Cragmont Baron Group launched by former tour operator execs Keith Baron and Phil Otterson


The Cragmont Baron Group, a new B2B consulting firm specializing in the travel industry, was launched by two former, long-time Tauck World Discovery executives, Keith Baron and Phil Otterson.

Specializing in strategic business planning for travel and tourism organizations, the Cragmont Baron Group leaders are setting out to fill the need they have witnessed first-hand around the globe. “At every turn, we recognized that as a result of the downturn, companies throughout our industry are experiencing new challenges that require the development [of] fresh strategies and innovative tactics. Yet, they often lack the internal capacity to respond to their own needs,” said Otterson. In some cases, the firm has found that while companies have capable leadership, they simply do not have the internal expertise to meet the demands of the new economic realities.

Downsizing initiatives across recent years also appears to have left many organizations with significant gaps in their ability to fulfill prudent growth plans, and Cragmont Baron Group seizes upon that opportunity. Baron explained: “We commit our expertise to their projects, we advise, we perform, and we’re out. No long-term headcount growth and no added financial liability for our clients. At the same time, we have the advantage of bringing with us an unbiased, external travel and tourism leadership perspective. We think these are important benefits for our clients, especially in these times.”

Cragmont Baron Group has adopted a unique approach, pairing its core team with select members of its own network of experienced industry professionals to engage those projects requiring specialized areas of expertise. The scope of their “Group” includes such business disciplines as marketing, public relations, finance, and information technology. “The network we have developed is a key element of our business plan. We believe this is the best way to intertwine industry best practices with cutting-edge innovation and ultimately develop the most advantageous solutions for our clients,” Otterson added.

The firm is currently developing projects with a variety of organizations including Destination Management Organizations (DMOs), government agencies, Destination Management Companies (DMCs), and experience providers in the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and the Middle East.

Baron and Otterson have both guided various organizations in advisory capacities as corporate advisory board members with international hotel chains and have been affiliated with various industry associations including American Tourism Society (ATS), European Tour Operators Association (ETOA), National Tour Association (NTA), Travel Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), Tourism Cares, and the United States Tour Operator Association (USTOA). Otterson currently serves as president of the American Tourism Society, an organization dedicated to the promotion of transformational destinations. He was recently a keynote speaker at the Jordan Travel Mart at the Dead Sea, where he led workshop training sessions for local tourism professionals.

Cragmont Baron Group offers consulting services in the areas of Strategic Planning, Succession Planning, Crisis Management, Product Development, Meeting & Event Planning, and Development & Training. Their travel and tourism business experience spans 60 years, 100 countries, and all 7 continents. Learn more at .