Wyndham reaches highest ever pipeline levels

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has hit record rates of development with a pipeline comprising approximately 219,000 rooms in over 1,700 hotels, as at year-end 2022.

This represents a 12% growth year-on-year, including a 34% increase in the group’s home US market.

Segmentation and geography

Approximately 73% of developments are in the midscale and above segments overall, though this figure falls to 56% for the US.

Around 60% of the company’s hotel project pipeline is international and over 80% is new construction, of which approximately 36% has broken ground. 

Contract surge

Wyndham awarded 882 new contracts last year, equivalent to over three every business day, and representing a 35% increase compared to the 655 contracts awarded during 2021.

The pipeline includes 170 new contracts for the company’s ECHO Suites Extended Stay by Wyndham brand since its launch in March 2022. In line with development expectations, the first three ECHO Suites hotels broke ground in 2022 and are anticipated to open in the second half of 2023.

Sequential success

Geoffrey A. Ballotti, president and CEO said: “Our development pipeline increased sequentially for the 10th consecutive quarter reflecting robust developer interest in our brands for both conversion and new construction opportunities despite the broader macro-economic climate,” 

“Given the continued occupancy recovery across the globe and infrastructure business growth in 2023, we are enthusiastic about the opportunities that lie ahead and our ability to deliver outstanding value to our shareholders, guests, franchisees and team members.”

Record interest

During the firm’s full year 2022 earnings conference call, Ballotti added: “The number of domestic contracts signed in the fourth quarter was 40% higher than what we awarded last year, and nearly 90% higher than what we awarded in the fourth quarter of 2019, reflecting record developer interest in our brands.

“For the full year, we signed 563 contracts in the US for 62,000 room additions, which is nearly double the amount signed in 2019 and 65% more than last year.”

Numerous newbuilds

During 2022 new construction domestic US executions increased 130% year-over-year, while domestic conversion executions increased 30% compared to 2021. Ballotti commented: “Developers are selecting Wyndham new construction offerings now more than they ever have.

“Our economy new construction brand Microtel added 2,200 rooms to its domestic pipeline in 2022, driven by developer interest in its cost efficient Moda prototype, while upper midscale brands like Wyndham Garden added 1,300 rooms to its domestic new construction pipeline. In the upscale segment, we saw continued strong new construction demand for brands like Wyndham, which grew its US pipeline by 1,700 rooms this year.”

Fourth quarter highlights

Q4 new construction domestic executions increased 95%. Wyndham also awarded another 50 ECHO Suites by Wyndham contracts this quarter to established developers and experienced extended stay operators, bringing the total number of contracts awarded to 170 hotels in just nine months.

Ballotti stated: “This makes ECHO the hotel industry’s fastest growing new brand launch of 2022. We expect to open our first ECHO Suites by Wyndham Hotels later this year as we break ground on another two dozen ECHO hotels in 2023.”

System size

As at 31 December 2022, Wyndham’s system stood at 842,500 rooms, representing a year-on-year expansion of 4% from 2021’s 810,100.

International increases were steeper than in the US, with the global total rising 9%, from 319,500 to 348,700 keys, while the domestic portfolio had a 1% uptick from 490,600 to 493,800 rooms.

As expected, these increases included strong growth in both the higher RevPAR midscale and above segments in the US and the direct franchising business in China, which grew 4% and 10%, respectively, as well as 80 basis points of growth globally and 200 basis points internationally from the acquisition of the Vienna House brand in September 2022.