Dolce by Wyndham hotels in Europe are often MICE resorts with leisure facilities. How does Comwell Hotels fit into the wider picture?
“The individual Comwell hotels set to join the Dolce by Wyndham family share a resort feeling and reflect the essence of the brand – they’re amazing places to hold meetings. Comwell Hotels has the right frame of mind. It’s a ‘match made in heaven,’ if there is such a thing.
“After all, business needs the right framework – and backdrop. Recently, I attended a meeting at our Wyndham Grand Istanbul Levent and the first thing we did was draw the curtains aside to reveal the amazing city view. Traditionally, scenic beauty was considered a distraction but nothing could be farther from the truth. There’s no business that cannot be done successfully at a resort.
“We share the same DNA with Comwell and are proud to be associated with a corporate leader within social responsibility and environmental care. Comwell Hotels has won numerous awards for their CSR commitment. We at Wyndham are also constantly evolving and adapting to changing times. I believe that we can learn a lot from each other – it’s a two-way partnership.”
What advantages will Comwell Hotels enjoy from partnering with Wyndham?
“The Dolce by Wyndham brand is a well-oiled MICE machine. It offers quality experiences and a technical focus. For Comwell Hotels, the partnership opens markets they have not enjoyed access to before, including market and sales support and access to over 79 million worldwide members of our Wyndham Rewards programme.
“This is especially important in a time of rising outbound travel from markets where Wyndham is already well established, such as from China and India. Our Super 8 by Wyndham economy hotels in China have, for instance, generated great interest among Chinese tourists travelling to Germany, where we have also established Super 8 by Wyndham hotels.
“In India, we are represented by several brands, including Ramada by Wyndham and Howard Johnson by Wyndham – and are planning to add Wyndham Grand and Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham to the market. One of the fastest-growing demographics in the global travel industry is the Indian middle class. Currently, 90 percent of their travel activity is domestic, but outbound travel is expected to grow from 25 million today to 50 million in the next couple of years.”
Millennials have changed the MICE industry in many ways. What in your view is the most important lesson for today’s hotel operators?
“The most important lesson is to look beyond labels. We used to view businesspeople as belonging to a tribe but today we see them as individuals. As a young man, my father taught me about such tribal stereotypes: what to expect from a military man and from a businessman. But these labels no longer apply.
“Business and leisure are no longer separate parts of our lives. A businessperson may take a run in the morning, attend a business meeting and lunch and then spend the afternoon enjoying cultural experiences.”