As a vacation owner, you may have been hoping the New Year would bring in some relief. But one of the most prominent and profitable timeshare companies in the world just made sure the industry knew they’re looking to dominate the future. After laying off 116 employees right after the pandemic ensued, Wyndham Destination Resorts is sending $100 million to Travel + Leisure to expand its online sales reach.
In a time where millions of people are struggling, Wyndham appears to be investing in themselves. Most outsiders will view this as a solid transaction, because of the publicity of travel industry losses, but struggling timeshare owners are hoping Wyndham will at least aid them during this time of hardship and job loss. It’s not like they don’t deserve it.
Ever since lockdowns and travel restrictions began in March, timeshare companies have been collecting perpetual (lifetime) payments from their owners. The least they could do is use the abundance of past earnings to sustain customer loyalty through tough times. Either way, the smoking deal with the Meredith Corporation gives Wyndham Destination Resorts an incredible opportunity to boost sales prior to reopening their resorts.
What Does the Deal Give Wyndham?
From here on out, Wyndham Destinations will have an ability to easily reach avid travelers and those looking for a vacation (which will probably be all of us). In other words, Wyndham will be able to access Travel + Leisure’s trip planning apps, tools, guides and travel stories and promote their timeshares for quite the bargain. They’ll also be immediately placed in front of tens of millions of current followers across multiple online channels.
Where Did Wyndham Get the $100 Million?
Timeshare companies easily spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every month in sales. But that was before the pandemic. Since Wyndham’s sales presentations have been closed during the pandemic, they can now pour capital into digital elevator pitches (or propaganda). You see, the problem with timeshare presentations has always been poor product disclosure and failed promises. Online, where video and imagery is extremely persuading, we can’t expect this to change.
What Wyndham Destinations Has to Say.
The confidence behind the transaction is not hidden by Wyndham Destination Resorts. They expect to receive a return on their investment within the first year. The deal is expected to close this February (2021). At this point, Wyndham plans to adopt the Travel + Leisure Co. brand name. This is a big move that isn’t cheap. If the hotel chain is looking for a fresh start, it’s not exactly absurd to wonder why. Nonetheless, their confidence is met with equal excitement.
They’re Not Interested in Past Performance.
Michael Brown, the CEO of Wyndham Destination Resorts told Yahoo: “We acquired Travel + Leisure, including access to their global audience of 20 million loyal followers across multiple platforms and nearly 60,000 club members, because they match our passion and purpose to put the world on vacation. Over the past 18 months, we have laid the foundation to expand our footprint beyond our core vacation ownership business and, today, we add one of the most trusted and influential brands in travel.”
A quick internet search of the timeshare giant will show the struggle to earn trust. Wyndham owners may be able to tell you why. Besides the point, they believe they can overcome the noise. “This iconic brand, along with their authoritative content and wide audience, will help accelerate and amplify the growth of new capital-light travel businesses and services, as we take the next step in expanding our reach within the global leisure travel industry,” Brown said in close.
What has Sparked Meredith Company’s Fire Sale?
As the tourism side of things are reorganized, Travel + Leisure will continue to manage (and monetize) the brand’s media assets. They plan on working with Wyndham Destinations Resorts under a thirty year, renewable and royalty free licensing contract. It’s been quite the past few years for the Meredith Corporation.
Last year, they sold Sports Illustrated for $150 million and Money to Ad Practitioners LLC for a private amount. In 2018, they also let go of Fortune for $150 after selling Time for $190 million. This all came after the poor January 2018 acquisition of Time for nearly $3 billion. The latest deal with Wyndham Destination Resorts is said to “ensure Travel + Leisure’s journalistic integrity.”