Partnerships key to growth for Wyndham

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is enjoying a significant growth spurt, as the group successfully matches its brands to global markets. Key to this sustainable expansion has been its partnership model, delegates heard at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in New York on Monday.

Geoff Ballotti, president and CEO, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said: “Six years ago we were celebrating becoming an independent public company. This time last year we were marking five years of growth.” He added that the company had more in store for this year, citing recent efforts to expand in India, “the most populous country in the world”. He said: “We are very excited to see growth there. Meanwhile, in Asia Pacific, it has been our ability to add brands that has driven our success.”

Growth strategy

Ballotti noted that the firm had also been “adding upscale, beautiful hotels in cities where we already present” citing a new opening in France, where the group is launching a flagship Dolce Hotel close to Versailles later this month.

Project HQ, the partnership between sbe and Wyndham, is another brand in expansion, with the first HQ in the US set to come to Detroit following the “reimagining by sbe” of an iconic, existing property.  

Further growth is being driven in-house. “The volumes coming through out platform and our ability to drive RevPAR is creating significant value for our franchisees – that is what they see as the Wyndham advantage,” he added. “Meanwhile, our IT team has invested in the best-in-class technology stock, to be able to dynamically sell those room upgrades and drive revenue at no additional cost.”

Partnership model

Wyndham has announced a further slate of partnerships in recent months. In the last few weeks, the group unveiled a new venture with a leading operator of resorts across Latin America, Decameron All Inclusive Hotels & Resorts. The firm said that the immediate result would be the addition of nine resorts with over 2,600 rooms to the Wyndham portfolio. While five of the properties are set to join Wyndham’s Trademark Collection, four more will rebrand to Ramada.

Resorts have been an increasing focus for the group in the last couple of years, with an eye for the expanding all-inclusive market. Towards the end of 2023, the group launched Wyndham Grand Barbados, Sam Lord’s Castle Resort & Spa, a property with 422 rooms that marked its entry into Barbados.

Another vehicle for this has been its Alltra resort brand, whose name reflects its purpose – “All-Inclusive Travel for All”. New Alltra hotels have been signed in the last 18 months in Samana and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The latter property, which will have 620 suites, is expected to open later this year. Both Dominican properties are being managed by Playa Hotels & Resorts.

Ballotti is president, CEO and a member of the board of directors of the hospitality giant. Prior to the spin-off of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts in 2018, he served four years as president and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group and before that, six years as CEO of Wyndham Destinations.

Before joining Wyndham, Ballotti held leadership positions of increasing responsibility at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, including president of Starwood North America; executive vice president, operations; senior vice president, Southern Europe; and managing director, Ciga Spa, Italy. Prior to joining Starwood he was a banking officer in the commercial real estate group at the Bank of New England.