Mahalo to all who participated in our productive and enjoyable meeting last month at the Outrigger on the Beach at SALT, New South Wales, Australia. This was a timely forum to exchange information and get issues, challenges, and opportunities on the table, as we and grow our business in the region. Having the entire Oceania team (Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand) together, helped greatly to improve our understanding of the different needs and context for doing business in the region and to set our priorities for more effective support from Honolulu.
Over the next two years, corporate Marketing and Sales resources, including e-commerce, brand marketing field sales, and General Sales Agents, will focus increasingly on supporting our growth and expansion in the Pacific. We will also be an advocate for assessment of technology infrastructure needs and options.
Destination, hospitality, and guest experience are key drivers for our brand in the region. The pace of development is accelerating, with the recent soft opening of the Outrigger on the Beach at SALT, the upcoming opening of Outrigger Ettalong Beach, New South Wales, Australia and a half dozen other projects announced or in the pipeline in the next couple of years.
Segment or property specific sales and marketing will come into play, as we develop or acquire more properties with meeting potential, as well as unique market segments and regional opportunities where the units will need to take the lead.
Public relations will continue to be a critical and highly-leveraged platform for marketing communications and is being used very effectively from the initial announcement stage, right through development, pre-opening, property launch, and tactical campaigns. An instant “best practice award” to the “Down Under” team for making this a model of how to do it right!
The internet was high on the “objectives” list, and both current results and presentations did not disappoint. Market growth and upside still look very strong for both Hawaii and the region. The trends are clear and growth of our online business is a top priority. Online marketing should allow us to target very selectively in terms of consumer segments, seasonal business needs, and offers. Although property resources are always limited, their investment of time and attention in developing the right kind of content will pay dividends in RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room).
As both brand and property promotion expenditures grow, it becomes increasingly urgent to be able to monitor and measure productivity, to answer phones, cross-sell properties, track customer behavior, offer last-minute availability, support all rate offers and alternate availability online, efficiently process internet, GDS (Global Distribution System), and wholesale bookings at lower cost, and implement yield management strategies.
All of these functions require greater technology support. In combination, they probably represent at least 20 percent in incremental revenue opportunity on a stable inventory base, and even more than that, as we expand. Capital investment, as well as implementation and training time, will be required, but the time to start planning and understanding ROI (Return On Investment) is now!