Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is keen on adding new brands to Greece’s hospitality market, according to the hotel company’s president and CEO, Geoff Ballotti.
“What our potential is – with the right developer and the right location – is to continue to add new brands… Right now we still have alot of work to do to build the awareness of the new brands we have here,” Ballotti told GTP Headlines during his latest visit in Athens.
Wyndham’s activity in Greece launched in 2017, when it announced a partnership with Zeus International. Currently four of its 21 brands – Wyndham Grand, Wyndham, Ramada and Dolce – have entered the Greek market.
“I’m asked all the time ‘why don’t you flood the market with all 20 brands?’, but that would be irresponsible… Bringing a new brand to a destination must be done selectively, carefully, thoughtfully and methodically,” he said.
According to Ballotti, Greece at some point may welcome Wyndham’s “The Trademark Hotel Collection”, an independent concept for upper-midscale-and-above hoteliers launched last year.
“I would love to see our Trademark by Wyndham brand to be introduced at some point by next year in Greece,” Ballotti said, underlining, however, that no decision has been made at the moment.
The Trademark Hotel Collection brand is addressed to hoteliers who operate landmark, 3- and 4-star hotels to maintain their individual spirit while taking advantage of Wyndham’s distribution, services at a much lower commission, as opposed to the commission paid to an online travel agency (20-25 percent).
The brand is currently available in countries including Austria, Switzerland and Germany. “So why not Greece?,” Ballotti said, adding that bringing the specific brand to Greece has not yet been discussed with Zeus International.
During his visit in Athens, Ballotti held a press briefing with Zeus International’s founder, Haris Siganos, and announced the branding of two new hotel additions under the Wyndham Grand and Wyndham flags, marking Wyndham’s entry into both Crete and Cyprus. Both hotels will be managed by Zeus International.
Moreover, highlighting the high potential of Greece as a travel destination, Ballotti informed GTP Headlines that Greece’s northern city of Thessaloniki, may be a future destination for a Wyndham-branded hotel.
Speaking of the Wyndham Residence, the company’s first mixed-use hospitality development for the Greek market that launched in Athens in July, Balotti said that there was a strong possibility of introducing the concept in other parts of Greece.
“We have a real opportunity to continue to grow the upper end of our flagship brand with the residences type of product that has been created across the way, so absolutely,” he said.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts in the Mediterranean
With a global presence of nearly 9,000 hotels across more than 80 countries, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts continued to grow rapidly in the Mediterranean region, opening 11 new hotels to date this year.
Key destinations for growth across the Mediterranean include Greece, Turkey, Israel and Cyprus.
“Cities across the Mediterranean are growing rapidly, not only as destinations for leisure travelers, but also as new business centers and as locations for corporate meetings and events,” Ballotti said while addressing the Mediterranean Resort & Hotel Real Estate Forum (MR&H) in Athens.
Last year, Wyndham introduced nine brands to 21 new markets around the world, including bringing its best-known midscale brand Ramada to Portugal and introducing its signature meetings and events brand Dolce in Greece.
“We will continue to seek out opportunities to introduce more of our brand portfolio to the region, and it is our aspiration to bring our first La Quinta hotel to Europe by the end of this year,” he added.
In June 2018, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts acquired La Quinta, one of the largest midscale hotel brands in North America, with 900 hotels in the US, Canada, Mexico, Honduras and Colombia – which has significantly bolstered the company’s leading position in the midscale hotel segment.