Today we have an occasion to talk with Mr.Geoff Ballotti, President and Chief Executive Offier of Wyndham Hotel Group about his business projects in Phuket, let’s start…
1) Wyndham’s global strategic direction?
Geoff Ballotti: Our success is a result of an unrelenting focus on quality growth, delivering best-in-class technology solutions and providing the very best sales, marketing and loyalty programs.
We’re laser-focused on improving the quality of our portfolio – saying hello to owners who will deliver great experiences to our guests and goodbye to those who can’t work with us to upgrade their quality to meet our standards.
We’re the first hotel company of this size to roll out a secure, cloud-based property management system with automated revenue management capabilities ensuring our hotels are offer the right prices at the right time.
Our sales and marketing efforts include propelling greater loyalty and repeat business through our award-winning Wyndham Rewards loyalty program and strategically transforming our iconic brands aimed at elevating the travel experience for millennials and the diverse global middle class.
2) What about the development plans in South East Asia and are there plans to introduce more new brands?
Geoff Ballotti: Though the luxury space has grown exponentially throughout Southeast Asia, the increasingly travel curious middle class do not have the options they deserve. We are focused on transforming travel for the growing middle class who are travelling more than ever and ensuring guests at all price points have access to great quality experiences and value.
This gives us the opportunity to introduce more new brands to more new places and plans are underway to introduce many of our brands which have not yet operated in this region. Our brands are more consistent than ever before and have generated greater demand today with higher customer satisfaction scores and indices which is very encouraging.
South East Asia a few years ago had less than 5,000 rooms. By the end of this year, we will have nearly 15,000 rooms opened, and will soon have 20,000 rooms opened within the next 12 months. Our development in South East Asia has nearly quadrupled in a very short period of time which is a testament to our commitment in growing in this region.
3) How many hotels of Wyndham Hotel Group in Thailand and what are some of their locations?
Geoff Ballotti: There are 7 hotels under the Wyndham Hotel and Resorts, Ramada and Days Inn brands in Bangkok, Phuket, and Khao Lak. We will be opening a Wyndham Grand by the end of this year in Kalim Bay, Phuket which we visited with the owners – our second Wyndham managed resort in Phuket.
4) Is there a particular brand that Wyndham is focusing on expanding?
Barry Robinson: We will continue developing Wyndham brands at all levels such as Wyndham Grand, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and Ramada, which already enjoy a strong presence, but we are also boosting our portfolio in countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, and Japan. Our economy brand, Days Inn has an opportunity to gain greater traction here in Southeast Asia catering to the growth in guests travelling intra-regionally looking for comfortable, pocket-friendly accommodation. We have seen good traction in Philippines and will look to leverage on this in other regions. TRYP Brisbane in Australia is a unique property featuring urban-styled accommodation, and we’re hoping to capitalize on the demand for fresh, edgy new concepts in Southeast Asia.
5) Do you have any new projects coming up in Thailand that we’ll be able to share?
Geoff Ballotti: We have several under development and spent much of this week meeting in Bangkok with owners who are very excited to expand their portfolios with us.
6) What is the mission of Wyndham Hotel Group in Phuket?
Geoff Ballotti: We already have nice presence in Phuket with Wyndham Grand opening in Kalim Bay, Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort, a Ramada and Days Inn in Patong, and we will continue to grow our presence in other parts of Phuket. Our overarching mission is to provide quality accommodations at all segments in the economy, midscale and upscale, and soon the upper upscale segment with the opening of Wyndham Grand. Within a four km radius we have four brands catering to different segments of the market.
7) What do you think of tourism in Phuket and foreseeable future?
Geoff Ballotti Airport arrivals are up 13% last year, which bodes very well for tourism onto the isle of Phuket. We are even hearing from owners acros Thailand on their bullishness for inbound arrivals and continued tourism growth. China, the world’s largest source market is continuing to see record growth and there are many new source markets appearing, like Russian tourists who are coming to Phuket in record numbers. Together with Phuket’s phenomenal new airport terminal, they will be able to handle more flights in and out of this great new South East Asian gateway.
8) How often visit Phuket and why do you think it’s a good place?
Geoff Ballotti I have been coming to Phuket for years for our timeshare and hotel businesses and it has always been a resilient and strong market for tourism. Most importantly, there are few places in the world where associates deliver more sincere, heartfelt and caring service with a smile. All 3 of Wyndham Worldwide business units are represented here – the world’s leading hotel group, world’s number one timeshare development company, and the world’s number one timeshare exchange company, have all been doing business here for many years and we look forward to many more years ahead.