Monday, February 27, 2006


Timeshare Fairfield Resorts Joins TripRewards Program

Timeshare Cendant Hotel Group has announced that Fairfield Resorts has joined the TripRewards loyalty program. Approximately 50,000 Fairfield timeshare owners have already been automatically enrolled as TripRewards members.

TripRewards features more than 6,000 hotels, reward earning opportunities with more than 45 participants and more than 250 point-redemption options.

"TripRewards is a simple, fun way to earn valuable rewards while continuing to enjoy the unique benefits of Fairfield timeshare ownership," said Jill Noblett, Cendant Hotel Group vice president of loyalty and direct marketing.

Fairfield Timeshare Resorts, the largest vacation ownership company in the world with more than 500,000 members, specializes in the development, marketing and sale of travel and leisure products, including vacation timeshare ownership intervals at the company's 70-plus resorts.

Fairfield Resorts was one of the first U.S. developers to move from traditional fixed-week timeshare ownership to a points-based exchange program with the launch of FairShare Plus in 1991. Fairfield Resorts, headquartered in Orlando, is a subsidiary of Cendant Corporation and part of Cendant Timeshare Resort Group.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Timeshare At Hyatt Sought

Host Marriott Corp. is proposing to add a 12-story, 121-unit timeshare building and pool at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort in Ka'anapali.

The Maryland-based company is getting ready to prepare a draft environmental impact statement for the project, which involves redeveloping a four-acre site — primarily a parking lot — adjacent to the 806-room Hyatt Regency hotel.

The cost of the timeshare construction is $110 million and is expected to take 20 months to complete, the company said in an EIS preparation notice filed with the Maui County Planning Department. It said the project's purpose is to "provide additional variety of accommodations at the Hyatt Resort in response to the demand of the existing vacation market."

The proposed project will have 97 two-bedroom and 24 three-bedroom timeshare units for transient vacation rental or ownership. Other proposed features of the building include a fitness facility and a convenience store, and a portion of the required parking and support facilities for the pool and outdoor function area will be in an underground level of the structure.

Proposed plans also include public beach-access parking and expanded guest parking, which may require demolishing and relocating existing tennis facilities.

Host Marriott, a real estate company separate from Marriott International Inc., owns the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, which sits on 37 acres of oceanfront land on Ka'anapali Beach. Hyatt Vacation Ownership, Inc. will operate the proposed time-share project.

Host Marriott bought the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa for $321 million in 2003 from Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, a timeshare unit of buyout firm Blackstone Group LP. Host Marriott also owns the 450-room Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, which it bought in 2004 from Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc. for $355 million.

The deadline to submit public comments and suggestions on the scope of the upcoming draft environmental impact statement is Feb. 7. Comments should be addressed to Host Marriott & Subsidiaries, care of (consultant) Chris Hart & Partners Inc., with copies submitted to the Maui County Planning Department/Maui Planning Commission and the state Office of Environmental Quality Control. More timeshare real estate news.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Ifa Hotels and Resorts Signs Up With RCI and Affiliates The Palm Vacation Club Timeshare Resort

RCI, the global leader in timeshare vacation property exchange, has entered the Dubai market by signing up Palm Vacation Club to join its worldwide network of 3,700 affiliated resorts.

The IFA Hotels & Resorts mixed-use project on The Palm, Jumeirah includes a 300 room, five-star hotel, 460 Palm Vacation Club suites connected to the Souq Palm, a waterfront Arabian shopping complex with 200 luxury freehold residences/townhouses above and 248 luxury residences of 2,3,4 and 5 bedrooms, with a private beach club.

'At The Palm we specialize in delivering 'firsts,'' said Wahid Attalla, Director of Operations, Nakheel, the developers of The Palm. 'Together with IFA we are proud to introduce to Dubai the first, five star managed timeshare resort which is also fully integrated into a luxury hotel. Given the enormous growth in tourism in Dubai and The Palm's position as a unique, tourist destination, we are sure that there will be an excellent response to this innovative development.'

IFA Hotels & Resorts will also market and sell a canal-side shopping centre connected to a luxury timeshare resort. To ensure it attracts the overall spectrum of tourism it has also launched the freehold and fractional sale of 448 luxury apartments with services provided by a five-star hotelier.

'RCI is the global leader in timeshare vacation property exchange and with RCI recently opening a sales and call centre in Dubai Internet City, we are in a strong position and are now in the build-up phase for the launch of the Palm Vacation Club,' said James Wilson, President & COO, IFA Hotels & Resorts.

'This affiliation means that our Timeshare Vacation Club owners will now have access to a membership exchange programme which already boasts 3 million member families and spans 3,700 affiliated resorts in more than 100 countries around the world.'

The affiliation of The Palm Vacation Club is part of IFA's strategy to provide world-class tourism facilities in prime locations. The Palm Vacation Club will link with other IFA resorts in Zimbali, South Africa and Zanzibar as well as with a planned resort in Lebanon and its existing hotel and Pine Cliffs Vacation Club in Portugal, the Sheraton Algarve and Pine Cliffs Resorts, which is owned by United Investments Portugal, one of the companies in the IFA consortium.

'The affiliation brings added value and flexibility to Palm Vacation Club owners by allowing them to trade timeshare accommodation through RCI's international holiday exchange system and will allow members of IFA's other resort in Portugal - the Pine Cliffs Vacation Club - to exchange their weeks for a holiday in Dubai,' said Wilson.

