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Wyndham CEO Targets Global Growth and Premium

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Skift Take

CEO Geoffrey Ballotti has Wyndham going places – 95 countries, to be exact. The hotel giant, known for its budget-friendly digs, is breaking out of its economy shell to make moves in the upscale market, such as with newest brand HQ.

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Wyndham’s top boss wants to shed his hotel group’s reputation for focusing on economy hotels in the U.S. through a strategy to expand worldwide and offer brands that range from economy to luxury.

“We have had a phenomenal success over the last few years, positioning ourselves globally as well in over 95 of our planet’s 195 countries,” said Geoffrey Ballotti, president and CEO, while speaking at the New York University International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference. “We love economy. We feel very comfortable in economy. … But we are increasingly upscale.”

Update on New Lifestyle Hotel Brand: HQ

Ballotti said Wyndham is expanding the hotels at its highest rate band, part of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’s Registry Collection, a soft brand typically charging about $250 a night.

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Some context: Earlier this year, Wyndham said it would add new “smart lifestyle” hotels from Sam Nazarian’s SBE, with financial backing from the entertainer Mark Anthony.

On Monday Wyndham and SBE revealed the first hotel development signings for HQ: one in Montreux, Switzerland, and the other in Detroit, Michigan.

“HQ Montreux and HQ Detroit are two beautiful hotels,” Ballotti said. “The Royal Plaza and the Villa Toscana will be reimagined on Lake Geneva and Lake Montréal … while the HQ Detroit is the former Park Avenue House, which is a nationally registered landmark will be reimagined by SBE over the coming months.”

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Rendering of a planned Project HQ in Montreux, Switzerland. Source: SBE and Wyndham.

Global growth

Ballotti highlighted recent wins by his development team in putting his branded properties across the global map.

  • “Vienna House by Wyndham, a recent acquisition, is adding upscale, beautiful hotels in cities where Wyndham was never present in before and that are very important to our Wyndham Reward guests, such as cities like Berlin, Vienna, and Munich.”
  • “In India, the most populous country in the world, we’re adding brands that had never been there before and we’re very pleased to see the growth that’s occurring there.”
  • “One of the reasons we have been able to grow organically, double-digit on a net growth basis in Asia-Pacific, has been our ability to add brands like La Quinta,” Ballotti said. “We have several La Quintas opening and in the development pipeline in countries like New Zealand.”
  • “Mexico … is a country that’s growing very, very quickly for us with our brands,” he said.

Accommodations Sector Stock Index Performance Year-to-Date

What am I looking at? The performance of hotels and short-term rental sector stocks within the ST200. The index includes companies publicly traded across global markets, including international and regional hotel brands, hotel REITs, hotel management companies, alternative accommodations, and timeshares.

The Skift Travel 200 (ST200) combines the financial performance of nearly 200 travel companies worth more than a trillion dollars into a single number. See more hotels and short-term rental financial sector performance.

Read the full methodology behind the Skift Travel 200.

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