A Message from Our President and CEO
Following the last few years of uncertainty, the significance of our Company mission — to make hotel travel possible for all – is more important than ever. We understand the world is in the midst of rapid change, and we have a responsibility as the world’s largest hotel franchising company to strengthen the communities where we do business, further our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and protect the environment for future generations.
Fostering our commitment to diversity, we recently launched a groundbreaking program unveiling our “Women Own the Room” program, the first-ever program by a major hotel company specifically targeting women’s advancement in hotel ownership. “Women Own the Room” is designed to advance and empower women entrepreneurs – giving them the “keys” to the hotel industry — and is a natural extension of Wyndham’s strong dedication to a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
We are also accelerating our efforts in operating sustainably. Wyndham, with the support of our owner advisory groups, is making Level 1 Core in the Wyndham Green Certification a requirement as part of brand standard compliance for hotels worldwide by April 2023. The Wyndham Green Certification is a five-level certification program that helps reduce a hotel’s environmental footprint, gives owners an easy way to improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions, conserve water, and reduce waste while also helping owners’ bottom lines. Our work has been recognized through our participation in CDP’s climate change and water security responses, and while we have been recognized for the progress we have made on our journey to date, we know we can — and will — continue to do more.
The work of our valuable team members continues to make a meaningful impact on our industry, the lives of our franchisees and the communities around them. In 2022, Wyndham received another perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index measuring LGBTQ+ workplace equality for the fourth consecutive year and debuted on Newsweek’s list of America’s Most Responsible Companies, which honors those with superior environmental and social responsibility practices.
This work is only possible because Wyndham lives a “Count on Me” culture and we are guided by the philosophy that you can do well by doing good. We are a values-based organization where compliance, ethics and culture are critical to all facets of our operations. We are committed to operating our business in a way that is socially, ethically and environmentally responsible.
Our social impact is amplified by the hotel teams at our 9,000 hotels across the world that embrace these same principles. This power in numbers enables us to support important education programs at the hotel level to gain more knowledge to help identify and respond to potential incidents of human trafficking. We require GMs at our managed and franchised hotels to take human trafficking awareness training and to certify that their staff has been trained as well. Corporate team members are also required to take annual human trafficking awareness training. The shared commitment has helped to educate thousands on this industry issue.
During our series of nationwide owner meetings, we were grateful to hear firsthand how our owner-first approach has helped our small-business owner franchisees. We are proud of the steps we took during the pandemic to help our franchisees through a series of relief measures, including the deferral of all fees for the first three months of the pandemic interest-free, waiver of many fees for extended periods, provision of critical procurement support for difficult-to-source hospital grade cleaning and PPE products at cost, suspension of nonessential brand standards and quality assurance inspections, and advocacy with government officials for important relief like the Paycheck Protection Program. This hyper-focus on our franchisee partners has them well-positioned to capitalize on the recovery of travel.
Despite the challenges our world faces, we believe in the power of travel — its ability to create lasting memories, to grow businesses, and to deepen our understanding of each other in a rapidly changing world. We have witnessed the resiliency of our owners, guests, and team members, and as people continue to return to travel, we look forward to sharing our warm Wyndham Welcome because wherever people go, Wyndham will be there to welcome them.
Geoff Ballotti (he/him/his)
President and Chief Executive Officer
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts