An Interview with Scott W. Boone, President of Outdoor Traveler Destinations
Scott W. Boone is President of Outdoor Traveler Destinations – a diverse collection of authentic outdoor lodging experiences including unique hotels, resorts, lodges, camps, vacation rentals and more. Boone has 25-plus years of experience in hospitality and travel ranging from blue-chip companies to diverse entrepreneurial ventures and has held executive roles with a number of world-class hospitality-related organizations including Intercontinental Hotels, Cendant and Island Global Yachting prior to joining Outdoor Traveler Destinations.
TRO: What was the driving force behind creating Outdoor Traveler Destinations?
SB: Outdoor recreation travel is considered one of the fastest growing niches within the leisure travel market and it represents an over $300 billion industry encompassing 110 million outdoor enthusiasts. It’s widely popular and no one hospitality company had specifically addressed this market in any significant way – until now. At Outdoor Traveler Destinations, we have developed a program that encompasses a signature collection of diverse experiential vacation accommodations – hotels, resorts, lodges, dude ranches, etc., set within the scenic backdrops of North America and offering superior amenities and activities dedicated to the outdoor-minded traveler. Quite simply, we are introducing The New Frontier in Hospitality.
TRO: Why should agents take notice?
SB: Through Outdoor Traveler Destinations, traditional and home-based travel agents can effectively cater to this very lucrative niche to boost income. These travelers — who include individuals, couples and families alike — love the outdoors and the activities associated with the lifestyle. From bird watching, backpacking, fishing and boating to hunting, mountain climbing, hiking, paddling, camping, and beyond. It is a highly engaged market of consumers that seek to include these types of activities in their travels – and/or as the main focal point of their vacation experiences.
Outdoor Traveler Destinations brings travel agents a distinctive range of lodging choices for their clients as well as information, training and research to hone-in on this niche and advance their “specialist” knowledge and offerings.
TRO: You just launched the travel agent portal of Outdoor Traveler Destinations, how does this new resource help agents?
SB: With the official launch of our dedicated travel agent portal at www.OTDagents.com, agents who register (for free) have access to search, book and earn commission on the entire range of unique properties we present. Many of these are properties that agents may historically have had a difficult time finding or earning commissions on…properties such as dude ranches, hunting and fishing lodges, mountain and lakeside properties as well as outdoor-focused leisure hotels and resorts…lodging with not only guestrooms, but with cabins, yurts, treehouses, bunkhouses, and more.
We are also thrilled to help foster growth of the outdoor recreation travel sector and help travel agents become specialists in this niche not only through our lodging options, but also by serving as a resource for industry related research, articles, marketing support and opportunities for agents to personally experience many of these unique properties via special offers and familiarization opportunities.
TRO: How does Outdoor Traveler Destinations work with travel agents?
SB: We’re committed to supporting and developing solid business relationships with traditional and home-based travel agents. Some of the benefits of working with Outdoor Traveler Destinations include: an agent commission program ranging from 10% to 20% on special promotions, full searching and booking capability online via otdagents.com and availability to marketing tools, training, and industry research. Agents may also take advantage of access to exclusive agent offers and deals for their clients, unique portfolio of properties in North America and beyond and a dedicated travel industry sales team.
TRO: How can agent register to take advantage of Outdoor Traveler Destinations?
SB: Registering is simple and contacting us is easy. Travel agents can register for free at www.OTDagents.com. Once your registration is approved you can start booking and profiting from Outdoor Traveler Destinations.
Agents can also email us with any questions at info@OTDagents.com.
TRO: What kind of travel agent identification numbers does OTD accept?
SB: We accept IATA, CLIA, ARC and TRUE.
TRO: Where are OTD properties located? We have properties in and around North America’s great outdoor locations including National and State Park areas and great camping, fishing, water and winter sport locales as well as properties that offer outdoor activities or that have scenic outdoor backdrops.
SB: We also feature exciting “glamping” opportunities that offer agents a novel range of high-end lodging options that can help them boost income while providing truly distinctive accommodations for their clients.
TRO: What is “glamping” and how can agents benefit from glamping?
SB: The term glamping means “glamorous camping.” It is a relatively new trend in the United States which grew from the idea of the luxury safaris of Africa, whereby you sleep in a tent on a Reserve but you have five-star services, i.e. butlers, personal chefs, full size beds, etc.
Glamping today serves an audience that loves the idea of connecting with the outdoors and its associated activities, but doesn’t particularly want to give up the comforts of a resort – king-size beds, A/C, maid service, great food and amenities of that nature. We find properties are offering very distinctive accommodations in the glamping segment – luxury tents and yurts, treehouses, covered wagons, Airstreams, igloos – while also providing the high-end service that accompany these.