Home' Hotel Management : HM APL 2016 Contents Geo , we're here in Berlin at one of the world's biggest
hotel shows. How's everything for you on a global level
and are you happy with expansion at the moment?
We are and we couldn't be happier. I know you are from down under
and that's a part of the world under the leadership of Barry Robinson
and David Wray. We're seeing record growth across Australia, across
Indonesia and we just opened our South East Asia Pacific, led by Barry
and David in Singapore. We're really very excited about our growth in
that part of the world and also across Europe, Africa and the Middle East
which is why we're here [at IHIF].
It's interesting how much potential there is across the world.
With your team having been located on the Gold Coast for
so long prior to Singapore, it's kind of funny to say now that
Asia is on the expansion trail and while you're not the first
hotel chain in Asia but you really are catching up quite fast.
We are and having Barry and
having the resources of Wyndham
Vacation ownership was absolutely
instrumental for us in terms of
being able to open that office. We
made the strategic decision a year
ago when we hit our 1,000th hotel
in China that trying to lead South
East Asia out of China did not
make a lot of sense for us, so we took a step back we looked at our China
team lead by Leo Liu -- who joined us a few years ago -- and growing that
team, growing that region is important to us. We're up to 1,100 hotels
now in China, but we knew that to grow in South East Asia, to grow in
the markets that Barry Robinson and David Wray are covering for us now,
we needed a presence in Singapore. Having David be the first to raise his
hand and move down to Singapore, open that office for us, move into the
Ramada Singapore at Zhongshan Park -- which is the number one new
opening for us globally -- is very important. And with Barry's help in terms
of the strength of the Wyndham brand name, out of Australia growing
across those South East Asia markets and cities is really exciting. It's a part
of the world where our pipeline has never been stronger and there is lots
of new construction and a lot of conversion opportunities as well. So, yeah
South East Asia is really bright for us in 2016.
Wyndham is growing through timeshare, management
and franchising at the same time. How important is
that timeshare growth in Asia, something that hasn't
really been tapped into by many other companies?
It hasn't and we're so unique on the timeshare front. The model that
Wyndham worldwide has, the resources that both David and Barry have
to approach a developer that is looking at a piece of land and looking at a
massive infrastructure and development cost, what timeshare can do the
model of selling a piece of that hotel out 52 times on the vacation ownership
scheme, is really quite powerful. We're doing it, there are a few of our
competitors out there who are doing it, but there's no one with the size
and scope of Wyndham Vacation Ownership like Barry's team in the Gold
Coast in Bundall. It's a massive operation, he's up to over 1000 associates in
his offices in Bundall providing all levels of design, construction, opening
and to then be able to layer in the opportunity to add the Wyndham hotel
brands on a mixed use basis is something that's really powerful for us.
Talking about your competitors and many are spinning o all
their timeshare businesses. Yours is part of the family still and
that's obviously a very important message to your owners.
It absolutely is. We began as a timeshare company, we're a company
that grew through acquisition we have acquired dozens of timeshare
companies as we rolled up to re-brand ourselves 10 years ago as
Wyndham Vacation Ownership and we're going to remain a timeshare
company because of the strength of that model and our belief of that
model. It is one of the most resilient models out there in the hospitality
space in good times and bad, up and down, recessions and booms.
Timeshare is just one of the most proven, most resilient models that
the hospitality and travel industry has today and it's something we're
committed to long-term.
How has the year started
for you and what are your
expectations for 2016?
There are all sorts of
things happening globally
from United States
to a possible 'Brexit'. How do you see everything?
2016 is going to be better than 2015. Last year was a record year, 2014
was a record year, and we're still seeing demand growth, which is still out
pacing supply growth, particularly when we look at the markets we were
just talking about like China, throughout South East Asia, from Indonesia
to the Philippines. Those markets for our 16 brands in the middle
economy space in terms of where that growth is going to be in the future
is really strong and we're looking forward to another great year in 2016. n
HM flew to IHIF with British Airways, which flies daily to Berlin via London.
HM recommends booking a ticket in Club World (Business Class), which
o ers flatbed seats, restaurant-caliber cuisine, fine French and Australian wines,
hundreds' of hours of entertainment on demand and great British service from
check-in to disembarking. Fast, convenient connections are available to Berlin
upon landing at London Heathrow's modern Terminal 5.
For bookings visit www.ba.com
"Last year was a record year, 2014 was a record
year, and we're still seeing demand growth."
GEOFF BALLOTTI, Wyndham's global
President and CEO
Wyndham's global President and CEO, GEOFF BALLOTTI, says the company is set for yet
another record year in 2016 as growth across the globe continues at a rapid pace. HM sat down
with him at the 2016 International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin to find out more.
Global exclusive by James Wilkinson in Berlin, Germany
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