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Technology Rock Stars Gianna RIvera Wyndham Hotels

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April 08, 2022
Technology Leaders
Fran Worrall - fran@hospitalityupgrade.com

2022 Technology Rock Stars
Gianna Rivera

GVP of Distribution and Connectivity, 

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts


 

Gianna Rivera is group vice president of distribution and connectivity at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest hotel franchising company with approximately 9,000 hotels across 22 brands in nearly 95 countries. She joined the company in 2017. Prior to joining Wyndham, she served as senior vice president of client services at DHISCO and also held leadership positions at Accor and Sonesta. She began her hospitality career at Amadeus. She sits on the board of the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association and participates in the Hospitality Technology Next Generation quarterly task force.

Rivera is most proud of her collaboration with the technology partners who provide connectivity between Wyndham’s inventory systems and the world of distribution. “My focus is on core value, which means delivering products and services that enable our franchisees to reach guests more effectively and give them a wonderful experience,” she said. Her biggest responsibility is forming distribution alliances, ensuring that the right partners are engaged to support the company’s ‘one-to-many’ connectivity strategy.

Gianna Rivera 2022She works closely with a number of intermediaries, including DerbySoft, DHISCO, IBS and others who streamline Wyndham’s distribution and help the company manage costs. As a result, franchisees are able to add more revenue to their bottom lines. “Each of our suppliers is highly specialized and very important to us,” she said, adding that some alliances give Wyndham the ability to bring a portfolio of partnerships – sometimes as many as 25 or 30 – to franchisees. “Leveraging their technology advancements helps us reach partners faster, streamline onboarding and maintain content updates more effectively. Our partnerships are like a great marriage, and I’m proud of the relationships we’ve established over the years.”

Since the pandemic, those partnerships have become increasingly important. “As we see more challenges around the demand for real-time information – from both guests and distribution partners – the greater the need for automation and the ability to operate dynamically,” she said. “Over the last two years, we’ve witnessed an acceleration in the delivery of some products, which has been instrumental for us. And having partnerships already in place gives us the opportunity to influence how the product roadmap of these vendors is developed, which is vital because it allows us to streamline timelines and deliver faster.”

Rivera’s business philosophy is straightforward, emphasizing transparency and trust. “Transparency is key to the success of any project. And with transparency, you naturally build trust with all the cards on the table,” she concluded. “Once you have those two things, everybody can collectively focus on the business of delivering on the company’s objectives.”

GIANNA’S BEST:

  • Family: Married, with a blended family of four children and two grandchildren.
  • Hobbies: Gardening and bike riding. “Both are meditative activities.”
  • Go-To Periodical or Website: Industry periodicals. “I read the travel and hospitality news every day.”
  • Book: The Bible. “It provides great insight into life experiences.”
  • Music: Soft rock, especially from the 80s and 90s. “I love music and dancing.”
  • Favorite Travel Destination: South of Spain. “It’s beautiful, diverse and laid back.
  • Advice to Young People:  "Ask questions. It’s the best way to learn, and most people are eager to share information.”
  • Dinner With: “My family. They are the people who are most important to me.”

GIANNA’S INDUSTRY PREDICTIONS:

 

Content component consolidation will streamline bookings. “Booking a hotel room today is a financial transaction that requires three components —rates, images (including descriptive content) and payments — each of which happen separately, ” She said. “There is a movement underway to synergistically consolidate this content, and it will continue to grow.”
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Systems integration will enable more personalized product offerings. “Integration between various systems, such as revenue management, central reservations and CRM, will enable hotels to create increasingly customized product offerings.” 
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Guest expectations for immediacy will drive technology development.  “Consumers want real-time solutions and expect information to be highly accurate and delivered instantly,” she said. "This will drive technology development and transform the industry.”
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