Diving Vacations: Expanding the Options

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.

    In 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.

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