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Despite stalled growth in China, Brazil and Russia, a wave of newly middle-class travelers from the BRICs and beyond will start visiting international destinations in the coming decades — dwarfing the numbers we’ve seen thus far.
Wyndham Worldwide has announced that hotel division president and CEO Eric Danziger is to step down to pursue personal interests effective March 28, 2014.
Danziger will be replaced by Geoff Ballotti, president and CEO of the global hospitality company’s timeshare exchange and vacation rental division. Ballotti joined the group in 2008 to head Wyndham Exchange & Rentals, which manages a portfolio of more than 107,000 vacation properties in more than 100 countries.
Wyndham Worldwide chairman and CEO Stephen P. Holmes said: “During the past five years, and through some very challenging global economic conditions, Eric provided leadership that strengthened Wyndham Hotel Group’s service to its franchisees, expanded its hotel management offerings, and significantly grew its global footprint,”
“As a well-respected hotel industry veteran, Eric brought real passion for hospitality to Wyndham, and leaves our hotel division set on a strong course for the future. We thank him for his leadership, congratulate him on his legacy within our industry, and wish him all the best in the future,” he added.
Speaking last year about Wyndham’s plans for the Middle East, Danziger labelled Dubai’s most grandiose hotels as “monstrous”, and revealed the group’s intention to fill a gap in the middle and lower ends of the market.
Prior to joining Wyndham Worldwide, Ballotti spent 20 years in various leadership positions at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. During that time, he served as president of the North America division where he led a portfolio of 450 hotels with 65,000 associates. His previous leadership roles included real estate development, call centre and travel distribution management, marketing, sales, and regional multi-brand managed and franchised hotel and hospitality operations throughout North America and Europe.
“Geoff brings a unique perspective that combines his extensive experience building and growing storied hotel brands, as well as his proven track record of leveraging synergies among diverse hospitality segments and businesses throughout the world and at Wyndham Worldwide,” said Holmes.
“Over the past six years, Geoff has led aggressive growth for our exchange and rentals businesses in both geographic reach and innovative offerings to customers. I am excited to now ask him to continue his leadership at Wyndham Hotel Group to further grow and strengthen our iconic hotel brands around the world,” he added.
Following Ballotti’s transition to Wyndham Hotel Group, Gail Mandel, chief financial officer of Wyndham Exchange & Rentals will assume additional responsibilities as chief operating officer for the division, reporting to Holmes. Wyndham Exchange & Rentals encompasses RCI, which provides flexible vacation options to approximately 3.7 million subscribing members each year to almost 4,500 affiliated resorts in over 100 countries; and Wyndham Vacation Rentals, which provides access to approximately 103,000 vacation rental properties across Europe and North America.