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Exclusive: Wyndham ‘could add up to 20 hotels’ in NZ over next two years

By James Wilkinson at NZHIC in Auckland

The New Zealand hotel market continues to perform so strongly that the regional head of Wyndham says the company could add as many as 20 hotels across the nation in the near future.

Speaking exclusively to HM at the 2017 New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference (NZHIC) in Auckland yesterday (July 20), Wyndham Hotel Group’s President and Managing Director for South East Asia and Pacific Rim, Barry Robinson, said the market was hot for growth.

“Both the global inbound and trans-Tasman numbers continue to be very strong,” he said. “The New Zealand market is really exploding at the moment.

“We’re wanting to add at least another 10 to 20 hotels here in New Zealand over the next two to three years,” he told HM.

That is a significant increase on the 11 hotels Wyndham have in New Zealand, with many under the popular Ramada brand.

“We want to try and triple our portfolio and I think that’s doable,” Robinson said.

He said the properties would not be “mega hotels”, but would be sized similar to what Wyndham has in the market at present.

“Somewhere around the 80-plus rooms, but below 200, seems to be the sweet spot,” he said.

A lot of the growth in New Zealand has come in partnership with Safari Group, with four properties open and two more in the development pipeline, including a new Ramada announced in Auckland two weeks ago.

“New Zealand is a key region of focus for Wyndham Hotel Group and to help meet growing demand, we have established a strong partnership with the Safari Group,” Robinson said.

He said Ramada was a perfect brand for growth in the New Zealand market, given its midscale positioning and strong global branding including in one of the nation’s biggest inbound markets, China.

“We’ve got a great foothold with the Ramada brand growing across the world,” he said. “We’ve got amazing brand coverage up in Asia, especially in the China market, with over 400 of our 1200 hotels there operating under as a Ramada.

“So it’s a well-recognized brand in Asia which is an attractive market to the New Zealand economy. “

Robinson told HM the growth would come in regional areas as well as major New Zealand cities.

“It’s not just the main centres, it’s also the regional centres that we need to focus on as well,” he said.

He also told HM he was also positive on the Australian market, with further hotels set to be announced in the coming weeks.

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