Archive for March, 2010

No crisis

The success of timeshares during the economic downturn has caused investors and owners to look towards shared ownership and mixed use developments in Dubai, according to RCI Middle East and North Africa managing director Jeff Tisdall.

Full article here ( Source:www.hoteliermiddleeast.com)

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Free timeshare conference in a box

Extract of article in the online edition of RCIVentures.com

So you missed the ARDA Convention 2010? Grab a coffee and a couple of hours to catch up, with free presentation notes now available at ARDA.org.

The event featured incredible insights into the timeshare industry’s present and future prospects, and the huge range of slides and presentations now available for download cover the gamut of timeshare-related subjects and issues.

In surmising the event Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of ARDA, said: “The Convention was the place to be to witness and be part of the evolution in shared ownership.

“Everywhere there was something new being talked about, exciting business opportunities being discussed. In the new business models forum I feel we were crafting the beginnings of new enhancements to the shared ownership product.”

Recommended handouts for download

A Focus on South Africa – Southern Africa’s stability, impressive growth, open financial environment and transparent business climate makes it an outstanding investment destination for companies resident in other countries.

Fundamentals of Resort Management – An overview of successful resort management methods, along with extensive illustrations of a reserve study, the ins and outs of record keeping, and the ABC’s of budgeting and financial controls.

The New Marketing Fundamentals – In order to ensure long-term success and viability, timeshare marketers need to be able to analyze the effectiveness of traditional marketing approaches in today’s market, better understand the evolution of consumer psychographics and gain a clear picture of the new best practices within the industry.

Principles of Timeshare I: Building Blocks of the Industry – Learn about product types, feasibility studies, planning design and architecture, sales and marketing techniques, and consumer financing (applicable to US marketplace). Also includes a historical overview of the industry and components of the timeshare product lifecycle.

Principles of Timeshare II: Putting the Pieces Together for Today and Tomorrow – Learn about the various aspects of managing a resort, legal issues that impact timeshare and exchange opportunities; industry statistics, and the future of the industry.

Website Concept and Marketing Revisited – Learn how to utilize the best marketing tools the internet has to offer by understanding who you want to attract to your site and what you need them to do.

Fundamentals of Sales – Times are changing and shared ownership sales have been impacted as a result. While innovation is required, it’s also time to get back to basics. The fundamentals of sales are reviewed with industry experts.

  • Click here to view the full range of handouts and presentations available from the ARDA Convention 2010.

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RDO Turns Up the Heat

As part on an ongoing campaign to help stamp out fraudulent practices targeted at timeshare owners, RDO (Resort Development Organisation), the trade body for timeshare and fractional ownership, is calling for consumers to come forward with their complaints.

Full article here (Source: Gotimeshare.org)

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Seven Samurai?

In Florida, State officials have settled with at least seven timeshare resale companies for customer refunds.

Here’s the full article (Source: SunSentinel.com )

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Timeshare resales run into trouble

It’s hardly paradise for people selling their timeshares as complaints about resale companies are increasing.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/03/24/1546051/timeshare-resales-run-into-trouble.html#ixzz0jeK3zEPD

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RCI, the global leader in vacation exchange and one of the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands announced its most diverse region – Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India – continues to enrich its resort portfolio with 40 new resort affiliations in 2009 and to date in 2010.

The new resort affiliations added more than 32,000 members and offer a high quality and diverse range of new vacation destinations to RCI’s global network of over 4,000 affiliated resorts.

The signings include 22 new resorts in Europe, 11 in India and seven in Africa; including seven resorts for The Registry Collection? exchange programme, the world’s largest luxury exchange programme.

“The new affiliations signed by RCI EMEAI over the last year reflect our passion and commitment to offering our members stunning new resorts,” said Jonathan Back, managing director, RCI EMEAI. “Our aim is to offer the very best choices in vacation experiences to our members and I am delighted that we are succeeding in this mission.

RCI’s newest affiliate resorts include the following.

Read the entire article here ( Source: HotelInteractive.com )

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From TimeshareConsumerGuide.com

Marriott International Inc., the largest U.S. hotel chain, plans to double the number of rooms in Europe to 80,000 by 2015.

“Europe is the largest lodging market in the world and holds enormous potential for Marriott,” Amy McPherson, managing director of the company’s European unit, told Bloomberg News in an e-mailed statement today. “We are confident we are well-positioned to achieve this ambitious expansion goal.”

Marriott, based in Bethesda, Md., currently operates 174 hotels in 24 European countries, which generate annual revenue of almost $3 billion. It will open hotels in Moscow, Budapest and Ankara, Turkey, this year.

The company, which operates hotels and timeshare resorts across 66 countries and territories, has proportionally fewer overseas hotel rooms than rivals such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. Three-quarters of its 35,000 full-service hotel rooms under development are outside the U.S.

