SOURCE: Wyndham Worldwide

October 23, 2007 14:52 ET

Building on Global Growth, Wyndham Brand Aims for Next Level

RIO GRANDE, PUERTO RICO--(Marketwire - October 23, 2007) - Building on a year of global growth, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts today announced a three-pronged strategy to expand, improve guest satisfaction and build revenue through a new marketing plan targeting Generation X consumers.

Addressing more than 300 owners, managers and staff at the Wyndham® conference here, brand President Peter Strebel detailed a strategic business plan that targets development in first-tier markets including New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington, San Diego and San Francisco.

The growth would accelerate momentum established this year with the opening of 20 Wyndham properties in the United States, Mexico, Europe and the Caribbean, he said, adding that nine more Wyndham hotels currently are under construction including four in New York City, and ground is expected to be broken next month for a 400-room hotel at the Bonnet Creek Resort in Orlando.

A crown jewel of Wyndham development efforts this year is the Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, the venue for this week's brand conference. The 600-room resort, situated on 500 beachfront acres 19 miles east of San Juan, officially joined the Wyndham system in May.

Outside the United States, the Wyndham portfolio added its 24th resort in the Caribbean and Mexico: the 402-room Wyndham Cozumel Resort and Spa. The five-star, all-suite Wyndham London-Chelsea Harbour in London became the brand's first hotel in the United Kingdom. In China, a 550-room, 26-floor luxury Wyndham hotel is under construction in Xiamen.

Through a joint venture with the Corinthia Group of Companies of Malta, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts is introducing new hotels and management services in major European cities including Prague, Budapest, Lisbon, Malta and St. Petersburg.

In a further move to expand the brand's footprint, brand parent Wyndham Hotel Group this summer announced the affiliation of its 154 limited-service, midpriced Wingate Inn® hotels with the Wyndham system. Also this year, Wyndham Vacation Ownership rebranded 40 of its timeshare resorts to the Wyndham name, giving the brand even broader exposure.

Strebel said the second tier of the business plan involves improving quality through the Wyndham brand's "One-to-One" customer service training program, which focuses on personalization.

Echoing the conference theme "Going Places," he said the Wyndham "brand is committed to delivering high quality programs and products that reflect the brand's values of personalized service, flexibility and innovative ideas."

He also announced a new round of product enhancements including the addition of flat-screen televisions, energy-efficient lighting packages and the Wyndham Smart Chair™ in all guest rooms beginning next year.

The Michael Graves Design Group of Princeton, N.J. designed the Smart Chair as a combination lounge and work seat. It is equipped with power and Internet outlets to provide hotel guests with a functional yet comfortable work space.

The enhancements represent the second phase of a program that began two years ago with the introduction of Be Well bedding; Michael Graves-designed room amenities including an alarm clock/radio with an mp3/iPod™ adapter and WynTunes™ music; Bath & Body Works® True Blue® Spa bath care line; and Fields & Sun breakfast, focused on freshness, wellness and healthier choices.

Attendees learned that the brand's first combination café, barista and food mart recently opened at the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort & Spa in St. Thomas, the U.S. Virgin Islands. Named "EAT. REFRESH. LIVE.," the flexible cafe transforms from a coffee bar with breakfast service during the day to a cocktail bar with casual dining at night.

Strebel said the third tier of the Wyndham brand strategy is a new marketing program targeting Generation X travelers. The print and online marketing campaign features the company's Be Well philosophy, which also has been extended to marketing materials and guest room key cards.

"Be Well is a powerful and succinct brand philosophy that resonates with our customers' value system and leverages a brand promise that will be a significant part of the Wyndham culture," said Kevin Rupert, vice president of marketing and strategy for Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. "It embodies the essence of the brand -- upscale, comfortable and casual, not pretentious."

Rupert said the brand is "positioned to capitalize on the millions of Generation X consumers who prize individuality and innovation."

Targeting that age group's desire for creativity, the brand announced that it will be the official lodging sponsor for Cirque du Soleil® touring shows Saltimbanco™, KOOZA™ and Corteo™ for the next two years, leveraging promotional development opportunities and event presence with signage and displays at Cirque shows.

To reach Gen X families traveling with children, the brand partnered with VTech® Electronics North America to provide VTech educational gaming systems in more than 3,000 Wyndham family suites through March 31, 2008.

In an effort to support local hotel marketing endeavors, the brand introduced the Wyndham Marketing Asset Center or WynMAC, an online marketing resource center that provides properties with the flexibility to customize their advertising by utilizing templates, stock images and copy that reflect the brand's image.

The brand's Wyndham ByRequest® guest recognition program, which offers perks including a welcome snack and beverage, will add Wyndham Hotel Group's TripRewards® loyalty program points. Beginning next month, Wyndham ByRequest members will be eligible to earn and redeem TripRewards points for hotel stays and merchandise at hundreds of retail outlets.

In another appeal to Gen X, the Wyndham brand is taking a leading role in its parent company's evolving "green" strategy and emphasis on wellness. The brand announced that it will implement allergen-free guest rooms and meeting spaces beginning at its managed hotels next year, along with eco-friendly hotel staff uniforms and an organic coffee program.

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, a subsidiary of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE: WYN), offers upscale hotel and resort accommodations throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean. All hotels are either franchised or managed by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts or an affiliate. For more information, visit