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New CEO: "Best Western Poised For Expansion"

New CEO: "Best Western Poised For Expansion"

Best Western New Zealand plans to expand into wider sectors of the tourist market, according to the motel and hotel group's new Chief Executive.

James Shearer, who takes over as CEO this week, says that the group is also poised to take advantage of a revival of international tourism following the global downturn of recent years.

"We will be looking for growth in a number of different market areas, including those with which we have not been extensively involved in the past, such as the corporate market. We certainly plan to expand the number and style of properties in the Best Western group.

"Best Western New Zealand has benefited from a strong domestic market over the last few years. As a result, we have not experienced a negative impact from the global downturn which has dogged other parts of our industry.

"With the Tourism Research Council now predicting a 5.7 per cent annual growth in the number of overseas tourists coming to New Zealand, we can realistically expect a substantial increase in overseas business to set alongside a healthy domestic market. The group's strong international links ensure that we are well poised to take advantage of a global recovery in tourism," Mr Shearer adds.

Best Western New Zealand is part of Best Western International, the world's largest hotel brand, with more than 4,000 hotels in 80 countries.

All of the more than 70 Best Western hotels and motels in New Zealand are locally owned and operated. Prior to becoming Best Western's CEO, James Shearer was General Manager of Pacifica Hotels, Motels & Resorts, a post he held for five years.

He has also served on Pacifica's Board as Deputy Chairman. Mr Shearer has spent a total of eighteen years in managerial positions in the hotel industry in both New Zealand and Australia. "There are clear similarities between Best Western and Pacifica.

A key difference, however, is provided by Best Western's international linkages. I am looking forward to the challenge of optimising the benefits to the group from these global links," he says.

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