The first in a series of upcoming articles about or related to the hotel and hospitality industry
In an effort to reverse the effects of a glutton of hospitality and service industry brand-damaging incidences and present a more multi-chromatic and positive public image, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts announced plans to increase the support and utilization of African American and minority-owned businesses through a series of minority friendly initiatives in the coming months, the Parsippany-NJ based hospitality industry leader announced last week.
The BOLD program is an acronym which stands for Black Owners and Lodging Developers, offers support and guidance on challenges faced by African Americans and other entrepreneurs to increase the number of Black hoteliers. In a press release, Wyndham President Geoff Ballotti said, “Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has always championed diversity, equity and inclusion within our Company and throughout the greater travel industry.” He added, “We’re looking to further leverage the power of Wyndham and create even more development opportunities for underrepresented ownership groups.”
The move is the latest in a series of ongoing enormous push efforts to foster diversity and inclusion in the hospitality industry following some high profile racial incidences in recent months and years at numerous hotels and motels across the country, including several in the metro New York, New Jersey area. The headlines are blaring.
One of the most publicized cases occurred in July 2020, when a white employee at a Hampton Inn in North Carolina called the police on a Black family using the hotel swimming pool. The family were guests at the hotel and live-streamed the incident via Facebook and Instagram. Hilton Hotels own Hampton Inn. The employee was terminated, and several lawsuits were filed against the hotel chain.
Lastly, according to the National Association of Black Hotel Owners and Developers (NABHOOD)–an industry think tank based in Florida–, about 20 percent of all employees in the hotel industry are African American. However, less than 2 percent of hotel owners are Black. “This is why we connected directly with existing and aspiring Black hoteliers to help us create BOLD by Wyndham,” said Galen Barrett, vice president of strategic development for the resort. “Understanding their unique needs was critical for building a program that can help overcome barriers and put the keys to hotel ownership in their hands.”
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest hotel franchising company, with more than 8,900 hotels in more than 95 countries and a network of more than 813,000 rooms.