In Depth: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest hotel franchising company, with over 9,200 hotels across more than 80 countries on six continents. Through its network of approximately 822,000 rooms appealing to the everyday traveller, Wyndham commands a presence in the economy and midscale segments of the lodging industry.
Wyndham’s global portfolio includes 20 hotel brands including: Ramada by Wyndham, TRYP by Wyndham, Days Inn by Wyndham, Trademark Collection by Wyndham, Ramada Encore by Wyndham, Wyndham Garden, Wyndham and Wyndham Grand, among others.
Current properties in the MENA region
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts currently operates 54 hotels in the Middle East and Africa region, with over 10,000 keys, and has an additional 23 hotels and over 4,500 keys in the pipeline between now and 2023.
Upcoming properties in the MENA region
- Wyndham Hotels & Resorts recently announced its expansion in Oman with the opening of two new hotels in Muscat (Ramada Encore by Wyndham Muscat Al Ghubra and the Wyndham Garden Muscat Al Khuwair). These two openings will mark the introduction of the Wyndham Garden and Ramada Encore by Wyndham brands to Oman.
- Wyndham Hotels & Resorts recently announced three new hotels in Dubai as part of the Deira Waterfront Development by Ithra Dubai, which will also see the introduction of two new hotel brands to the UAE market – Super 8 by Wyndham and Days Inn by Wyndham. In addition, Ramada Plaza Jumeirah Village Circle is also set to open in Dubai in 2020.
- Last year, the company also signed an agreement to open its first Wyndham Garden in Dubai signalling excellent growth for one of its most popular brands in the city which will also be its second one in the UAE.
- Wyndham will also be adding four new hotels in Saudi Arabia in 2020 (Ramada Riyadh King Fahd Road, Ramada Encore Al Khobar King Salman Road, Ramada by Wyndham Mekkah Al Rawda and Ramada by Wyndham Mekkah Al Tayseer), further reinforcing its commitment to expand its offering in the Kingdom in what the company sees as a key strategic market in the region.
- This will bring Wyndham’s portfolio to 19 operational hotels and over 3,000 rooms in Saudi Arabia next year. The openings follow the introduction by Wyndham of two more of its iconic brands into the Kingdom for the first time in December 2018 – Wyndham Garden Damam and Howard JohnsonDammam Cornish Street.
- 2020 will also see Wyndham introduce two additional hotels in Iraq – Ramada Hotel & Suites Najaf and Ramada by Wyndham Erbil Gulan Street.
- Within the wider MEA region, Africa is steadily developing into one of the world’s great regions for travel, and Wyndham is strengthening its presence in this market too. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has a robust pipeline in place which includes a number of further openings and market entries in Ethiopia, Benin and Senegal over the next three years.
- As of December 2019, the award-winning Wyndham Rewards programme has over 79 million members worldwide. Over the last four years, the Wyndham Rewards membership base in the Middle East has grown by over 400%, with the UAE ranking among the largest countries globally for the Wyndham Rewards members’ countries of residence.
Interview: Panos Loupasis
Vice President Development Middle East, Eurasia & Africa at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
What are the main challenges you face in hotel management and operations?
The MENA region is transforming and so are the preferences and profiles of guests. If you look at travel patterns today, the growth of a global middle class, with more disposable income than previous generations, has given rise to a new demographic of traveller. Add to this the impact of technology, which has dramatically changed the way we sell to and service our customers.
Today’s traveller expects a personalised and streamlined experience across every device they use. Naturally, the primary focus of our business for the future is how we can integrate digital technologies to enhance our guest experience covering every touchpoint.
Taking all of this into consideration, earlier this year at the Wyndham global conference, we unveiled several initiatives designed to elevate our brands, deliver incremental resources to our owners, grow our presence and meet the needs of today’s travellers, with a focus on enhancing returns for our nearly 6,000 franchisees.
These initiatives include leveraging new technology to expand our digital efforts to drive brand recognition and contribution, and enhance guest experience across our portfolio: prioritising new construction and design with the launch of both new and refreshed prototypes designed to lower development costs and capture greater efficiencies, and driving global growth to capitalise on the rising demand for all travellers, in particular the growing global middle class.
Through this commitment to innovation in quality and design, operational efficiency, strategic growth and guest experience, our focus will continue to remain on driving innovation every step of the way, so that our guests and owners get the greatest possible value and experiences.
What do you think are the most important criteria for a smooth flow of F&B operations?
While exceptional service is the golden rule in hospitality, guest experience is what makes people come back and creates loyalty. At Wyndham Hotel & Resorts, we believe that for a hotel to make a difference and a hospitality brand to build true loyalty, we must take service to the next level and exceed the expectations of our guests.
Despite being the largest hotel franchising company in the world, our commitment to personal relationships and providing that personal touch for our customers is what sets Wyndham apart. In doing so, we create lasting memories for our guests and long-term value for our hotel owners.
How do you see the future of the chain?
We’re proud to have a diverse portfolio of brands and our vision is to make hotel travel possible for all. From economy to upper upscale, and through the rapid expansion of our footprint, our goal is to ensure that whenever and wherever guests want to travel, there’s a Wyndham hotel to suit their needs.
2019 has been an important year for us and we’ve seen tremendous growth in the Middle East & Africa region. Over the past year, we’ve reached significant milestones, delivering strong growth in key destinations, through an increased portfolio of managed hotels and strengthening our franchise business. 2020 is shaping up to be another momentous year.
We want to be the region’s leading player in the mid-market hotel segment, and with the enormous opportunities that this region offers and a strong, growing and diverse portfolio, we see substantial opportunities to further expand our reach – particularly within the mid-market sector.
Central to our vision is continuing to establish long-term partnerships with owners in the region, which will enable us to grow this portfolio of brands even further, cement our position as the region’s leading player in the mid-market hotel segment and allow owners to take advantage of the global strength of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.