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Sudha Pillai has over two decades of experience in media – as Creative Director, Editor and Head of Features/News Features of various national newspapers, magazines, television and animation production houses. Her responsibilities at these organizations included launching print, digital and television properties, reinventing existing lifestyle and feature sections, leading large groups of creative people, as well as sourcing, management, innovation and production.

After more than two decades of working in mainstream media, Sudha charted her own course. Currently, she works as a freelance travel writer and columnist and is Head of Outreach Projects for Meaww (Music, entertainment and arts worldwide) – a global media company.

Her travel stories have been published in mainstream newspapers, magazines and in-flight magazines. Her column, Wayfaring, is published in National Geographic Traveller, which has also featured her travel writings.

Sudha is also a professional photographer, illustrator and artist.

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Q&A – June 2018

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The stories featured here have been compiled from conversations across a wide cross-section of people. These are young professionals who are inclined to go on a vacation, but don’t have plan in place. Not always easy to do at that age, when you don’t have enough time, or money. Or maybe both.

A long term vacation plan such as timeshare could come way down a “consider list” for these professionals, but the ones we spoke to are willing to stretch a bit and invest in the good times.

Over to some of the young professionals we spoke to about work, vacations and the need to prioritize on work-life balance.

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Q&A – May 2018

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This was my first visit to Himachal Pradesh and I was looking forward to seeing a new state, as I believe each state in India has its own unique calling.

I was fortunate that I was at Kandaghat which is an offbeat destination and something that I personally relate to as a traveler.

The resort itself is nestled amidst the lower Himalayan range and it almost feels like it is in the midst of a hill range. Just like the location, the activities here have a lot to do with nature, like treks and more. I however enjoyed the bird watching here as I am a keen birder and was lucky to spot the red billed blue magpie for the first time.

The resort is designed aesthetically and looks like a palace with a nice white façade. Set within a landscape of blooming flowers, the resort never feels intrusive and blends with its surroundings quite seamlessly. In fact the myriad hued flowers and large variety of roses (in almost all colors) are a big attraction here.

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Q&A – April 2018

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In one of our earlier features we shared tips on packing your bags when you go on a vacation – this month our feature story is on what you need to keep in mind even before you start packing your bags. We share a compilation of tips and guidelines you can consider that will ensure peace of mind and a feeling of total control over the situation.

We’ve heard of instances where the husband asks the wife some really “too-late-to-answer” questions. Did you switch off the lights in the bedroom? Did you turn off the TV? Did we roll down the garage door and sling a lock? (The questions go on and on, and can bring on worry lines even before you even reach your destination.)

So, we thought we would compile a list of tips that should come in useful – please make a mental note of these suggestions, or take a print out for easy reference. These tips come to you from people who are in related fields when it comes to customer advice and support.

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Q&A – March 2018

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If you’ve always wondered how members of your family can be on the same page on a holiday calendar, please read on – you’re not alone, when it comes to aligning everyone’s free time in the year.

Planning a holiday these days is a lot more than finding a free slot on your home resort website – within your preferred week / month in the year. It’s got to do with coinciding vacation time at school, and when your boss can allow you to take a break during the year. For others, even aligning dates between spouses is a big challenge. We have even come across people finding it difficult to go on a vacation because of elderly parents, or grandparents at home, or a pet that can’t be taken with you on a holiday.

At the end of the day, it’s about going on that vacation totally guilt-free, or worrying about things back home or at the office. So let’s talk to a few vacation seekers and listen to their side of the story. Each one of these people has a different story to tell .

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Q&A – January 2018

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As someone who has handled research projects for AIRDA, I can visualize a crystal ball on timeshare. So in the future we could see  smaller resorts moving out as a result of getting absorbed by the bigger players. I also think we will see new entrants, new products and changing service experiences.

There could be a consolidation of the organized sector in the timeshare industry, but the pie will expand, grow and diversify in my opinion.

And If we’re wondering about growth, I think the key indicator here would be penetration of the timeshare industry. I’m referring to the proportion of the population using timeshare plans.

We may not be growing fast enough simply because of two concern areas. People these days are ready to spend and indulge here-and-now – which means a one-time holiday and not a timeshare vacation. (Their horizon is short term.) Next, let’s look at macroeconomic indicators – I see a dull picture here, which often makes consumers postpone bigger ticket spends. (Do I really need to make a financial commitment on a holiday plan? Do I need to make it this year, or now?)

Ashok R Sankethi is an MR veteran who set up Kaybase in 2005. He has over 25 years of experience in the industry, and works on projects that call for higher levels of research and analytics. He is on the teaching faculty at leading business schools, and sits on the doctoral committees of several Ph. D scholars. Along with his colleague Poornima Bhaskaran, Ashok has published a book called Kay’s Book of MR – which is the first book of case studies from an industry perspective. This book is now being used by faculty at over 15 business schools in the country.

More on this in our Q&A feature story >
Q&A – November 2017

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Lisa Ann Schreier is the driving force behind The Timeshare Crusader – a blog dedicated to helping consumers through the myriad of confusing information, as well as working with forward thinking organizations to be a catalyst for positive change. She is the creative force behind International Timeshare Appreciation Day, held annually on November 1st.

Author of two best-selling books, “Surviving A Timeshare Presentation – Confessions From The Sales Table” and “Timeshare Vacations For Dummies.” Also co-authored the college-level textbook, “An Introduction To Vacation Ownership Management.”

Regular speaker and contributor to the National Timeshare Owners Association and the Florida Timeshare Users Group. Featured speaker at CRDA’s 2011 conference, as well as TATOC’s 2012 conference. Guest lecturer, each semester at the University of Central Florida.

Member of North American Travel Journalists Association. Contributor to AllExperts.com. Lead Timeshare Advocate on Elliott.org, and monthly contributor to Senior.com.

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Views & Interviews on the AIRDA website – October 2017

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