Dorothy Dowling is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Best Western® Hotels & Resorts. With over 30 years in the industry, Dowling directs all marketing and sales strategies, overseeing the brand’s loyalty program, consumer and field marketing activities, advertising and public relations.
Since joining Best Western in 2004, Dowling has implemented a number of measures to increase market share and contemporize the iconic Best Western brand. She helped introduce the descriptor program to establish distinct hotel types within the Best Western umbrella and made significant investments in the brand’s sales programs. As a result, Best Western Plus® and Best Western® ranked in the top three upper-mid-price and mid-price hotel brands by the Business Travel News survey for six years, and Best Western Premier® was ranked number one in the upscale segment in the J.D. Power 2019 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study.
Dowling also re-branded the company’s loyalty program to Best Western Rewards® (BWR®), increasing its membership to over 45 million and more than doubling its revenue contribution percentage to hotels.
The program has since earned key industry recognitions in recent years, including being named a top ranked hotel rewards program by WalletHub for four consecutive years and U.S. News & World Report for seven consecutive years.
Under Dowling’s leadership, Best Western has strengthened its strategic AAA® /CAA® partnership, resulting in Best Western receiving AAA’s Lodging Partner of the Year Award annually since 2008.Best Western has also become a leading hotel player in digital marketing through innovative partnerships with Google®, TripAdvisor®, and Facebook®, among others. In 2016, Best Western launched the Best Western Virtual Reality Experience (BWVRE), making it the first major company of its size and scale to utilize this cutting-edge technology and enhance the customer experience. Complete with music and narration, the BWVRE provides travelers with an immersive 360 degree look into its hotel offerings – setting a new industry standard and reinventing how guests view hotels. As a result of this initiative, Fast Company honored Best Western Hotels & Resorts with a spot in the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in the AR/VR category.
In 2019, Dowling was named President of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Allied Leadership Council after previously serving as Vice President. She is also Chair of GBTA WINiT’s Strategic Advisory Board, serves on HSMAI’s Americas Board of Directors, and is an Independent Trustee on CubeSmart’s Board of Directors.
Honored with a number of awards throughout her career, Dowling most recently was recognized with the Albert E. Koehl Lifetime Achievement Award for her significant contributions to the advancement of marketing in the hospitality industry; received a Bronze Stevie® award in the Woman of the Year – Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations category; and was named one of WINiT by GBTA’s “Top 40 Women in Travel” and GBTA’s 2018 “Allied Member of the Year.” Dowling was also named the 18th most influential Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in the world in the Forbes/ScribbleLive/LinkedIn’s 4th Annual CMO Influence Study in 2015. Additionally, she received the prestigious American Hotel Foundation Award for Best Practices in Guest Loyalty Programs, and was among HSMAI’s Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing two times. Finally, in 2014, Dowling was inducted into the Direct Marketing News Marketing Hall of Femme.
Before joining Best Western, Dowling held executive-level positions with ARAMARK’s parks, resorts and conventions division, and Cendant (now Wyndham Hotel Group). Her hospitality career began in Canada after earning a joint Masters of Arts degree in sociology and leisure studies from the University of Waterloo in Ontario. In 2008, Dowling received the university’s Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2016, Dowling’s alma mater awarded her with the prestigious Applied Health Sciences Alumni Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions to the health and wellbeing of society through her professional accomplishments.