Outrigger CEO Jeff Wagoner

Outrigger Resorts and Hotels is looking forward with eyes wide open, according to President and CEO, Jeff Wagoner, with the business vigilant in its efforts to retain and build market share. Here, Wagoner discusses the obstacles and opportunities ahead.

Leisure demand is now high, but so is competition for consumers; with travel restrictions down and more countries reopened to tourism, the euphoria of business that some destinations felt will evaporate if dedicated marketing dollars are not strategically allocated.

Current headwinds for development and renovations include the uncertainty of debt markets, budding inflation and an impending recession – but Outrigger remains bullish on continuing to invest in beach communities through acquisitions and third-party management, especially in Oceania and Asia Pacific. The good news is that there is pent-up demand for deals alongside ample beach resort destinations eager for expansion.

Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort

For 2023, Outrigger is leaning into our bold mission of being The Premier Beach Resort Company in the World – elevating our iconic beach brand with new resorts, innovative technology and fresh branding.

The seeds we planted over the last 18 months are now producing offshoots: US$250 million is being reinvested in our current Hawai‘i assets and five new premier beach resorts were added to our portfolio including Hawai‘i, Thailand and the Maldives.

A multi-million-dollar, state-of-the-art technology stack has been implemented – most notably, the all-new Outrigger.com website that brings to life Outrigger’s premier beach resort product in digital format.

Beyond a new logo and icon with the Outrigger “O” akin to the sun rising and setting on an ocean wave – all guests at our resorts will enjoy five iconic elements: a renowned beach location, the must-see beach bar, authentic live music, signature experiences and our commitment to conservation.

Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort

Outrigger’s overarching ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) direction is aligned with its corporate compass called ‘The Outrigger Way’ – a tripod of authentically caring for our hosts, guests and places where it does business. Last summer, Outrigger presented a new outline for its ESG initiatives across all Outrigger Resorts and Hotels with programmatic approaches and specific KPIs connected to 23 initiatives. 2023 will be a year of executing this plan.

The company is now receiving Green Seal certifications for a number of its properties in Hawai‘i as well as Fiji and Mauritius – making Outrigger the first hospitality brand to pursue certification in Hawai‘i and outside of the US. It also signed a Climate Coalition Pledge committing the company to inventory and track the organisation’s carbon emissions annually and developing a reduction plan with the objective of supporting the achievement of a safe, livable climate.

Outrigger’s development pipeline across Oceania, Asia Pacific and our home state of Hawai‘i is robust and we look forward to sharing some announcements soon. We’ll also be communicating some exciting updates to our culinary offerings and entertainment spaces in 2023. Celebrating our 75th Anniversary, Outrigger is focused on looking forward – continuously investing heavily in our people and our product to build brand value and provide a barefoot luxury experience that’s rooted in the culture of the location and shared with heartfelt hospitality.

Discover more insights and opinion from local and global hotel executives in the 2023 Industry Leaders Forum.