ATW Connect chats to Neville Graham, Managing Director International Member Services: BWH | Hotel Group to find out more about the group and his hopes for the tourism industry.
What makes BWH | Hotel Group different? Our hotels are all independently owned and operated which means our hotels deliver local flair that guests crave. Each brand has its own personality and style, but all share the same commitment to delivering superior customer services, exceptional value and modern amenities.
Top reasons to book with BWH | Hotel Group different? With a global presence of over 4,700 hotels and brands across all market segments our guests are spoilt for choice. Add to this our award winning Rewards loyalty programme (with over 40 million members), guests at our properties have the luxury of earning points, that never expire and can be used to redeem at any of our hotels worldwide or on a selection of other products and services if desired. Our Low Rate Guarantee on bestwestern.com shows our commitment to making sure that our guests will always find our lowest rates and the best price on our global brand website.
Your thoughts on Africa? Africa’s hotel industry, and indeed across all industry segments, has experienced growth over the last two decades and has the capacity for further growth in the future. Furthermore, the proliferation of different hotel brands across the continent shows great potential in Africa, and this has taken the supply of hotels in the market to the next level. Not only are people travelling into Africa from different continents, we have seen growth in regional travel within the continent. This is a good indication that hotel brands should not only look at inbound travel as a measure of potential in the continent, because inter-country travel has grown as well. Although the hospitality industry has of late been impacted negatively by COVID-19, history shows that the industry rebounds, and the African market will rebound post-COVID-19.
Your hopes for tourism for the future? COVID-19 has made any predictions for the future very difficult and we look to the experts like STR for their indications as to what the future will hold across the globe. The outbreak has hit the travel industry hard and other business sectors have been affected globally. From what I have read or listened to, I believe domestic leisure travel will be the first segment to recover whenever COVID-19 is past us, with other markets returning more slowly into 2021. However, ten years from now (2030), we anticipate bigger positive changes in our industry, and the United Nations Tourism organisation is forecasting 1.8 billion travellers each year, more than what it is today. The future looks bright for the hotel industry despite the current short terms challenges.