Development

Cendant plans for Ramada

Cendant Hotels is the new owner of the Ramada hotel brand, not just in the US but worldwide as well.

Travel Business Analyst Marriott, which sold Ramada International to Cendant, now says RI came as a part of a purchase (of Hong Kong's New World's hotel interests), and it did not fit into Marriott's brand portfolio.

And it was kept separate. For instance, Ramada hotels were never linked to other Marriott web sites, and they were not in the Marriott Rewards loyalty program. However, Marriott did build RI up from about 20 hotels when it bought to over 200 when it sold.

Cendant has already made some strategy decisions about the Ramada brand. There will be two Ramada divisions in the US (Ramada Plaza and Ramada Hotels); Ramada Inn and Ramada Limited have been dropped. But internationally there will be four divisions - Ramada Plaza, Ramada Hotels, Ramada Encore, and Ramada Resorts.

Reas Kondraschow, head of Cendant Hotel Group (and previously head of Ramada International when Ramada was owned by Marriott) explains this apparent dysfunction by saying that in the US, Cendant has numerous other hotel brands that may fit definitions of the Ramada divisions outside the US.

Wingate, for instance, is deemed to be close to the product profile of Ramada Encore. That indicates, then, that eventually hotels in those 'extra' divisions (Ramada Encore, and Ramada Resorts) will steadily be moved over to other Cendant brands.

To make decisions on brands easier, Cendant is now conducting a study on its brands and what they mean to customers.



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