Wyndham program aims to develop female hotel ownership
LOS ANGELES — Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is focused on adding in 2022, whether that means adding segments, new brands or new types of franchisees to its system.
Wyndham Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Checchio shared details about the company’s Women Own the Room program, which helps women own franchised hotels under Wyndham brands.
The first member of the program is Trusha Patel, founder and CEO of Platinum Holdings, which is developing two new dual-brand La Quinta and Hawthorn Suites hotels in Texas.
An industry veteran, Patel spent years working with her family members to buy and operate hotels, but as Checchio puts it, “every time she took that step towards hotel ownership where she could be the primary landlord, she was meeting rejection,” while her husband could approach the same offers and obtain financing.
“[What] we have heard over and over again from other hoteliers that there is a barrier for women to enter this industry,” Checchio said. “We have a lot of women in our system who are more than behind the scenes. Their families have worked in the hotel industry for decades; their spouses did, and they just never took the first step.
Checchio said the success of Women Own the Room will be measured simply — by seeing more female hotel owners.
Wyndham offers capital support and reduced upfront franchise fees for conversion and new construction projects; training and opening support; and networking and education offerings.
“Every conversation we have is unique,” she said. “Some women are interested in conversion. Some are interested in new construction but do not know how to find financing. Some already have hotels they own but need help to make them work.
This focus on inclusivity is part of Wyndham’s additive trajectory, as the company seeks to create what Checchio calls an “ecosystem that keeps our guests staying regardless of their travel mission.”
Brand launches to fill chain-wide gaps have been a top priority for Wyndham. Earlier this month, the company announced plans to launching an economy extended stay brand this spring. Last fall, the company launched a new midscale all-inclusive brand, Alltra, in partnership with Playa Hotels & Resorts.
“These new brands that we are introducing meet a specific need,” Checchio said. “There were gaps in our portfolio for owners, and there were gaps in our portfolio for [loyalty] members and guests. So we create brands that add to our portfolio.
For more from Hotel News Now’s video interview with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ Lisa Checchio, watch the video above.
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