Wyndham Destinations to rename itself Travel + Leisure Co. as part of brand buy from Meredith
Hoping to take advantage of a post-pandemic surge in leisure travel, timeshare and vacation ownership company Wyndham Destinations is buying the Travel + Leisure brand for $100 million from Meredith Corporation. Wyndham Destinations will rebrand itself as Travel + Leisure Co. in early 2021, while the Travel + Leisure magazine will continue to be operated by Meredith Corporation under a 30-year licensing agreement.
Travel + Leisure’s current staff will remain employees of Meredith, according to a statement. The deal was first reported today by The Wall Street Journal.
“It’s a great branding opportunity,” says Noah Brodsky, chief brand officer, Wyndham Destinations. “That gives us an opportunity to broaden our market, to move away from just timeshare.”
The move will see Wyndham Destinations leverage the reputation of the storied Travel + Leisure magazine, and will help the company establish a unique brand identity separate from its 2018 spinoff, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. Brodsky sees leisure travel as one of the first sectors set to return when the pandemic turns a corner, and says the branding from Travel + Leisure will help it prepare for that surge.
“[Travel + Leisure] is a powerful, valuable media brand that opens up more business opportunities to a business/brand that is stuck in a stalled market because of the pandemic.” says brand leadership expert Denise Lee Yohn. Yohn says the move will help Wyndham move away from being associated almost completely with properties.
The magazine’s operations will retain editorial independence, says Jacqueline Gifford, Editor in Chief of Travel + Leisure. “It gives us the freedom of journalists to do what we’ve been doing for 50 years,” said Gifford. “This is a major investment in terms of Travel + Leisure becoming a bigger brand.”
As part of the rebrand, Wyndham Destinations stock will take on the ticker symbol TNL in mid-February.