Archive for February, 2010

The UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) is issuing a warning to UK consumers to beware of EU scamsters, after complaints involving misleading practices more than tripled.

The advice comes as the Office of Fair Trading revealed – during Scams Awareness Month – that around three million UK consumers lose a total of £3.5 billion to scams every year.

UK ECC regularly receives complaints from UK consumers concerned about scams involving European traders. Scams can take a number of forms and frequently involve the internet. Areas include lotteries, prize draws, investment schemes and the secondary ticket market.

Full report here.


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Top 25 Timeshare Rental Resorts

The Annual Top 25 list of timeshare rental resorts was released today from RedWeek.com (www.redweek.com), the largest timeshare marketplace. Brand new timeshares and recently opened resort phases marked the most significant additions to this year’s list. Marriott Vacation Club International has six resorts new to the list for 2010 for an impressive nine resorts overall in the top 25. Disney Beach Club Villas in the Orlando secures the number one slot for the second year running.

The top chosen timeshare rental resorts continue to group in the popular vacation destinations. Florida, the Caribbean and Hawaii have 16 of the top 25 top picks with New York, U.S. Virgin Islands and Cabo San Lucas having two resorts each on the list.

Here’s the full list

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LeisureLink, Inc., the leading distribution and revenue management platform for specialty lodging suppliers, today announced the first publication of the LeisureLink Demand Index™, showing dramatic growth in consumer demand for Vacation Lodging in mainstream online travel channels.

“Consumer demand in online channels has tripled over the last 2 years,” said Steve Reich, Senior Vice president of LeisureLink. “Consumer acceptance of Vacation Lodging is growing rapidly, even with difficult economic conditions,” he added. “This is a classic case of the ‘network effect’— a hot product creates demand, demand creates distribution, and broad distribution creates more demand,” said Reich. Vacation Lodging includes Vacation Rental Properties, Timeshare Resorts, and Boutique Hotels. “The growth in Vacation Lodging is in sharp contrast to the 7% decline in leisure and unmanaged business travel in 2009 recently estimated by research firm PhoCus Wright,” he continued.

Full report here.

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Timeshare woes in Spain

A report from Timeshares Daily:

Based on timeshare contracts displayed by the Claims Directive, many timeshare developers are still accepting illegal deposits from prospective buyers, which goes against laws set by the European timeshare directive.

The banning of timeshare deposit was implemented in 1994 under the timeshare directive. However, most European countries did not adopt the directive until years later.

Numerous timeshare developers did not return initial payment deposits, even though prospective buyers had cancelled within the allotted cooling off period. In Spain, the acceptance of these deposits is illegal.

However, scammers have come up with new ways to work around the directive,

In the last three months, Claims Directive has processed several illegal selling claims on timeshare purchases in Spain, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza

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Timeshare opportunities in Dubai

The National newspaper of Abu Dhabi reports on the Timeshare industry scene in Dubai

Almost 50 years after the idea of timeshare was introduced in the French Alps to help a group of friends buy a holiday home by pooling their money, it is undergoing a revival in the Emirates.

Following the trend in other parts of the world, the idea of timeshare in the UAE is growing beyond property to luxury items such as yachts.

“We are going to start a yacht time-sharing in the first or second week of March,” said Sam al Abbasi, the managing director of 4Yacht Arabia. “We will have three or four yachts for time-sharing in the UAE.”

4Yacht will have timeshare options ranging from a few weeks to several months.

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Marriott Returns to Profit, raises Outlook

The FinChannel reports that:

Marriott International Inc., the largest U.S. hotel chain, said it moved to a fourth-quarter profit as leisure travelers took advantage of promotions and business travel improved.

In the timeshare segment, adjusted sales and services revenue dipped 3 percent to $375 million, AP informs. Many hotel operators that have timeshare businesses have had difficulty with the segment during the recession as consumers have been reluctant to make such purchases while trying to conserve cash.

But Marriott remains optimistic, saying its timeshare contract sales could be “slightly higher” in 2010, according to the same source. For the full year, Marriott posted a loss of $346 million, or 97 cents per share. Annual revenue declined to $10.91 billion from $12.88 billion.

Update: A report in the International Property Journal about how Marriott is becoming wary of new Timeshare projects

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Perspective Magazine, the leading monthly publication for the shared ownership industry has again created another industry first – a standalone social networking platform based on the most popular features of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all on one site.

Perspective Forums (http://www.perspectiveforums.com) has been created to encourage communication between developers, marketers and suppliers of the timeshare and fractional ownership industry on a global scale providing opportunities for forging new alliances and collaborations, discuss pertinent issues and learn what’s currently working best in the sales and marketing arena.

With features that include creating or joining and participating in groups and forums, extended profiles, adding friends, avatar and gravatar enabled, email notifications, rss feeds for favourite topics, private messaging, status updates, member directories and blogs included in the first release alone, the site is expected to become a smash hit with industry professionals looking to network with others in their marketplace.

“We created this free to use networking platform to encourage our extensive magazine readership to interact with each other and discuss useful topics relating to our industry” Said Paul Mattimoe, CEO, Perspective International. “With all content site-wide exclusively related to the shared ownership industry, we expect it to become popular, and as it grows will add even more functionality to remain at the forefront of available technology.”

Perspective Magazine is no stranger to industry firsts – they were the first to create an independent global industry publication, the first of the shared ownership industry publications to adopt page turn technology for their digital editions, the first to adopt front cover sponsorship for unrivalled exposure of select clients and the first to offer a suite of online advertising and branding free of charge to its advertisers.

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