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Wyndham Hotels & Resorts: Expanding horizons in the Middle East and Africa

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts drives growth in the Middle East with new openings, midscale market focus, and sustainability initiatives, aligning with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Dubai, UAE – During the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, Panos Loupasis, Market Managing Director for Türkiye, the Middle East, and Africa at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, shared insights into the company’s robust presence and future expansion plans in an exclusive interview with TravelDailyNews International.

A Strong Regional Presence

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has long established itself as a significant player in the Middle East hospitality sector. Loupasis, who joined Wyndham in 2011, highlighted the company’s extensive operations, boasting 70 operational hotels and an additional 2,800 developments in the pipeline. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are particularly strong markets, with 22 and 14 operational hotels, respectively. Wyndham operates 11 of its 25 global brands in the region, ranging from economy to luxury segments.

Strategic Expansion in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning tourism industry is a focal point for Wyndham. With the kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan initially targeting 100 million visitors by 2030 but already achieving 106 million in 2023, the potential for growth is enormous. The majority of these visitors are domestic, driven by extensive promotional campaigns during the pandemic.

Loupasis detailed Wyndham’s recent openings, including the Ramada Riyadh King Fahad Road and the Ramada Corniche in Al Khobar. Both properties serve as flagship examples of Wyndham’s commitment to quality and brand consistency in the region. The kingdom’s current inventory stands at 149,000 operational rooms, with a pipeline set to nearly double this number, emphasizing upscale and luxury segments.

Midscale Market Opportunities

While the upscale market dominates, Loupasis sees significant opportunities for midscale and economy brands. With 66% of current rooms and 82% of pipeline projects being upscale or above, there is a clear gap in the market for three and four-star hotels. Wyndham’s portfolio is well-positioned to fill this gap, especially in emerging destinations within Saudi Arabia and beyond.

Comparative Market Analysis

Comparing Dubai and Saudi Arabia, Loupasis noted the distinct development trajectories. Dubai, with its well-established tourism infrastructure, continues to grow but at a different pace. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is rapidly developing new tourism destinations, including secondary cities and Giga projects, which promise to transform the landscape.

Sustainability Initiatives

Sustainability is a key focus for Wyndham, exemplified by their Wyndham Green program. This initiative encompasses five levels of certification, from basic linen and towel reuse programs to advanced compost production at hotel level. Loupasis proudly shared that 70% of properties in the Middle East and Africa are certified under this program, reflecting strong engagement from owners and managers.

Future Prospects

Looking ahead, Loupasis emphasized the dynamic nature of the Middle East and Africa regions, with continuous innovation in hotel offerings and tourism products. The proximity to major global populations, coupled with visa facilitation measures, positions these regions for sustained growth. Wyndham’s strategic focus on midscale and economy segments, combined with its commitment to sustainability, positions it well to capitalize on these opportunities.

As Wyndham Hotels & Resorts continues to expand and innovate, it remains a key player in shaping the future of hospitality in the Middle East and Africa.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.