According to the company’s CEO, strong travel demand in the United States has helped Wyndham Hotels & Resorts jobs shake off its pandemic-related slowdown, who spoke to CNBC on Thursday.
While several businesses have struggled to recover following the Covid outbreak, Wyndham’s company is “certainly stronger than before the pandemic,” said CEO Geoff Ballotti in an interview on “The Exchange.”
“The intent to travel, to get into your car and drive some place and get out of your attic, get out of your basement, with your family and friends is spectacular,” Ballotti said. “It’s off the charts, it’s unprecedented, and I think we’re going to continue to see that into the fall.”
Wyndham’s hotel brands include Days Inn, La Quinta and Baymont. Business for the hotel franchisor is not only picking up at its U.S. hotels but internationally too as the number of outgoing flights slowly bounces back. “We’re seeing international airlift continue to increase to destinations like Mexico, where we have a new Wyndham Alltra Cancun and a new Wynhdam Alltra Playa Del Carmen,” Ballotti said.
“People are looking to get away and have a safe and a very flexible and easy vacation, and that’s what we’re seeing,” Ballotti said. Business travel jobs are coming back at a slower pace than leisure travel, according to the CEO. “Big cities like San Francisco are now just beginning to pick up; it’s those group meeting urban destinations that have been lagging.”
Despite the lag in business travel, Ballotti and other hotel CEOs anticipate a boost next month when the Biden administration eliminates international travel restrictions imposed last year during the early days of the Covid epidemic on Nov. 8.
“We think there will be certainly increasing demand in the United States of America. One thing we need to see pick up is visa applications; we need emergency funding for those visas to be processed,” Ballotti said.
Cities like Boston, New York, and San Francisco in the United States will continue to witness an influx and increase in business and leisure travel for the remainder of the year, according to Ballotti, “which is wonderful news for the travel sector.”
In its quarterly results on Thursday, Wyndham outperformed Wall Street estimates and boosted its full-year guidance. The stock was trading at $85.84 a share on Thursday afternoon, up 4.33 percent.