Nearly 2,000 Virtual Reality Tours Created, Reimagining How Guests View Hotels
Phoenix (September 15, 2016) – As part of Best Western® Hotels & Resorts’ virtual reality (VR) experience, guests now have an immersive 360 degree look into all of the company’s North American hotels. Through the Best Western Virtual Reality Experience (BWVRE), guests are now able to view a virtual reality tour of nearly 2,000 properties. These videos are reinventing how guests view hotels and choose where to stay. Best Western is the first major company of its size and scale to utilize this cutting-edge technology in this way, setting a new industry standard for how virtual reality can be used to enhance the consumer journey.
The VR tours offer a guided 3D video of the hotels including narration and music, creating a truly engaging story-telling experience. Each video ranges in length from 50 seconds to 2 minutes. Guests can access the videos from Best Western’s YouTube channel – bestwesternTV.
“Before even stepping foot on the property, guests will be able to view guest rooms, lobbies, and amenities, as if they were there in person,” said Dorothy Dowling, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “Best Western is a first-mover in this effort, and we know our guests and our hotels will benefit from this game-changing technology.”
For the past three years, Best Western has worked in partnership with Google Street View to gather 1.7 million photos of its nearly 2,000 North American hotels, paving the way for the BWVRE. BWVRE videos were developed in 8K resolution, the current highest ultra-high definition video available, far beyond what is available in most consumers’ homes today. As technology infrastructure improves, BWVRE provides the best quality, sharpest images available.
BWVRE will be available on all platforms that are supported by HTML5, such as Google Maps, Google Search, YouTube and Facebook. This method allows the broadest distribution for these video assets and the ability for Best Western to continue to enhance the experience over time.
The launch of BWVRE comes during Best Western’s transformative brand refresh, an effort highlighting the hotel company’s decade of success. During the past two years, Best Western hotel owners have invested $2 billion in property improvements and renovations across North America. In addition, Best Western has grown its portfolio from one to seven hotel brands, offering travelers unique, stylish and contemporary hotel options across globe. Best Western has emerged as a global powerhouse, outpacing the competition in RevPAR (revenue per available room) and winning record levels of industry awards. The brand has continued to grow and evolve to truly become Today’s Best Western for Today’s Traveler.
About Best Western Hotels & Resorts:
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. Best Western offers seven hotel brands to suit the needs of developers and guests in every market: Best Western®, Best Western Plus®, Best Western Premier®, Executive Residency by Best Western℠, Vīb ®, BW Premier Collection® and GLō℠. Now celebrating 70 years of hospitality, Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales and marketing support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 26 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. The brand’s partnerships with AAA/CAA, Minor League Baseball, and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. Best Western continues to set industry records regarding awards and accolades, including Business Travel News naming Best Western as the best midscale hotel brand in 2014 and Best Western Plus as the best upper mid-price hotel brand in 2014 and 2015, four consecutive Compuware Best of the Web gold awards for best hotel website, and seven consecutive AAA/CAA Hotel Partner of the Year awards. Nearly sixty percent of Best Western branded hotels earned a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award in 2015.
* Numbers are approximate, may fluctuate, and include hotels currently in the development pipeline.