Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest hotel franchising group. The Group is experiencing robust growth in key Asia-Pacific markets as it leverages its long-standing expertise in franchising to capitalize on fast-growing demand for travel.
These factors contributed to the Group’s sterling performance in 2022, which featured 169 new hotel signings, 132 hotel openings and the addition of more than 18,000 new rooms. The expansion included new brands in existing markets, such as the La Quinta by Wyndham in Greater China, Microtel by Wyndham in New Zealand and Trademark Collection by Wyndham in Vietnam. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts also established its presence in 19 new cities in Asia-Pacific in 2022, including 13 cities in Greater China.
“We tapped on the resurgent demand for business and leisure travel, reinforced our leadership position in Asia-Pacific last year by introducing new brands in our existing core markets, as well as entering new cities. As Greater China reopened their borders in early 2023, we expected this momentum to carry on in 2023 and beyond as we continue to execute our growth strategies for Asia-Pacific,” says Joon Aun Ooi, President, Asia Pacific, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.
Indeed, Wyndham’s strong growth trajectory continues to garner momentum in 2023. In the first quarter of the year, the Group signed 27 deals and unveiled 15 new hotels in Greater China, while the South East Asia and Pacific Rim region saw 6 new deals secured and 5 hotels opened.
Most recently, the Group announced the signing of its first Wyndham hotel in Singapore. The hotel is set to debut as Peninsula Excelsior Singapore, a Wyndham Hotel during its soft opening in early July 2023. Following a multimillion-dollar refurbishment, the hotel will be officially launched as the Wyndham Singapore in 2024. With this flagship property, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts maintains its strategic and operational presence in Singapore while debuting an upscale hospitality brand.
Across South East Asia and the Pacific Rim, the Group opened the Wyndham Grand Phu Quoc and Wyndham Garden Phu Quoc in Vietnam, as well as TRYP by Wyndham properties in Adelaide, Australia and Wellington, New Zealand between February and April this year.
Moving to Greater China, the Group’s on-ground satellite development teams continued to engage owners to identify suitable opportunities and that attributed to its growth plans in 2023. The Group opened three hotels in Shanxi with over 1,000 rooms, as well as a new Wyndham property in Shanghai, the Group’s 32nd in the city. Wyndham also signed more than 20 new deals on the sidelines of the Hotel Franchising Expo in Shanghai, China. These deals will be based in popular tourist spots such as Kunming, Haikou, Dali and Xishuangbanna.
Earning the Loyalty of Owners and Guests
By putting owners at the heart of everything they do, Wyndham has earned a high level of trust and loyalty among its partners. This approach goes beyond supporting day-to-day operations and is designed to ensure mutually beneficial outcomes for all parties.
“When we work and negotiate with an owner or solve a problem at a hotel, it’s always with the mentality of putting the owner first, of putting ourselves in their shoes. And if I were an owner, I would get a lot of comfort knowing that. It means that Wyndham is not thinking just for themselves, but thinking of us as well,” says Ooi.
In 2023, the Group has strengthened its hospitality franchising leadership position in the region through various strategic agreements with industry partners. For instance, its recent partnership with Alliga Eternity to launch the first and all-inclusive Wyndham Alltra in the region—a 300-cabin superyacht resort in Vietnam’s Halong Bay—is a testament to this strategy.
The Group has also joined hands with Sun Motor Group in Indonesia, Hospitality360 in Malaysia, Safari Group and Marsden Group in New Zealand to introduce new brands or enhance existing ones in their respective markets. These collaborations not only add to Wyndham’s room count, but also provide opportunities to introduce novel hotel concepts.
This OwnerFirst engagement strategy continues to bear fruit. Having witnessed first-hand the benefits of partnering with Wyndham, approximately 25% of the Group’s new signings for 2022 came from existing owners, reflecting Wyndham’s solid reputation and high level of trust with owners in the industry.
In addition, the Group’s global portfolio of 24 brands empowers it to meet every owner’s aspiration, after understanding their requirements, making it possible for partners to identify the right brand for their target guest segment in their markets of choice.
For Wyndham’s guests, they continue to enjoy the perks of seasonal offers and benefits of being a Wyndham Rewards member. Owing to its high popularity, Wyndham Rewards, the Group’s loyalty rewards program, has doubled its membership base in the last six years, crossing the 100-million-member milestone on March 15, 2023, as its reputation for being one of the most generous hospitality programs in the world continues to grow.
The success of Wyndham Rewards, which was honored at the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards for the fifth consecutive year in 2022, is significant, as studies show that members drive 79% higher revenue, and stay 62% more often, at the Group’s properties.
“Wyndham Rewards continues to enjoy the reputation as the world’s most generous loyalty program. Beyond that, the high usability of Wyndham Rewards genuinely enhances the guest experience as they can redeem their points with three simple free night tiers–7,500, 15,000 and 30,000 points per bedroom,” says Ooi.
Resilience in the Face of Competition
Following an impressive performance in the first quarter of 2023, the Group is confident that it will continue to exceed expectations even as hotel franchising competition in the region intensifies. This optimism is partly fueled by the travel sector’s rapid recovery from the pandemic, which has been boosted by the reopening of borders in Asia-Pacific, particularly in Greater China.
During the 40-day Spring Festival travel rush, which lasted from early January to the middle of February 2023, a total of 4.73 billion passenger trips were made in China. Chinese domestic tourism alone is projected to grow 73% year-on-year in 2023.
Elsewhere in the region, Southeast Asia has also benefited from the unleashing of pentup demand. Thailand saw 11.15 million foreign visitors arriving in 2022, up from just 428,000 the previous year. Meanwhile, Indonesia has set an ambitious goal of attracting up to 7.4 million foreign tourists in 2023. This impressive rebound is the latest example of the hospitality and travel industry’s resilience and can only bode well for Wyndham’s continued success in the coming years.
“In my 20 years of being in the hospitality industry, I have seen it being hit by shock after shock, and it has been encouraging to see how it can pick itself up very quickly after each crisis. It’s no different this time. Many markets in the region are already ahead of their pre-pandemic 2019 numbers,” says Ooi.
He adds: “As we celebrated our 5th anniversary as a publicly traded, pure-play hotel company on June 1, 2023, we are confident that we will continue to grow our strategic and operational presence in Asia-Pacific by remaining steadfast and diligent in executing the owner-centric strategies that have served us and our partners so well up to now.”