Episode 92 – Barry Robinson – President & MD of Wyndham Vacation Resorts

Barry Robinson – President and Managing Director of Wyndham Vacation Resorts – talks the holiday business, flexibility, having passion and finding balance.

Barry Robinson is the President and Managing Director of Wyndham Vacation Resorts (South East Asia and Pacific Rim). Headquartered on the Gold Coast, Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific employs more than 2,000 staff members and is one of the Gold Coast’s largest corporate employers, with additional employees located at resorts and sales sites throughout the Asia Pacific region. While Barry runs a large, successful and very challenging business, he is a leader who values flexibility and work life balance. He met with Arete Executive’s Richard Triggs after his morning surf and had a yoga class scheduled for later in the day.

Barry has over 30 years hospitality experience and joined Wyndham as CEO in 2003. In 2009, Barry launched Wyndham Hotel Group in the South Pacific and has been the driving force behind many significant new property acquisitions, enhanced resort developments and has brought a renewed customer focus to the business. Under his leadership, both Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific and Wyndham Hotel Group have expanded their portfolios in the Australian, New Zealand, South Pacific and South East Asian markets.

A born and bred New Zealander, Barry was born into family business. His parents owned furniture factories before eventually turning their hands to the hospitality industry, where Barry honed his skills from a young age before being sent to boarding school. Upon graduating from Kings College in Auckland, Barry relocated to Australia where he cut his teeth in bars and at hospitality school before his entrepreneurial spirit and an “epiphany” led him to borrow $10,000 from a friend to establish his own business when he was just 19.

You have to be passionate about what you do, you can luck it out for a short period of time but it’s going to catch up with you… you don’t sit at the top without extreme hard work and I continue to challenge myself,” Barry said.

“I’ve gotten better at it over the past 10 years – at reflecting and I think people don’t do that enough and analysing… I always ask could I have done it differently? I think that’s how you grow and as soon as you stop doing that you become stagnated.”

Barry is also a Board Director of FSHD Global, President of ATHOC (Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council) and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

He lives on the Gold Coast with his family.

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