LAS VEGAS — If Trevor Hagel, executive vice-president operations at Travelodge by Wyndham Canada, had one message for delegates to his session at the Wyndham Global Conference, it was that the OTAs are their friends and hotels need to work together with them. He cited the recent Marriott agreement with Expedia. In mid-September, Expedia Group announced that starting this month it would the exclusive distributor of Marriott International wholesale and promotional room rates, availability, and content to bedbanks, and other redistributors when they don’t have a direct connection with the hotel chain.
He also had a message about the importance of photos on hotel websites, noting that 60 per cent of viewers said bathroom images were very important, and the unique photos of different room types can drive traffic up by 11 per cent. By updating an adding relevant photos as well as updating information on the OTAs, the Travelodge.com site has increased its content score to 83 per cent on Expedia, and 91 per cent on Booking.com. This hard work has shown an increase year over year in room nights booked on OTAs of close to 20 per cent.
Hagel noted that Canadian Travelodges will all be becoming Green Key certified. And while it is not a brand standard yet, hotels should offer guests the opportunity to receive 500 Wyndham Rewards points if they opt out of room cleaning. He also lauded Travelodge Canada’s partnership with Clean the World. Clean the World creates new soap and hygiene kits that it shares around the world to prevent disease. In year one, Travelodge Canada plans to distribute 108,000 bars of soap and divert 32,000 pounds of waste. Hagel noted that Travelodge Canada would also look at piloting soap dispensers in the near future.
Michael Van Dyke of Ecolab presented the Travelodge Excellence in Housekeeping Awards. The winning hotels were Travelodge by Wyndham Strathmore, Alta.; Travelodge Inn & Suites by Wyndham Spruce Grove, Alta.; Travelodge by Wyndham Weyburn, Sask., Travelodge by Wyndham Saint John, N.B.; and Travelodge by Wyndham New Glasgow, N.S. Representatives of the Strathmore and Spruce Grove properties were on hand to receive their awards.
Travelodge now has 101 locations, including six openings this year, and they have signed two more agreements. “We’ve had one of the best years possible, with tremendous growth,” said Erin Penner, director of franchise development, Western Canada for Superior Lodging Corp., which franchises Travelodge in Canada.
Travelodges opened recently in Victoria, Surrey, B.C., Westaskiwin and Blairemore, Alta., Cochrane, Ont. and Rigaud Que, and are coming soon to McBride, B.C. and Edson, Alta.