ABU DHABI: As the Saudi hospitality sector is witnessing unprecedented growth amid efforts to transform the country into an international tourism hub, Wyndham Hotels plans to expand its Ramada brand across key cities, and secondary and tier-3 areas.
This was disclosed by Dimitris Manikis, president of Wyndham Hotels in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, during an interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Hospitality Summit in Abu Dhabi.
The official was upbeat about his company’s plans to bolster its Ramada brand in Saudi Arabia given the opportunities the ongoing economic transformation has to offer to industry players and investors.
Highlighting the significance of the Ramada brand, Manikis said it “is a very important brand for us. It’s a brand that is associated with the people.”
Following the acquisition of the direct franchising rights for Ramada in Saudi Arabia, Wyndham Hotels aims to collaborate directly with property owners for its development.
In addition to the brand’s expansion, Manikis revealed that the company would announce the appointment of a country director for Saudi Arabia in October, with further projects and partnerships on the horizon.
The initiative aligns with Wyndham’s approach to reinforce the Kingdom’s hospitality sector, marking a key milestone in the company’s growth trajectory in the region.
“Wyndham’s plan is to be part of the whole development journey of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We need to and we want to be part of it,” Manikis stated underscoring the company’s ambition to intertwine its growth with the progressive trajectory of the Kingdom.
“We want to be there in that journey and acquiring those franchising rights back is part of our strategy,” he added.
He said that Saudi Arabia’s bid for Expo 2030 presents a tremendous opportunity to spotlight the remarkable transformation unfolding in the Kingdom.
The hotelier also emphasized that the company is playing a pivotal role in the transformation of the Kingdom’s hospitality industry, with significant initiatives already underway.
“We have 104 million Wyndham Rewards members and every single project we bring to Saudi Arabia, those millions of people find out that there’s a new Ramada or there’s a new Wyndham, this is very important for the Kingdom,” he added.
“We are contributing by working with educational institutes to bring young people into hospitality. And we contribute by being passionate about the future of hospitality in the region. We are here to stay,” he stated.
Manikis also highlighted the company’s core values, emphasizing the paramount importance of human resources and the education of the youth.
“We work with governments, we work with institutions, we work with schools, universities. We need to make hospitality an interesting industry for young people to work in. It is not about me or the present leaders of hospitality, it is about the future leaders,” he added.
Wyndham Hotels and Resorts is one of the world’s largest hotel franchising companies with approximately 9,100 hotels across 95 countries.