Outrigger's Jeff Wagoner will be speaking at AHICE Asia Pacific in 2024

In the 22nd edition of the HM Industry Leaders Forum, HM invited leading hoteliers, tourism professionals and suppliers across Asia Pacific and the world to their insights into the hotel landscape and their outlook for the year ahead.

In this year’s Forum, Outrigger Hospitality Group President and CEO, Jeff Wagoner, reveals that patience and adaptability is needed in navigating the journey to global travel stability.

As we step into 2024, the rhythm of the hospitality industry pulses with both challenges and untapped opportunities. Following a positive leisure-market performance and rebound in 2022 and 2023, Outrigger Resorts and Hotels is poised for a year of sustained growth and innovation with a steadfast commitment to our core values.

Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort

Assessing the current market landscape, it is evident that – aside from the leisure market – global stability remains elusive, primarily due to the lasting impacts of Covid-19 reshaping the fabric of travel. Using Japan as an example, despite the market being open for a considerable period, destinations such as Hawai‘i have only recovered 40% of its 2019 levels from this country – highlighting a gradual rather than an immediate return to pre-pandemic conditions. This complexity underscores the challenges in reaching full capacity, compounded by factors such as currency considerations and geo-political strife.

Outrigger’s strategic focus in 2024 aligns with the evolving dynamics of this environment. Notably, the leisure travel sector has rebounded at a faster pace compared to business and group travel, following historical trends observed after global financial crises and major events such as 9/11. Foreseeing potential global travel stability around mid-2024 or 2025, we recognise the importance of patience and adaptability in navigating this journey.

Outrigger Kaanapali Beach

We remain committed to investing in premier beach-resort communities, undaunted by prevailing challenges in debt markets and inflation. Resort acquisitions and third-party management take center stage, particularly in the promising regions of Oceania and Asia Pacific, as we have confidence in the long-term growth potential of these vibrant locales. Our development pipeline is robust, and we look forward to seeing the opportunities that present themselves this year.

Outrigger has spent the last six years on a mission to transform the brand into a contemporary, barefoot luxury experience. Today, we are on the cusp of realising this objective.

A cultural blessing ceremony at Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort

In 2023, our Hawai‘i footprint expanded with two new premier beachfront resorts on Maui and Kaua‘i. We completed the US$85 million transformation of Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort and a multi-million dollar refurbishment at Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort. This year, property enhancements are underway at Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa on Hawai‘i Island, Outrigger Kā‘anapali Beach Resort on Maui and Ohana Waikiki East on O‘ahu. Exciting additions, such as the brand-new Cirque du Soleil show coming to Outrigger Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel this December exemplify our vision to redefine the guest experience.

Outrigger’s vision for 2024 is about setting new standards, pushing boundaries and delivering unparalleled beach experiences to our guests from around the globe. Our pledge to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles is a cornerstone of this identity; we’re proud to be Green Seal Certified in Hawai‘i, Fiji and Mauritius with an overarching focus on healthy oceans and coral reefs through our Outrigger Zone conservation initiative. Here’s to a year of growth, innovation and creating unforgettable moments that resonate throughout the industry.