Wyndham Hotels & Resorts announced its first signed agreement as part of its innovative “Women Own the Room” program. Trusha Patel, Founder and CEO, Platinum Holdings, will become the pioneering program’s first member with the construction of two new La Quinta and Hawthorn Suites dual-branded hotels.
The first-ever program by a major hotel company specifically targeting women’s advancement in hotel ownership, the Women Own the Room program is designed to advance and empower women entrepreneurs to break through the predominantly male-dominated hotel industry.
The importance of representing women
Hospitality industry data shows that women are significantly underrepresented in hotel ownership, real estate and investment funding roles. Research conducted by Castell Project in 2021 found that while the hospitality industry is one of the most diverse, it lags when it comes to diversity in senior positions and ownership. Women make up 70 percent of the tourism and hospitality workforce. They only make up 10 percent of hotel development roles.
“Hospitality is one of the most diverse industries in the world. We should be fostering that diversity at the highest levels including ownership,” said Lisa Checchio, Chief Marketing Officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “The workforce in the tourism and hospitality industry is comprised of 70 percent women. But only one woman enters hotel development for every 9.6 men. Women Own the Room helps manage the common barriers women face in hotel development. It will help them open and run their hotels.”
Two new hotels
Patel will open two La Quinta and Hawthorn Suites dual-branded hotels in Austin and Georgetown. Each hotel will offer a combined 125 guestrooms. 75 will feature the recently refreshed room design from La Quinta’s sought-after Del Sol prototype. 50 will feature the updated Hawthorn room design including modern, well-equipped kitchens for extended-stay guests. This pairing of select-service and long-term lodging targets different types of travelers, bringing them together under one roof. It allows Wyndham to provide options for travelers looking for extended stays, especially in the growing midscale space.
Goals of Women Own the Room
The program aims to address how nearly 50 percent of women in business lack competent advisors to guide them through entrepreneurship. It will connect women interested in the hotel business with established female hotel developers who successfully broke the mold. Additionally, the company offers a development incentive program. This provides meaningful financing, discounts on initial fees and complimentary first-year operating services to support the success of hotels developed by women.
“I grew up in the hospitality industry. I’ve been involved in every facet of hotel ownership, from development to dispositions. When embarking on owning a hotel of my own, it was helpful to have access to Wyndham’s resources,” said Patel. “With this support, I have the backing of the world’s largest hotel company behind me. This is an incredible opportunity to realize my personal hospitality objectives. It’s also an opportunity to inspire other women to fulfill their entrepreneurship goals.”
“Members of Women Own the Room will have access to the tools and support designed to help them achieve success every step of the way. This ranges from signing and breaking ground to welcoming their first guests. The program clears the path for women who are eager to make their mark in the hospitality industry,” said Chip Ohlsson, Chief Development Officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.
To stay up-to-date on Women Own the Room’s upcoming events, visit www.womenowntheroombywyndham.com.
Read another feature on this topic: Meet The Boston Founders Trying To Take The Hospitality Industry Laundry-Free With Biodegradable Bed Sheets.
About Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest hotel franchising company by the number of properties. It has approximately 9,000 hotels across nearly 95 countries on six continents. Wyndham commands a leading presence in the economy and midscale segments of the lodging industry. The Company operates a portfolio of 22 hotel brands, including Super 8, Days Inn, Ramada, Microtel, La Quinta, Baymont, Wingate, AmericInn, Hawthorn Suites, Trademark Collection and Wyndham. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is also a leading provider of hotel management services. The Company’s award-winning Wyndham Rewards loyalty program offers over 90 million enrolled members the opportunity to redeem points at thousands of hotels, vacation club resorts and vacation rentals globally. For more information, visit www.wyndhamhotels.com.