Kick Start has truly highlighted the hard work and innovation that comes from the entrepreneurs in our local communities and we’re excited to be able to give them the tools to get on the road and grow their business into new markets, said Dorothy Dowling.
Phoenix, Ariz. (PRWEB) November 26, 2013
It is now up to the public to determine which small business will take home the big prize in the Best Western Kick Start Your Business Travel program. Throughout the last month the program identified 12 local companies to reward with a “Kick Start” travel package of Best Western Rewards® (BWR®) points and automatic BWR Diamond Elite status, to help them get on the road and grow their business. Those 12 weekly winners are now finalists for the program’s Grand Prize which will be determined by a public vote.
Now through December 6 fans can log onto the Kick Start tab on the Best Western International Facebook page to learn more about the finalists and make their choice for the Grand Prize winner. From a fashionista in Seattle, to the founders of a pet therapy program in Illinois, the Kick Start finalists represent a wide array of ideas, organizations and entrepreneurs.
The Grand Prize includes half-a-million Best Western Rewards points, which can be redeemed for free room nights, or gift cards at retailers like Starbucks, Target, Home Depot and Amazon. The winner will also receive a combination of gas cards, Avis Rental Certificates, Staples Gift Cards and Diamond Elite status for up to five of their colleagues. All the prizes are aimed at ensuring the whole office can reap the rewards of traveling for business.
New Survey Results
With the fall back-to-business travel season in full swing, small-business owners are hitting the road in increasing numbers according to a new survey from Best Western International and Wakefield Research. The Best Western Small Business Travel survey, which was conducted among 400 U.S. small-business owners with business travel needs, found that 89 percent of respondents expect to travel as much or more for business this fall than they did in the fall of 2012.
While travel is on the rise for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), 90 percent of respondents said they feel large companies still get more travel perks like discounts, upgrades and loyalty status. To help combat this travel concern of so many SMEs, Best Western has launched a new program to help recognize and reward small-business owners across the United States and Canada.
“Kick Start has truly highlighted the hard work and innovation that comes from the entrepreneurs in our local communities and we’re excited to be able to give them the tools to get on the road and grow their business into new markets,” said Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Best Western International. “We know that sometimes small-business owners feel they don’t get the same travel advantages as larger organizations, so with Kick Start and our existing Best Western Business Advantage program, we’re helping to level that playing field.”
Best Western Business Advantage® (BWBA) is a travel program designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses. BWBA Members receive a 10 percent discount off the hotel’s best available rate, plus BWR Diamond Elite status for the company owner and Gold Elite status for all other company travelers. Additionally, 10 percent of all the points earned by employees in the program are credited to the owner, to be used at his or her discretion.
Additional highlights from Best Western Small Business Travel Survey include:
- Road Warriors Ramping Up: While 34 percent of respondents expect to travel more this fall than last season, that number jumps to 49 percent with the most frequent travelers, defined in the survey as those who take six or more business trips per year.
- Business Travel Benefits: Learning about new markets and new customers was the overwhelming choice (44 percent) for respondents when asked about the biggest business travel benefit besides growing one’s business. More face time with colleagues (19 percent) and time to think strategically (15 percent) were the second and third choices.
- Mixing Business and Pleasure: More than half (53 percent) of respondents say they are likely to pay out of pocket to bring a friend or family member along on a business trip, while 46 percent are likely to spend to extend a business trip into a vacation.
- Location, Location, Location: Internet is still king when it comes to hotel amenities for the business traveler, but being near restaurants and entertainment was more important (26 percent) for respondents than a hotel’s business center (18 percent).
- Computers Still Key for Booking: While phone and tablet usage continues to be a growing trend, more than two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents say the primary way they book a hotel for business remains via desktop or laptop computers.
- R&R: TV remains the top choice (45 percent) for how respondents choose to relax in their hotel room while on a business trip, well ahead of more tech-savvy trends like streaming movies or shows (11 percent) or checking/posting through social media (7 percent).
The Best Western Back to Business Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (wakefieldresearch.com) among 400 U.S. small business owners with business travel needs, between September 20 and October 1, 2013, using an email invitation and an online survey. For complete survey methodology or more data please contact Owen Clark at Owen(at)allisonpr(dot)com.
ABOUT BEST WESTERN INTERNATIONAL, INC.
Best Western International, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a privately held hotel brand made up of more than 4,000* BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS® and BEST WESTERN PREMIER® hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Now celebrating 67 years of hospitality, Best Western welcomes hundreds of thousands of guests nightly. Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales, marketing and promotional support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 20 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, race car driver Michael Waltrip, and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. In 2012, Best Western won a record number of awards, including AAA’s Hotel Partner of the Year, CAA’s Partner of the Year, TravelClick’s eMarketer of the Year and Compuware’s Best of the Web Gold awards.
For more information or to make a reservation, please visit bestwestern.com.
*Numbers are approximate and may fluctuate.