SOURCE: Wyndham Worldwide

Wyndham Worldwide

February 14, 2011 13:22 ET

Ten Women Win the Ultimate Valentine's Day Gift of "Free" Vacations

Travel Blogger Contest Awards 10 Women Across the United States Opportunity to Explore the World

PARSIPPANY, NJ--(Marketwire - February 14, 2011) - Women on Their Way by Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN), the hospitality industry's longest-running branded program dedicated entirely to female travelers, today announced 10 winners of its 2nd annual Local Nation travel writing contest. Women on Their Way encourages women to discover new places, cultures, customs, and cuisines as part of the travel experience. The Local Nation winners will travel twice in the coming year using Wyndham Rewards points and American Express Gift Cards courtesy of Women on Their Way and Wyndham Rewards, sharing their "Local Nation" experiences through blog columns and videos.

The Local Nation contest invited travelers to submit an essay and photo or video on their lifestyle, and the perspective they would share with others if selected by Women on their Way. The winners were selected based on creativity, originality, enthusiasm, articulation and relevance to travel, through a combination of open online voting and Women on Their Way judges' scores.

The winners range from Aquila Mendez-Valdez from Forest, Indiana, who, as an adventurous world traveler has eaten grasshoppers in Nigeria and wants to show readers that they too can tackle the unknown, to April Thompson who has set a goal to travel to 30 countries by the age of 30.

"We received so many moving, funny and inspiring entries that selecting our winners was no easy task," said Alyson Johnson, vice president of corporate communications for Wyndham Worldwide, and writer of the Women on Their Way blog, Adventures with Alyson. "These women have a true passion for travel, for discovering new places and cultures, and most importantly, they embrace the opportunity to gain 'local knowledge' and share it with fellow travelers."

Contestants were encouraged to share their entries through social network sites like Facebook and Twitter, rallying friends, fans and followers to vote for their entry. Thousands of votes were cast throughout the month the Local Nation polls were open, with Rhonda Ulmer from Odenton, Maryland receiving the most votes from the Women on Their Way community.

"I am truly honored to represent my fellow travelers through Women on Their Way's Local Nation community," says Rhonda. "As a mom trying to balance a busy and challenging routine, I rely on my friends and family for advice and guidance, and that's what I aim to be -- a friend for women travelers. I look forward to sharing local knowledge such as packing and traveling tips for families, ideas on creating fun outings and also giving back through voluntourism trips."

As a Local Nation winner, each will receive 200,000 Wyndham Rewards points to be used to take a minimum of two vacations, a Women on Their Way-branded Flip SlideHD™ video camera, a McKenna Travel Folio, and American Express Gift Cards totaling $800 USD, to be used for food and fun on their vacations.

The Local Nation features blog entries, pictures and fun videos of the contest winners on their vacations at various hotels, rentals and/or timeshare properties within the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands.

To join the conversation with 'local' travel experts, become a fan of the Women on Their Way by Wyndham Worldwide's Facebook page today.

About Women on Their Way
Women on Their Way is an online resource for business and leisure travelers to find everything they need to plan and book their next trip. The Web site,, includes expert advice on destinations, hotels, timeshare resorts and vacation rentals, plus special deals and packages.

Women on Their Way is the hospitality industry's longest-running branded program entirely dedicated to female travelers. Since the program's launch in 1995, Wyndham has supported women travelers as they've emerged from a niche market to a formidable force, listening and responding to women's feedback, which has resulted in a better hotel experience for all travelers, including the addition of various amenities to hotel rooms such as coffee makers, full-length mirrors and healthier room service menus.

While once a single hotel chain program, Wyndham Worldwide expanded the program across all brands and businesses offering over 97,000 hotels, vacation rentals and resorts in 100 countries.

About Wyndham Rewards
The Wyndham Rewards loyalty program is the largest in the lodging industry based on the number of participating hotels. Points can be redeemed at for hotel night stays at participating Wyndham Hotel Group properties in North America, Europe, China, Latin America and the Caribbean. Points can also be redeemed for other rewards including airline tickets, resort vacations, name-brand merchandise, rental cars, rail points or services at many popular restaurants and stores.

About Wyndham Worldwide
As one of the world's largest hospitality companies, Wyndham Worldwide offers individual consumers and business-to-business customers a broad suite of hospitality products and services across various accommodation alternatives and price ranges through its premier portfolio of world-renowned brands. Wyndham Hotel Group encompasses approximately 7,210 franchised hotels and approximately 612,700 hotel rooms worldwide. Wyndham Exchange & Rentals offers leisure travelers, including its 3.8 million members, access to approximately 97,000 vacation properties located in approximately 100 countries. Wyndham Vacation Ownership develops, markets and sells vacation ownership interests and provides consumer financing to owners through its network of over 160 vacation ownership resorts serving nearly 815,000 owners throughout North America, the Caribbean and the South Pacific. Wyndham Worldwide, headquartered in Parsippany, N.J., employs approximately 26,000 employees globally.

For more information about Wyndham Worldwide, please visit the Company's web site at

Contact Information

    Alyson R. Johnson
    Vice President, Corporate Communications
    Wyndham Worldwide Corporation


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