Wyndham’s strategy for entering new markets for its brands is about giving guests variety, according to the company’s global leadership team.
LAS VEGAS—Wyndham Hotel Group leaders in the Europe, Asia/Pacific, Middle East/Africa, Latin America and Caribbean regions shared growth highlights at the company’s 2018 Global Brand Conference, some of which can be linked to a shared strategy that includes being “first-movers” in new and sometimes secondary and tertiary markets.
“As people follow the planes, we follow the construction companies, we follow governments … local institutions, funds and investment bodies,” said Dimitris Manikis, Wyndham’s president and managing director of Europe, the Middle East, Eurasia and Africa, during a panel and press briefing at conference. “I can tell you what is happening in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia. … We are going to be the biggest hotel group there in the next two to three years.
“Why? Because it’s happening; it’s as simple as that. You cannot afford not to be at the place where things are happening. You are either at the table, or you are on the menu,” he said.
Barry Robinson, Wyndham’s president and managing director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim regions, added: “It’s events, as well (that drive demand in a market). … As a business or as a company, how do we become a first-mover? I’ll use Vietnam as an example, because we are one of the first players; we have quite an expansive presence there; and the market is coming.”
Leo Liu, Wyndham’s president and managing director of the Greater China region, said being a first-mover has its advantages.
“People are always talking about going to secondary and tertiary cities,” Liu said. “It’s not started by default. It’s not that we don’t have a larger choice. I like the word ‘first-mover’ because to keep or to become the leader you’ve got to be the first … and in fact (in a lot of these secondary and tertiary Chinese markets), we are the first-mover among international operators, but we are not if we include the Chinese players in those regions.”
Alejandro Moreno, president and managing director for Latin America and the Caribbean, said Wyndham’s success in new markets in his region, which spans 40 countries, also hinges on brand variety.
“We have a big variety of brands that are new to markets,” Moreno said. “We just opened a Days Inn in Argentina, our first one in Argentina. We will have our Wyndham Garden also there. We’re bringing some new brands in Brazil. We’re looking at what makes sense to the region … basically we’re looking to find the most suitable brand for the markets … (and) just to make sure we have a variety so people can choose. … (As a result), we will see very important growth coming into the region.”
Liu said bringing a new brand into a market is also a way of “telling the market we can do things differently.”
“We follow not only the flag, but also the market trends, where people have their needs, so we can position ourselves as a challenger and a game-changer,” he said. “We like to bring life back to our hotels. That is the power of our brands.”