In other news  [courtesy: Zacks.com]

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc has announced that it has awarded an approximately $200 million contract to IT vendor Accenture

Under the contract that will span a number of years, Accenture will provide a range of IT services including application outsourcing and infrastructure outsourcing. Accenture will develop, maintain and run applications for the hotel company, as well as manage servers, data centers and end-user computers.

This long term investment will improve the quality and efficiency of Starwood’s IT operations. This will also help management to focus on core business, thereby furthering the group’s market position.

Full report here

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Of Condos & Membership profile

2 interesting developments that just had to shared:

Condos as timeshares: Wyndham’s Orlando time-share unit to sell developers’ excess condo inventory for a fee, skirting credit squeeze.

Report in the OrlandoSentinel.com

Interval International, a prominent worldwide provider of vacation services and an operating segment of Interval Leisure Group, Inc. revealed that its U.S. resident members reported annual household income greater than $125,000 per year, high product satisfaction with their timeshare ownership, and a commitment to vacationing.

Full details here

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RCI, the global leader in vacation exchange and one of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies (NYSE: WYN), will host senior executives and decision makers in the hospitality and leisure real estate industries at the RCI(R) Asia Leisure Real Estate Symposium on 22-23 April 2010 in Singapore where RCI will reveal the secrets of successful vacation exchange.

“The BIG Reveal” Symposium is a response to an emerging interest in vacation ownership in Asia, which is anticipated to attain greater momentum over the next few years. As the largest vacation exchange network in the world that continues to revolutionize the vacation exchange experience for leisure real estate developers and leisure travelers with service and product innovations, RCI recognizes the rising demand for quality leisure real estate models to capture this growth.

“We are noticing a strong and growing interest in vacation ownership products in Asia as holiday makers become more sophisticated and discerning and are seeking a differentiated vacation experience with quality accommodations,” said Geoff Ballotti, CEO, RCI. “We believe that now is a great time for leisure real estate owners and developers to invest in and create vacation ownership products to catch the upswing in Asia. As the pioneer in vacation exchange, RCI has the expertise, experience and solutions to help leisure real estate owners and developers enhance the value of their assets and offer an outstanding proposition to consumers while revolutionizing their vacation experience.”

The two-day event will be held at the Pan Pacific Singapore where attendees will participate in a series of forums, panel discussions and workshops focusing on the development of vacation ownership in Asia and around the world. Symposium topics will focus on vacation ownership trends and opportunities, fractional real estate and ownership, cross-border success and sustainability, customer engagement and social media, legal framework and expert insight on building a successful vacation ownership business.

Key speakers and experts include:

— “A Global Overview of Vacation Ownership Industry and Asia Market Insights” by Dr. Richard L. Ragatz, President, Ragatz Associates;

— “Thinking the Future of Leisure Hospitality: Challenges for Asia” by Dr. Russell Arthur Smith, Interim Dean, Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore;

— “Finding a Competitive Advantage in the Global Luxury Market” by Frank M. Pfaller, Chief Executive Officer, Selected Hotels Promotion L.C.; and

— “State of the Industry & Tourism in Singapore” by Justin Chew, Executive Director, F1 Sports & Hospitality, Singapore Tourism Board.

Prior to the Symposium, a half-day interactive and informative workshop on “Sales and Marketing Techniques for a Successful Vacation Ownership Business” conducted by Dan King, one of the industry’s most recognizable trainers and consultants, will be held at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre on 21 April.

“The BIG Reveal Symposium is aimed at experts, industry and business leaders to facilitate discussion of initiatives that boost the growth of vacation ownership, share invaluable insights, explore innovative leisure real estate models and transform the leisure experience for travelers,” said Adrian Lee, managing director, RCI Asia. “We will reveal effective solutions that will unleash asset value in leisure real estate and the sustainable success of vacation ownership. We believe that the RCI Asia Leisure Real Estate Symposium is the much needed platform that will drive a concerted effort towards the growth of vacation ownership in Asia and benefit leisure real estate owners in finding a competitive advantage through vacation ownership.”

For online registration and further information, please visit http://www.rciasia-symposium.com , email: rci@ap-comms.com or phone: +65 6411-9632.

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In continuing recognition of National Consumer Protection Week, Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced he is tackling growing abuses in the timeshare resale industry, beginning with the announcement of a significant settlement that could yield as much as $1.3 million in consumer refunds and the filing of a lawsuit against a major player in the timeshare resale industry in Florida. The Attorney General also unveiled ongoing investigations into at least 17 timeshare companies and their affiliates throughout the state for deceptive trade practices.

“Florida’s consumers are trying to make prudent financial decisions, but many timeshare resale companies are blatantly scamming people by promising sales or refunds and failing to provide services even after taking hefty up-front fees,” said Attorney General McCollum.

The statewide initiative was launched by the Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Division in 2009 in response to the growing number of timeshare resale complaints received by the Attorney General’s Office last year.

Timeshare resale complaints have recently surpassed mortgage-related complaints as the most commonly reported consumer complaint received by the Office’s Consumer Hotline.

Full article here

More information about this issue here, here & here

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