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New Chain Targets Outdoor Enthusiasts

Just when you thought there were no more new segments to exploit in the hospitality industry, one bubbles to the surface. Outdoor Traveler Destinations is a new membership group that intends to affiliate a wide range of hospitality properties (everything from traditional hotels to dude ranches to fishing camps to something called glamping) that market to the 80 million outdoor enthusiasts in the U.S.

“It’s a marketing dream come true because we’re catering to a very passionate consumer,” says OTD President Scott Boone, who most recently was an executive with Island Global Yachting but in the past has marketing positions with IHG, Wyndham and other hospitality companies. “The outdoor recreation travel market is a $240-billion industry, but it is highly fragmented with no dominant brands in the space.”
Parent company Bluegreen Corp., a vacation ownership and real estate development company, launched OTD earlier this year to exploit this segment and as a way to expand its footprint in the hospitality industry.

OTD is a multi-tiered membership program that will offer participating properties a variety of marketing, advertising, reservations and e-commerce services. Membership is available at three levels, depending on services received. Basic fees include a one-time set-up charge, an annual fee and transaction fees based on reservations produced.

“The properties will be able to retain their individualities, but it gives them an opportunity to stretch their marketing dollars and increase revenue streams,” says Boone, who believes the group can grow to between 200 and 300 properties in the next three to five years. Prospects for membership are facilities that have a minimum of 25 accommodations, which could be traditional hotel or resort rooms, upscale cabins, camping sites or yurts.

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