90 percent of Wyndham hotels remained open during pandemic, reveals EMEA president

Dimitris Manikis on how the hospitality group has managed during the virus

Dimitris Manikis
Simon Tang
Dimitris Manikis

Data from STR earlier this month showed that occupancy rates in Dubai hit 26 percent in June , a far cry from the industry’s performance at the same time last year. Abu Dhabi hasn’t fared much better, seeing similar results over the course of the pandemic. Despite the trends worldwide, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts president EMEA Dimitris Manikis said group has dealt with the pandemic very well.

As of June 16 – where hotels were tip-toeing towards recovery but not quite there – Manikis revealed that Wyndham’s portfolio remained more than 90 percent open. He revealed: “The vast majority of our hotels, more than 90 percent, remain open around the globe. As we gradually continue to navigate the re-opening phase across the region and beyond, we remain confident in our ability to overcome the challenges brought on by COVID-19. Our mission is to make hotel travel possible for all, and that becomes especially important during times of uncertainty.” This achievement is especially impressive considering the group has upwards of 9,000 properties.

Manikis conceded that expansion plans for the group have been put on the backbench during the virus, with priorities shifting towards supporting recovery and re-openings. He said: “During the COVID-19 outbreak, we have been focusing on supporting our current partners with their recovery and re-openings, as well as enhancing our safety and health protocols across all hotels in the region.”

In Dubai – a hub for tourism in the region – hotels of all categories received a major boost when doors swung open again for international arrivals on July 7. Groups such as Jumeirah, Radisson and Minor Hotels all revealed to Hotelier Middle East that bookings had gone up – Wyndham is no exception.

“Following the recent announcement of the re-opening of the borders to international tourists, we see increased traffic on our websites and expect demand to gradually return in the coming months and we look forward to welcoming new and returning international guests to our properties once more,” said Manikis.

Even with a greater focus on reopening and recovering existing hotels, Manikis told Hotelier Middle East there are still many projects in the pipeline. “Our development pipeline for the region include 28 hotels, and the next few years will see us remain committed to delivering strong growth in key destinations. We will continue to adapt to the market and provide accommodation that suits every type of traveller’s needs.”

The EMEA president said Wyndham had been forced to do some restructuring due to the coronavirus, saying: “We have not been exempted from being forced to make difficult decisions affecting our organisation.”

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