Wyndham Hotel Group executives talked about the brand’s loyalty program success, progress made in the last year and trends they’re planning for the future at the opening general session of the 2016 Wyndham Hotel Group Global Conference.
LAS VEGAS—Wyndham Hotel Group is expecting to see continued success with its loyalty program, and is planning for a shift in traveler type and relaunching prototypes for some of its brands.
Here are three key takeaways from the opening general session at the 2016 Wyndham Hotel Group Global Conference in Las Vegas. Stay tuned for more coverage throughout the week.
1. New prototypes, growth
Chip Ohlsson, development officer at Wyndham Hotel Group, said the company is relaunching prototypes for some of its brands, including Microtel and Wyndham Garden.
He said the front desk will be eliminated from the lobby of Microtel lobbies, and will be replaced with communal space and work stations.
The brand also will introduce a dual-brand concept with Wingate* and Hawthorn Suites. Ohlsson said one management team will service both brands in the hotel.
Bob Loewen, COO at Wyndham Hotel Group, said the company had 65,000 new rooms open in the past year. He said 10,600 rooms are expected to be added to the system in the next 18 months (between now and next year’s conference).
2. Focus on 'the everyday traveler'
Wyndham Hotel Group Chief Marketing Officer Josh Lesnick said the company’s target audience is “the everyday traveler.” He said there are currently two trends they’re seeing in terms of guests who make up this group: Millennials, who “outnumber the baby boomers,” and “the emergence of a massive global middle class.”
Wyndham Worldwide chairman and CEO Stephen Holmes said the growing middle class and viewing millennials as “the buying power of the future” are trends being seen throughout the hotel industry.
Executives said the company has made a big investment in photo and digital to appeal to their target audience. Barry Goldstein, chief digital and distribution officer, said Wyndham has “refactored content for more than 7,500 properties” on its websites, and has made updates to its mobile rewards app to make it easy to use for the customer. He said mobile makes up 45% of Wyndham’s customer visits, and the Wyndham Rewards app makes up 25% of all mobile revenue.
3. Wyndham Rewards
Wyndham Rewards was named the best hotel rewards program by U.S. News & World Report a few months ago, taking the No.1 spot from Marriott International.
Wyndham executives said they have a simple rewards program model that works, which allows guests to use their points at hotel properties globally, and rewards members can upgrade from blue to gold to platinum to diamond membership. Points can be used at more than 7,800 properties.
Noah Brodsky, SVP of worldwide loyalty and engagement, said Wyndham Rewards will be recognizing its 50 millionth member in a few months.
Editor’s note: Wyndham Hotel Group paid for the hotel stay during this trip. Complete editorial control was at the discretion of the Hotel News Now editorial team; Wyndham Hotel Group had no influence on the coverage provided.
*13 September 2016: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of Wyndham's Wingate brand.