Best Western International, Inc. is the world's largest hotel chain, with over 4,195 hotels in nearly 80 countries. The chain, with its corporate headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, operates more than 2,000 hotels in North America alone. Best Western has a marketing program involving placement of free Wi-Fi access hotspots in its hotels. Since 2002, Best Western International has begun creating an upscale brand for some properties located in Europe and Asia: Best Western Premier. Unlike other chains, which are often a mix of company-owned and franchised units, each Best Western hotel is an independently owned and operated franchise. Best Western does not offer franchises in the traditional sense (where both franchisee and franchisor are operating for-profit), however. Instead, Best Western operates as a nonprofit membership association, with each franchisee acting and voting as a member of the association. Best Western charges a rate that is based on an initial cost plus a fee for each additional room. Best Western also publishes a list of standards that each hotel needs to maintain. Instead of long term contracts, each hotel renews its membership on a yearly basis, with a renewal
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