Wyndham Lures Businesses to Book Directly With New Loyalty Perks

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Wyndham aims to woo businesses to book hotels directly by simplifying the process and turbocharging rewards. The hotel franchisor is betting big on America’s infrastructure spending boom.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts said Tuesday it’s taking steps to improve how companies book and manage group bookings, meetings, events, and business travel at its North American hotels.

In a new move, Wyndham will offer reward points in its loyalty program to companies that book stays through its just-revamped WyndhamBusiness.com.

Before, the loyalty program only benefited guests. Now, enrolled companies also earn one point per dollar on each stay, which they can transfer to their travel planners, use for holiday promotions to reward employees, or to offset future company stays.

“No matter what size or type of business you have, we’ve made booking and managing stays with us easier,” said Angie Gadwood, senior vice president, global sales.

Fine-Tuning Its Direct Booking Tool

Wyndham has made it easier for companies to create an account with it for booking directly.

“We have a new financial partner that has made the process as easy as filling out an application and learning about the approval within minutes,” Gadwood said.

A revamped process lets a company’s employees bill rooms back to the corporate account.

Wyndham has also adopted an instant meeting booking platform from Groups360, a company that helps match meeting planners with venues. The tool lets a travel planner book between 10 and 50 rooms at discounted rates at more than 5,600 Wyndham Group hotels in North America. As Skift Meetings has noted: “Historically, this type of booking capability was only available in more upscale hotels.”

Let’s say you’re an administrative assistant at a construction company who has been asked to help a project team book a dozen rooms for workers who will be traveling to five different projects.

In the past, you would have to pull every property and reach out to four different directors of sales at each property. Then you’d have to explain to each hotel what you need, apply for billing with every property, get a credit check at every hotel, send the rooming lists over to each place, and so on.

“Our new system lets you book those rooms quickly within a one-stop site and move on,” Gadwood said.

Wyndham Counts on Infrastructure Projects

Wyndham is betting that the sheer scale of its footprint as the world’s largest hotel franchisor will prove irresistible to road warriors, especially as the U.S. plans to spend about $1.5 trillion on infrastructure over the next decade.

Wyndham believes the infrastructure products could create a “$3.3 billion revenue opportunity” for its franchisees.

Wyndham isn’t alone in seeing an opportunity. Its overall effort at simplifying its direct booking process for businesses is similar to one begun by Hilton last fall.

Yet Wyndham believes it’s better placed to reap benefits.

“We have such a large footprint in the economy sector that we serve many blue-collar workers,” Gadwood said. “But there’s also what we call that white-to-gray-collar worker, a traveler who might be doing the surveys or the architectural plans as pre-work before bringing in the hard hats and shovels, and we see an opportunity there, too, thanks to how we’ve expanded our offerings in extended stay hotels in the past year.”

Accommodations Sector Stock Index Performance Year-to-Date

What am I looking at? The performance of hotels and short-term rental sector stocks within the ST200. The index includes companies publicly traded across global markets, including international and regional hotel brands, hotel REITs, hotel management companies, alternative accommodations, and timeshares.

The Skift Travel 200 (ST200) combines the financial performance of nearly 200 travel companies worth more than a trillion dollars into a single number. See more hotels and short-term rental financial sector performance.

Read the full methodology behind the Skift Travel 200.

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