Speaking to Travel Daily on Thursday, Mark Simmons, Outrigger’s vice president of sales & marketing for Asia Pacific, said his company is planning to build a portfolio of absolute beachfront resorts in key Asian destinations.
After the launch of the new 52-pool villa Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort late last month, the company’s next new opening will be a private island resort in the Maldives, where the minimum villa size is 211m². New beach resorts in Sanya and Vietnam are in the pipeline, and Simmons said Outrigger’s development team is busy identifying new opportunities in key regional resort destinations.
“We’re looking seriously in the Philippines at the moment, and Bali of course; they’re two dots we need to get on the map. There are some discussions going on but nothing we could say is concrete at this point in time,” Simmons told Travel Daily. He added that the Philippine resort would most likely be in Cebu.
“For us it’s all about absolute beachfront and iconic destinations, and making acquisitions.”
Speaking about the Samui resort, Simmons said it was a market Outrigger had been planning to enter “for a while”.
“We had a management agreement there a number of years ago but this is an acquisition, which is really what our strategy is. There aren’t many beachfront plots available to buy in Samui, so when this opportunity came along [we took it].”
“We needed to be in Samui. It’s an iconic destination, not only in Thailand but in Asia, and it fitted our brand criteria: beachfront, premium. So we were very happy and excited when we took over.”
These new brand criteria have already led to a significant change in Outrigger’s portfolio. Earlier this year the company sold its four Australian properties to Mantra Group – a move Simmons said was driven by his company’s new beachfront philosophy.
“We went through a refinement of where we wanted our brand to be. The Australian portfolio, while highly profitable, didn’t really fit those criteria, because they weren’t absolute beachfront properties. So we made a brand decision,” Simmons revealed.
And Outrigger is now seeking opportunities to invest in suitable projects across Asia and the Indian Ocean.
“We’re… looking for opportunities to invest. We’re a long-term player; we don’t just go into something for a year or two,” Simmons said. “Given our size, we’re very careful in what we acquire and look at it as a long-term investment. Our growth is opportunistic, although we do have figures we want to work to. A couple [of new acquisitions] a year is probably something we’re targeting, but they’ve got to… fit our criteria.”