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#GLF19 | “If any of you have doubts about being in the hospitality industry, I think you have to think again”

Dimitris Manikis President & Managing Director EMEA, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, joined Wyndham Hotels&Resorts 9 months ago after working in another division. What is Wyndham? What trends influence the hospitality industry according to the director?

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts: history

We licence our brands, we manage hotel properties on behalf of owners. We are proud to provide a brand that meets the needs of each customer and responds to what the owners are actually looking for. We are the world’s largest franchiser of hotels in the world. We have about 20 brands that cover all the segments of the hospitality industry:

Wyndham brands

We are the leaders in the budget, economy and midscale segments. Of our 20 brands, 17 were acquired in the course of our history. Some of our brands aren’t in Europe today and hopefully you will see more coming into this region soon.

Once upon a time, there was a company called Cendant, it was one of the world’s biggest conglomerates with over 50 billion dollars of business. In 2006, Cendant broke into 4 different components. One of them was a company called Wyndham Worldwide. In June 2018, a part of Wyndham Worldwide spun off and it created Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. We are independent, publicly traded and, unlike many others in this room, we are only 12 years old. We are extremely proud of what we have achieved in these 12 years and also of all we plan to achieve in the next few years.

What is the essence of our business?

We are asset light and it is all about consistent growth and cash flow. We are focusing on providing value to our owners, our shareholders, and, most importantly, amazing experiences to our guests.

We have a global footprint and an especially strong presence in the USA. We have 9% growth in the other regions, which shows that the company is going global. We franchise hotels more than anybody else and this is the essence of our DNA, what the company stands for.

Our pipeline is strong and healthy and 73% of our existing pipeline (1,400 hotels – around 180,000 rooms) is new constructions. Which means that people are building, growing, looking into hospitality and are very eager to do more. 2 billion people are going to travel very soon and we, the hospitality industry, are the second employer in the world. If any of you have doubts about being in the hospitality industry, I think you have to think again. This industry holds an amazing future.

For us, scale does matter because it gives options, loyalty, distribution and contribution. For us, big is good, big makes sense. When these four elements come together (loyalty, options, distribution and contribution, ed. note) the owners actually listen, and this is where it matters for the guests as well.

We have a motto at Wyndham “We make travel available to all”. Which means that for every price point, every category of range the consumer is looking for, we have a product and a brand to suit.

EMEA footprint

EMEA Foot print

It is difficult to manage all these destinations with all their currencies, unlike USA. We really want to develop in the area. We are opening in Yerevan, Armenia which is a completely new market for us, and in Georgia where we have 3 or 4 properties; we are the leading hotel group in Turkey with 78 properties, and 58 of those are Ramada. In Greece we started from zero hotels 18 months ago and now we have 10 properties there.

Trends in the hospitality industry

Every morning when I wake up, I ask myself, what do you do for your team members, your staff, your owners and your guests today. What are you going to do for these three key stakeholders? This sense of duty means a lot to me.

Regarding trends, with 2 billion people traveling, environmental suffering, the talent war, all the innovation and disruption that is happening in the hospitality industry, with changes in the airports, transport is a key issue. People will not swim across the Atlantic to come to Europe, they fly. So, airlines will play an important role in our future. Sustainability, talent, disruptive innovation, technology, geopolitical challenges can actually impact what the hospitality industry is facing today. There are so many trends, so many things happening today, so many variables that the only thing that stays in mind is “be first, be fast or be food”.

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