BY KEN SCOTT – Its’ been a busy October for Outrigger’s senior executives and APAC team who attended three major travel conferences within a two week period this month. The first was HICAP, the Hotel Investment Conference Asia-Pacific, held in Hong Kong Oct. 14-16, followed by ITB Asia Oct 21-23 and the Web in Travel (WIT) conference Oct 20-23, held concurrently in Singapore.
In addition to the sales and networking opportunities, there were many highlights for Outrigger at each of the events, including interviews with top Asia-Pacific media outlets that have already generated solid story placements as well as two separate awards for Outrigger Resorts.
Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort (TLR) won “Best Resort (Service Excellence)” in the Travel Weekly Asia 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards held Oct. 22 during ITB-Asia. General Manager Tony Pedroni received the award on behalf of TLR at a special winners’ luncheon held during the conference.
“The awards are a confirmation of the travel industry’s most outstanding companies and lauds their achievements,” said Irene Chua, Group Publisher of Travel Weekly Asia. “Congratulations to all our winners, who truly deserve this recognition in the industry. Travel Weekly Asia heralds the travel professionals who have truly made a difference!”
The honor followed on the heels of a first place win for the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort for Single Asset Transaction of the Year awarded at this year’s HICAP Deal of the Year Awards, held Oct. 16 in Hong Kong. Our CEO David Carey received the award on stage at HICAP.
Back at ITB Asia in Singapore, Sean Dee, chief marketing officer, and Mark Simmons, vice president, sales & marketing, held one on one media interviews with Travel Mole, Travel Daily Asia, Travel & Tour World and World Travel Magazine. A highlight interview was with Ian Jarrett of Travel Weekly Asia which resulted in a half page feature in Travel Weekly Asia’s daily print edition entitled, “Outrigger’s Family Values Are Travelling across the Oceans.”
The October edition of Travel Weekly Asia also featured an eye-catching wrap feature with an aerial photo of the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort, with the tagline, “How far away from your world can you get?” with follow up coverage on page 2. This is great top of mind exposure for our Maldives property among the important travel trade in Asia.
While Mark and Sean were engaging with media, Dan Wacksman was addressing a panel session called “The Future of Hotel Bookings” at the concurrent Web in Travel (WIT) conference. Among serious points about distribution platforms and yield management, Dan told the audience: “We have a very close relationship with our guests. Our guests sleep with us. So it’s important that they are satisfied.” He said that with the pun fully intended.
I also joined six other panellists at the TTG Asia Media Engagement Workshop at ITB Asia to discuss the modern challenges of working with media in tourism. My main points were the importance of speed in communications – and never forget the 3C’s of crisis communications: compassion, cooperation and contact.
Because of industry events such as HICAP, ITB Asia and WIT, recognition and respect for Outrigger’s values, achievements and goals are gaining tremendous momentum in Asia-Pacific.
Looking to the future, Asia-Pacific remains one of the key drivers in the continuing global growth for the Outrigger Resorts brand.