Why Wyndham sees growth opportunity in South Korea

(Howard Johnson Incheon Airport, Days Hotel Incheon Airport)

Wyndham Hotel Group is set to triple its current portfolio of 13 hotels in Korea with five new hotel signings in the areas of Incheon, Yongin, Daejeon and Kimpo. The franchise agreements will include brands such as Ramada, Days Inn and Howard Johnson, adding 2,008 to its room count in the country.

Wyndham currently has 13 hotels in operation across South Korea  and is expected to expand its presence to 40 hotels. The newly acquired hotels will bring its construction pipeline to 27 hotels, adding 8,670 rooms to the group’s portfolio. The five hotels – Howard Johnson Incheon Airport, Days Hotel Incheon Airport, Ramada Encore Yongin, Ramada Daejeon and Ramada Encore Kimpo are still in construction and are expected to open by 2018.

Barry Robinson, president and managing director of Wyndham Hotel Group South East Asia and the Pacific Rim, emphasized that South Korea is a key market for the group, the country being one of the top outbound destinations from China, the world’s largest tourism source market. 

“This is a timely opportunity for us to magnify our presence in Korea and fill the gap in the market; an analysis of hotel demand and supply has shown that there will be a growing shortage of hotel rooms as demand for inbound travel into Korea continues to increase.” According to the study by Korea’s Culture and Tourism Institute, the daily demand for hotel rooms is estimated to be 41,000 in 2017, while supply is projected to be in the range of 33,000, leading to a shortage of nearly 8,000 rooms in Seoul.

“We are aiming to triple our portfolio of hotels in Korea in the next two years and will continue to look for any opportunity to grow our brands,” Robinson said.

South Korea is the sixth-most visited country in Asia with 14.2 million arrivals in 2014.