Diving Vacations: Expanding the Options July 17, 1999 Share 1 -- As Outrigger Hotels & Resorts' expands its presence in leading Pacific dive destinations, the chain is making a concerted effort to attract scuba divers. To do so, the Honolulu-based company is aiming a number of dive promotions and products at agents. "The dive market is a very important market for Outrigger Hotels. Dive travelers are a more lucrative market than normal travelers. They spend more and they take longer trips, so it makes a lot of sense for travel agents too," says Chris Dacus, Outrigger's marketing representative in Honolulu.Outrigger's agent-oriented programs and initiatives include:One-stop reservations. Outrigger recently contracted Pacific Dive Reservations to handle bookings for its commissionable dive travel packages, which include air travel, accommodations, diving and activities, or any individual components of a dive vacation.Agent sales kit. Last month, Outrigger introduced a dive sales kit for agents that includes a comprehensive 24-page booklet on selling dive travel that was developed by Outrigger and PADI, a promotional video that provides an overview of the Pacific, posters and countertop displays.Agency sales drive. Outrigger sales reps are calling on agents this summer in the two leading U.S. dive markets -- Colorado and California -- to introduce them to its product and its dive sales kit.Learn-to-dive vacations. This summer Outrigger is rolling out a learn-to-dive vacation product designed to be sold as an add-on to its Hawaii vacations. Dacus explains that agents can boost earnings from clients already bound for Hawaii by suggesting they add a dive certification program for another $350 per person.OUTRIGGER EXPANSIONSIn addition to its more than 9,000 hotel rooms and condominium units in Hawaii, Outrigger Hotels & Resorts currently encompasses four vacation condo properties on the Gold Coast of Australia, the 150-room Outrigger Marshall Islands Resort, the 165-room Outrigger Palasia Hotel Palau and, its newest property, the 600-room Outrigger Guam Resort, which opened in June.The chain is in the midst of an aggressive expansion program in the Pacific. The 200-room Outrigger Hotel Tahiti is scheduled to open this month, following a $30 million reconstruction of the former Hotel Tahiti. Also in French Polynesia, the 110-room Outrigger Moorea Lagoon Resort is due to open by the end of 2000.In addition, the 255-room Outrigger Reef Fiji Resort is expected to open by the middle of next year as are two beach resorts on the Gold Coast of Australia and a 90-unit luxury hotel in Cairns, also in Australia. Additional Outrigger properties are in earlier stages of development in Fiji and French Polynesia.Contact information: Pacific Dive Reservations, (888) 969-8880; Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, (800) OUTRIGGER (688-7444) or (303) 369-7777.