BTN Group Honors Kong for His Contributions to Travel Industry

Phoenix, AZ (September 2, 2021) – BWH Hotel Group announced today that David Kong, President and Chief Executive Officer, will be following in the footsteps of other industry giants and will be inducted into BTN Group’s Business Travel Hall of Fame later this year.

The Business Travel Hall of Fame established in 2011, honors distinguished business travel leaders that have had a profound impact on the travel category. Representing the lodging sector, Kong is following in the footsteps of industry giants, such as the founders of Hilton Hotels, Southwest Airlines, and JetBlue, the CEOs of American Airlines, British Airways, Avis, Hertz, and the Chairmen of Hyatt, Marriott, and Concur, among others. Kong, the longest serving CEO in the hotel industry, is being recognized as a trailblazer whose contributions will leave a lasting imprint on the travel industry.

“David’s induction into The BTN Group’s Business Travel Hall of Fame is a testament to the key role he has played as a leader and advocate in the business travel sector,” said Louis Magliaro, Executive Vice President/Group Publisher, The BTN Group. “His work to transform BWH Hotel Group into a global powerhouse has undoubtedly forever changed the landscape of the travel industry. With this recognition we are celebrating both David’s personal contributions, as well as the contributions of BWH Hotel Group, to our industry.”

“I am deeply honored to be recognized by BTN Group and inducted into the Business Travel Hall of Fame,” said Kong. “To be included among such a distinguished list of accomplished individuals is truly humbling. I am proud of the journey we have been on to become a hotel brand of choice for business travelers across the world. We have worked diligently to provide the diverse solutions our customers are seeking from expanding and contemporizing our product offerings to investing more than $2 billion in property improvements and renovations. As we celebrate our 75th anniversary, I am deeply grateful for the ongoing support and commitment of the travel buyer community and look forward to our ongoing partnership.”

Under Kong’s leadership, BWH Hotel Group has evolved into a modern and innovative global hospitality powerhouse. Today the hotel company offers 18 vibrant and exciting brands covering every chain scale segment from economy to luxury and every type of accommodation, including boutique/lifestyle and extended stay. Kong has grown the portfolio to include Best Western® Hotels & Resorts, SureStay Hotel Group® and WorldHotels Collection™.  With Kong’s guidance, BWH Hotel Group has become a trusted leader in business travel, earning a number of industry accolades, such as Best Western® and Best Western Plus® ranking as the number one midscale and number two upper-midscale hotel brands by Business Travel News.

Kong’s dedication to the travel industry extends beyond his work at BWH Hotel Group. He is a long-time active member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), serving as its chairman in 2010, and continuing to serve on the executive committee and the foundation’s Board of Trustees. In 2010, Kong was appointed to the United States Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board and served for three years.

In 2019 Kong was honored for his commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusivity by GBTA WINiT as Best Make Coach of The Year. In 2019 Kong was recognized for his innovation with Hotel Interactive and Guest Magazine both naming Kong Innovator of the Year. Kong also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) in 2014 and also the 2013 Stephen W. Brener Silver Plate Award at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference for his contributions to the resurgence of Best Western and services to the industry. Finally, he was also inducted into the University of Hawaii's Hall of Honor in 2013.

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About Best Western® Hotels & Resorts:

Best Western Hotels & Resorts headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is a privately held hotel brand within the BWH Hotel GroupSM global network. With 18 brands and approximately 4,700 hotels in over 100 countries and territories worldwide*, BWH Hotel Group suits the needs of developers and guests in every market. Brands include Best Western®, Best Western Plus®, Best Western Premier®, Executive Residency by Best Western®, Vīb®, GLō®, Aiden®, Sadie®, BW Premier Collection® and BW Signature Collection®. Through acquisition, WorldHotelsTM Luxury, WorldHotels Elite, WorldHotels Distinctive and WorldHotels Crafted collections are also offered. Completing the portfolio is SureStay®, SureStay Plus®, SureStay Collection® and SureStay StudioSM franchises**. For more information visit,, and

* Numbers are approximate, may fluctuate, and include hotels currently in the development pipeline.

**All Best Western, WorldHotels and SureStay branded hotels are independently owned and operated.