The meeting of Wyndham’s owners in Las Vegas brought up some significant changes for the company. They mostly concern the hotelier’s loyalty program and brands in the portfolio.
Over the last year and a half, the hotelier invested more than US$100 million into its loyalty program. It was decided to make Wyndham Rewards easier as the previous program, No. 1, was quite complicated. The company has also decided to make its loyalty system more “democratic” and eliminate huge gap between rewards offered to luxury guests and midscale customers. The new approach is important for attracting millennial travelers, who are focused on experience. However, the importance of luxury travelers is hard to overestimate 40% of the company’s revenue is generated by only 4% of its guests. That means that rewards and perks for luxury travelers will keep growing. As Wyndham is the largest hotel company in the world by number of hotels, other hoteliers might follow the trend in future.
Hotel management changes greatly these days as well. Wyndham has already moved 4 brands with nearly 8000 hotels to its new cloud-based management system, and the remaining properties are expected to switch to it by the end of next year.
Currently, Wyndham has 16 brands, and in order to make those brands more specific and tailored to certain markets, the company will offer revamped prototypes for most of them. For example, Howard Johnson will get “picture points”, where guests can make memorable, Instagram-able shots. Microtel will get millennial makeover for its lobby and will launch a system of text messages for its customers. Ramada hotels will be more food & beverage oriented and will offer Bento Box option with grab-and-go food. Tryp hotels will become more fitness focused.
Finally, the company sees its primary target in building a network of midscale hotels in China. India remains the second key market for the hotelier, where it already has “massive” development pipeline.