So far, the pandemic has left no holiday unscathed. Easter was largely relegated to Zoom. The Fourth of July’s barbecues were dampened by social distancing. Halloween candy was shared via a PVC pipe.
But for travelers that can’t handle the loss of stuffing, cranberry sauce and uncomfortable political conversations, Wyndham Destinations, Wyndham’s timeshare company, is trying to save Thanksgiving.
Dubbed the “Quar-nucopia Package,” the brand is offering both members and non-members a 15-night stay aimed at reuniting extended families and creating a “resort bubble” within the property.
Theoretically, families would move into separate properties and quarantine for two weeks (per guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) before reuniting on Thanksgiving. While not exactly as simple as a rapid Covid-19 test at the airport, it is one of the more creative packages to come out of the pandemic.
“Folks that have some willingness to travel but still want to follow the 14-day quarantine guidelines, this would give them an opportunity,” said Noah Brodsky, chief brand officer at Wyndham Destinations. “We certainly don’t expect it to be a package for everyone, but we believe there’s a niche market out there.”
The idea, Brodsky said, was the brain child of Wyndham’s internal team and is the brand’s first quarantine-themed initiative.
Widespread remote working has consumers seeking out options for long-term stays, which means a timeshare brand like Wyndham Destinations is faring better than the rest of the hospitality industry. In Q3, its occupancy was at roughly 60%, compared to U.S. occupancy levels at 44% last week for the hospitality industry overall.
Still, the brand is down roughly $150 million compared to 2019 and has cut 7,000 employees. The brand later brought back 1,300 employees, bringing the current total global associate count to 15,000.
“We have a broad enough portfolio that we’ve performed decently, but it’s still a mixed story if you look geography to geography,” Brodksy said.
Travelers interested in the quarantine deal would have to book by tomorrow and leave on Nov. 12. Two bedroom suites start at $2,150 and are only available at certain participating locations including in Arkansas, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.
To sweeten the deal, the brand is giving guests a $250 gift card that can be used to cover the tab of a holiday feast.
Though particularly inventive, Wyndham Destinations’s package is just the latest example of hotel brands trying to lure back wary consumers with new deals, promises or offerings. Both Marriott and Hilton recently rolled out day rates to recapture the still-lost business traveler market. Corporate partnerships, like Hilton’s with Lysol, hope to ease consumer fears around cleanliness.