Wyndham is continuously adapting to meet the evolving demands and exciting new developments happening across the industry that will enhance guest, partner and team member experiences.
How has the performance been for Wyndham Hotels in India so far this year in terms of occupancy, ARRs and RevPar?
When it comes to our performance, we have observed that leisure hotels have been a remarkable driver of revenues post-covid. However, Wyndham’s business hotels have surpassed revenue generation by all other properties since February 2022. We perceive this as an indicator that people are willing to spend more to relish in the comfort and safety of upscale hotels, be it for leisure or business. The bookings have also shot up as high as 700% compared to the same time last year. Pre-bookings (June-December) for room nights have even increased by 650% compared to last year, while room revenue has gone up by 230%. Overall, we have had a fairly successful year in terms of increasing ARR and RevPar.
You have 50 hotels across 6 brands. What is the future expansion plan and which cities are on the radar?
As travel demands continues to soar post covid-19, we look forward to continuing to fulfill our mission of making hotel travel possible for all by adding destinations to our portfolio. Our most recent openings in India include Ramada by Wyndham Katra in Jammu and Kashmir and Ramada by Wyndham Gangtok Deorali Hotel and Casino. We also have a strong development pipeline of approximately 30 hotels expected to open across Eurasia by 2025 with six expected to open in 2022 alone. As we also enter into the busy wedding season, we believe we will see strong demand and an uptick in bookings.
Which brands are going to see the maximum traction?
Upper upscale hotels are always highly desirable, however with flexible and remote work becoming the norm, we expect there to be demand for economy and mid-scale accommodation offerings as well. Wyndham boasts a strong presence in the economy and mid-scale segment with a large portfolio of Ramada by Wyndham hotels across India, along with other accessible brands such as Ramada Encore by Wyndham and Days Inn by Wyndham. We are anticipating economy brands to continue to attract strong revenues and look forward to bringing even more accommodation offerings across the region.
Are there any plans to introduce new brands in the Indian market?
We are consistently looking for opportunities to expand and grow our portfolio across Eurasia. At Wyndham we are committed to bringing a variety of accommodation offerings to the region to support with our overall mission of making hotel travel possible for all with a strong focus on expanding our presence in tier I and tier II cities.
How do you see the growth potential in the mid and budget segments in India?
Wyndham consistently aims for a better experience for guests who travel within a budget. We understand that these guests desire to travel sustainably and with emphasis on enjoying experiences. As the economy and mid-scale segments have been very fruitful for us, we are continuously looking for new opportunities to provide more offerings in these segments. As previously mentioned, we have seen great success with our Ramada, Ramada Encore and Days Inn by Wyndham brands in India.
How are you integrating technology to enhance customer experience?
Modern technology has always been an integral part of the hospitality industry, which has improved speed, reduced operation time and eliminated risks. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital adoption was accelerated and has become paramount to hotel operations and growth.
Wyndham has time and again used tech-backed solutions to help guests derive a better hospitality experience. For instance, we launched the award-winning Wyndham mobile app to successfully augment customer experience with the help of in-stay functionality as well as touchless features, which came across as an advantage to the everyday traveller. We have also introduced the Oracle Hospitality OPERA Cloud Property Management (PMS), a mobile-enabled application, which helps hotels to enhance customisation for guests, mitigate costs and reform the efficiencies of operations. We have even developed a comprehensive suite of revenue management tools for robust and enhanced visualisation of revenue performance metrics for hotels in EMEA. The same initiative has also resulted in a partnership between Wyndham and a cloud-based intelligence platform – OTA Insight.
How are hotel franchise models growing in India?
Hotels need to cut through the market competition with dependence on the quality of their product, which is reflected by online reviews, web presence and positive social media interaction. However, the same can be out of affordability for small business owners. Therefore, the franchise model is an equitable alternative for those who want to enhance their visibility and competitiveness.
The franchise model supports with expansions, owner concerns and risk-taking ability. With the franchise model in place, individual owners also stand the chance of joining brands to become more significant players in the market with the help of innovative technology, platform bookings, scale and distribution, training, sales, marketing and quality audits. The owner can leverage the scale and support of a global brand while maintaining control of their day-to-day operations with a brand that guests know and trust.
What measures have you adopted on the sustainability front?
We understand the need to preserve our natural capital and resources in a way that they carry sustainable value in the long term. It is our responsibility to be socially, ethically and environmentally aware of maximising sustainable development in all the key business areas. We have, therefore, implemented a programme called Wyndham Green, curated to reduce emissions, reduce waste, improve energy efficiency, conserve water and supports with biodiversity, which aligns with our strategic vision of fostering a value-driven culture. Wyndham has also been working closely with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, which makes us one of the 18 world leading hotel companies consistently working towards building a more sustainable and inclusive future for our planet and people.