Words by LATTE correspondent, Kirstie Bedford
Outrigger Hospitality Group is touring Down Under, saying it has its sights set on a beach property in Australia, indicating it could happen in as little as six months.
At an event in Melbourne last night [Wednesday 26 October 2022], Jeff Wagoner, President and CEO, Outrigger said it wants to be back in Australia as quickly as possible and is “working so hard to add something here”.
Wagoner told wholesalers, product managers, travel agents and tourism industry partners that it had added five new properties in the last year to its repertoire, but Australia is a key market and they “will figure it out”.
In 2019, pre-pandemic, Wagoner made similar remarks while in Australia on a mission that year, with Surfers Paradise pinpointed as a preferred location. Outrigger had previously operated more than a dozen hotels and resorts in Australia before the brand name exited the market in July 2015.
The team is doing a three-city tour, including Brisbane and Sydney with Outrigger representatives from Hawaii, Fiji, Thailand and Maldives in attendance.
Sean Dee, Executive Vice President and Commercial Marketing Officer referenced the extensive work the hotelier has been doing during the pandemic, saying it has by no means been resting on its laurels.
Outrigger bought three Thailand resorts in Khao Lak, Surin beach and Koh Samui, along with the Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa in Hawaii. US$70million was put towards renovations across all five properties. It also acquired the newly renovated five-star Maafushivaru Resort in the Maldives, and Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort underwent a US$80 million renovation.
The hotel chain is looking at a number of Australian properties it could acquire, referencing the Gold Coast and Manly in Sydney.
It prefers a beachfront property but acknowledges this might not be as easy to obtain in Australia saying the property would need to be within short walking distance of a beach.
Lead image: Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort.