WYNDHAM HOTELS & RESORTS is expanding its Wyndham Direct booking and billing service to two more brands in an effort to attract more corporate travel business. The initiative was announced just weeks after the company announced major losses during the second quarter.
Wyndham Direct previously was used by the La Quinta brand exclusively but will now be available to Super 8 by Wyndham and Days Inn by Wyndham hotels in the U.S., the company said. It may be expanded to other brands as well at some point.
The program offers integrated virtual credit card technology to ease booking and billing for small and medium-sized corporate business, grow market share and drive lower-cost reservations. The expansion brings the service to nearly 3,900 hotels across the economy through upper-midscale segments.
“Wyndham is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to helping our hotels drive more direct bookings, save time and get paid faster,” said Carol Lynch, Wyndham’s senior vice president of global sales. “Wyndham Direct is a comprehensive solution for our hotels that not only eases the strain on hotel teams, but also makes the client’s experience easier and helps translate into revenues for our franchisees.”
Wyndham Direct’s virtual credit card technology allows company travelers to make reservations directly through central channels at check-out with no need for authorization. Users receive a single monthly bill and can manage travel spend within the Wyndham Direct customer portal.
The booking system also allows hotel owners to get paid more simply and quickly by automatically forwarding the guests’ folio data, saving manpower and time. It also provides reporting and data collection to streamline reconciliation, simplify and accelerate the payment process for hotel bookings and minimize disruptions during the check-in process.
The expansion focuses on economy brands in an effort to appeal to more diverse industries. While midscale and economy hotels have been performing better than other types during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to STR, the data collection firm does not expect corporate travel to recover fully this year, according to its most recent data deep dive.
Wyndham Direct began at La Quinta hotels in March. Wyndham plans to roll out Wyndham Direct to all of its brands and hotels in the U.S. on the SynXisV3 PMS throughout 2020, with plans to further expand internationally in the future.
In late July, Wyndham reported a net loss of $174 million loss for the second quarter. The company’s adjusted net income for the quarter was $9 million and its adjusted EBITDA was $63 million. Its global comparable RevPAR declined 54 percent year-over-year.