage rate cofinancing for the first 36 months> refinancing rate + 3%(11,5% as of today)
- Minimum loan amount – 50,000 GEL
- Maximum loan amount – 10 000 000 GEL
- Consulting service co-financing.
The difference is obvious and does not require additional comments.