BY MARK SIMMONS – On May 3-4 Darren Edmonstone and I had the privilege of representing Outrigger Enterprises Group as speakers on two separate panels at the 2016 Australian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE) in Melbourne.
Each year AHICE brings together leaders from the hotel and allied sectors to learn from the best. It’s where investment, management, innovation and information collide at arguably the year’s most inspiring and educational hotel industry conference in the southern hemisphere. There were 750 delegates this year.
It was a good opportunity for us to help establish Outrigger Resorts as being on a journey to become the premier beachfront resort brand in the world. Beyond boosting Outrigger Resorts, AHICE also gave us a chance to remind the audience of our new brand extensions – Hawaii Vacation Condos by Outrigger and OHANA Hotels by Outrigger as well as the intention to re-enter the Australian Resort market with the right brand fit opportunity under Outrigger Resorts.
In his fast paced Q&A session on industry trends and directions, Darren was tasked with updating the audience on major challenges and opportunities facing the hotel sector, the role of emerging markets, MICE and highlighting recent and future developments at Outrigger.
Darren took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of emerging markets such as China, Russia, India and the Middle East, with China supplying around 25% of business to Outrigger in Asia Pacific. He also mentioned the vital role of Middle East carriers in bringing an increasing percentage of our guests to our properties, especially in Asia.
In my own session on “Developing Regional Tourism in Australia/New Zealand/South Pacific,” importance was based on creating authentic and experiential marketing for these destinations in order to compete with Asia Pacific’s iconic destinations.
In our interactions with delegates, Darren and I underlined Outrigger’s recent successes such as our new Global Hotel Alliance partnership, new Signature Experiences across Outrigger Resorts, our new website launch and Outrigger’s continued quest for beach front properties in destinations such as Australia, Seychelles, Bali, Japan, Philippines and Thailand.
With Australia being such an important source market and talent pool for Outrigger, AHICE is an increasingly valuable event for Outrigger to attend.