PARSIPPANY, NJ—Wyndham Hotel Group (WHG) has unveiled a roadmap for the strategic transformation of its brands, which is aimed at elevating the travel experience for Millennials and the diverse global middle class, according to the company.
“We believe travel is about creating lasting memories, but given what’s currently available in the market, travelers are forced to compromise enriching experiences because of price,” said Josh Lesnick, WHG’s chief marketing officer. “It’s time for the hospitality industry to get democratization right—it’s not just about value for money, it’s about the freedom to explore your world the way you want. Wyndham Hotel Group’s transformation enables that freedom.”
The product of an 18-month study focused on 50 recognized hotel brands along with the primary decision drivers of business and leisure travelers around the world, WHG’s global transformation will reposition and revitalize its 16 economy, midscale and upscale brands to meet the needs of travelers regardless of their budget or traveling style, according to the company.
The brand’s plan will begin rolling out this summer and will include rejuvenated interiors, refreshed marketing campaigns and enhanced perks tailored to various types of travelers.
“We’re transforming at a time when the $7.2-trillion global travel and tourism industry is growing faster than the global economy, fueled largely by Millennials and an increasingly travel-curious middle class,” said Geoff Ballotti, CEO, WHG. “With Wyndham Hotel Group’s unmatched scale and the breadth of our portfolio, no one is better positioned to meet this demand and champion the everyday traveler.”
WHG partnered with Siegel+Gale, a brand strategy and experience firm, to understand guests’ preferences and priorities and design brand experiences tailored to elevate midscale and economy hotel stays.
The research yielded key insights into traveler expectations that informed WHG’s transformation, including a more nuanced “one size does not fit all” approach to economy hospitality and an emphasis on a great experience over status, according to the company. “We’re unlocking the potential of our iconic brands,” said Ballotti. “It’s time.”
WHG created identities for each hotel brand from Super 8: An American Road Original and Travelodge: Your Basecamp for Adventure to Microtel Inn and Suites by Wyndham: Brilliantly Efficient.
“Not all economy and midscale hotels are alike, just like no two travelers are alike,” said Lesnick. “We’ve taken our 16 brands and redefined them to stand for something that matters to the kinds of guests we welcome so there’s something for every kind of traveler, regardless of their budget. To Wyndham Hotel Group, hotel rooms aren’t just boxes, they’re the gateway to lasting memories.”
According to the brand, investments include:
Upgrading backend technology: WHG is the first hotel company of its scale to roll out a secure, cloud-based property management system with automated revenue management capabilities to the majority of its portfolio.
Ushering in the new: WHG is focused on improving the quality of its portfolio, having increased the number of substandard quality properties removed by 300% over the past two years while adding more than 650 new-construction hotels to its pipeline, including hotels under its LEED-certifiable Days Inn and Super 8 prototypes along with its Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham and Wingate by Wyndham brands.
New perks and partnerships: WHG’s loyalty program, Wyndham Rewards, has seen five million new members since the roll out of the single-tier redemption, and has just added an “elite” program that offers discounts on local experiences for no additional points at destinations around the world. WHG is also stepping up partnerships with apps, services and chefs to upgrade guest experience and increase satisfaction without compromising price or quality, such as cold brew parlors at select Wyndham Grand properties or discounted admission to participating Six Flags theme parks.
“This transformation is just the beginning of our journey to not only solidify our position as one of the most formidable players in hospitality, but to champion the everyday traveler and the experiences they deserve,” Ballotti concluded.