Best Western’s Dowling Says Loyalty Is Most Important Marketing Asset


NEW YORK – Engagement with guests is the foundation for a significant recovery in the hospitality industry, which is particularly needed as business and international travel is expected to pick up in 2022.

For Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of BWH Hotel Group, communicating the care and safety message hotels cultivated in 2021 will play an important role in guest engagement in 2022.

“Loyalty is definitely the most important marketing asset for Best Western,” she said in a video interview with Hotel News Now during the 2021 NYU International Hotel Industry Investment Conference. “Our goal is all to win back the loyalty of our customers and help them understand our product offerings and how we are going to take care of them. “

She said that for brands under the BWH Hotel Group umbrella, this is heading towards 2022, ready to communicate the company’s commitment to its customers.

“It’s about demonstrating our capabilities in terms of all the care capabilities we have to offer the customer through our cleaning protocols, sharing employee well-being… and taking care of our own employees,” said she declared.

Beyond communication of care and cleanliness, Dowling said other current trends are illuminating the future of hotel loyalty.

“One is that everyone doubles [loyalty] because this is largely in the change in the digital market … and have the [customer relationship management] ability to be able to speak to our audience in terms of first party data, ”she said.

“And it’s really [about] interact with these customers in a more personalized way to understand their needs and be able to meet those needs in a more personalized offer.

Loyal members generated about 80% of the company’s direct online bookings during the pandemic, Dowling said, and that volume has not declined over the past year. Because of this, she said, the company needs to “make sure we deliver value to them in 2022 and beyond.”

Dowling said that as the hospitality industry reinvents itself throughout the pandemic and its aftermath, leadership roles may change and sales and marketing professionals may need to adapt.

She said that in thinking about the future of those in commercial positions in the industry, “it’s about understanding a lot of the traditional ways we have gone into the market, but adding more. lots of digital skills, income management skills and really being a good student of the game.

Dowling received the Stephen W. Brener Silver Plate Award 2021 at the conference, and she commented on the leadership qualities she has cultivated over the years that have served her in her field.

She cited her view of “relationships as the bargaining chip of life” as one of the tenets that defined her leadership, especially over the past year and a half. She also stressed the value of bringing humanity to leadership.

“When I think about relationships and what COVID has taught us in terms of empathy, I look at a lot of these feminine qualities that are going to fuel our future differently,” she said. “When I think of the change resulting from COVID, it’s really that empathetic leadership and putting all of us to work.”

BWH Hotel Group in December a Larry Cuculic as CEO and Chairman, following longtime President and CEO David Kong retirement.

“We are extremely excited about 2022 as we see it as a year of growth,” she said. “Having a new CEO at the top, reformulating our team, really realigning how to fuel our hotels and really optimizing performance in 2022 is particularly exciting. “

For HNN’s full interview with Dorothy Dowling of BWH Hotel Group, watch the video above.

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