The affiliation represents RCI's first inventory on The Palm, Jumeirah, one of two man-made islands off the coast of Dubai.

'The IFA Hotels & Resorts project on the Palm is the first fully integrated timeshare resort on The Palm,' explained Yehia El-Nowaiem, Managing Director, RCI Middle East. 'It is differentiated from other offerings by its five-star status with a comprehensive range of hotel and resort facilities and by the fact that it will be operated by a leading hotel chain, with all the associated benefits and facilities, affording it a true resort status.'

IFA Hotels & Resorts is a lead investor on The Palm-Jumeirah. Apart from The Palm Vacation Club, its projects on the island cover a sizeable area of the 'trunk' and will offer just over 1,200 rooms on the beach, 450 apartments and 60 boutique shops. This includes the twin-tower Palm Residence, an exclusive, beachfront enclave of 246 super-luxury shoreline apartments and the five-star, 300 room, Palm Hotel & Resort.

'A prestigious international hospitality operator will provide a host of exclusive services which will extend to our vacation club members,' explained George Khoury, Vice President Design & Development, IFA Hotels & Resorts.

'These will include reception and concierge services, maid and childcare services, apartment servicing, housekeeping and maintenance, rental administration systems, condominium management and owners' association, clubhouse management, services and security.'

The company is the first to introduce the concept of five-star, luxury timeshare to Dubai, and it anticipates a strong response from investors.

'Timeshare is now a major part of the global tourist industry,' said Wilson. 'In recent years it has demonstrated strategic resilience, overcoming volatility in the hospitality marketplace.

'Timeshare guests demonstrate high discretionary spend since future vacation costs are paid in advance and they have a high repeat and return rate.'

According to the USA's Ragatz Associates, the international consulting and market research firm for the resort industry, global timeshare sales have enjoyed consistent double-digit growth for years, reaching US $9.4 billion in 2002.

A recent Ragatz Associates' study on timeshares, ownerships of timeshares increased at a rate averaging about 12% annually from 1990 to 2003 and in the challenging economic climate of 2002, grew in excess of 8%.

According to the report: 'Some 6.7 million households own the rights to about 10.7 million timeshare weeks. Satisfaction rates remain high, upwards of 80% in most major markets. High satisfaction rates, affordability, and low market penetration hold the promise for future industry growth.'

According to RCI the reason for the successful sales of timeshares and the growth in travel activity among timeshare owners, stems from the basic family appeal of the concept.

'Timeshare offers consumers a way to make a commitment to family time and to quality holiday accommodation that provides a compelling emotional benefit,' said El-Nowaiem. 'Then, having pre-paid for their holiday accommodation for life, timeshare owners will fall back on what they've already paid for in traveling to make their finances go further. This family concept will make five-star, luxury resort timeshare particularly appealing to Middle East clients.'

RCI also points to 2002 performance in the five-star timeshare sector to underline the segment's resilience.

'Marriott in reporting first quarter results for 2002, a period of greatly diminished travel following the events of September 11, the impending war in Afghanistan and the downturn in the global economy, experienced a decline of 12.7% in RevPAR whilst Marriott Vacation Club achieved an 11% growth rate for the same quarter in timeshare sales,' said El-Nowaiem. 'At Hilton, for the same quarter, RevPAR declined 15% while EBIT-DA from Hilton Grand Vacations Club/timeshare grew by 37%. At Starwood, RevPAR declined 15.3% while Starwood Vacation Ownership timeshare sales grew by 18% for the same quarter.'

IFA Hotels & Resorts anticipates appointing a five-star hospitality operator for its projects on The Palm, Jumeirah, including the Palm Vacation Club, by the end of this year.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


High-End Timeshare Planned For Florida Real Estate

A longtime luxury-home builder has broken ground near Walt Disney World on what would be the region's first fractional-ownership resort sort of an upscale timeshare.

Lighthouse Key Resort & Spa, 4.5 miles west of Disney on U.S. Highway 192, is being built by ICI Homes Inc. of Daytona Beach. A fractional-ownership development is a highend timeshare real estate, with more room and amenities and a longer minimum-purchase requirement -- at least four weeks in the case of Lighthouse Key, which is being built on Raccoon Lake with a waterfront theme.

Many of the Orlando area's top time-share companies are moving into the ritzier fractional market elsewhere in the country, but Lighthouse Key will be a first for Central Florida as well as for ICI, said Charlie O'Sullivan, the company's Orlando market president.

"These are more like second homes," rather than conventional time shares or condos, O'Sullivan said. "Our goal here is to bridge the gap -- to offer something that's more in line with a second home, but you pay only for what you use."

Also, more in keeping with the second-home market, the Lighthouse condos can be bought outright. Prices for full ownership currently range from $370,000 to $480,000 a unit.

Fully deeded "fractional" purchases at Lighthouse Key start at four weeks. Preconstruction prices range from $40,000 to $65,000 based on a unit's size and go up in four-week intervals. Annual maintenance fees are extra.

The units range in size from 1,200 to 2,200 square feet, come fully furnished, and have double master suites in most cases. The first of the 600 units, in 15 buildings, will be available by the end of this year, with buildout by 2011.

Howard Nusbaum, president and chief executive officer of the American Resort Development Association, which represents the time-share industry, said there is no legal difference between a time share and a fractional-ownership unit; both are governed by the same laws and regulations.

But the fractional subset is aimed at wealthier families and is marketed differently, Nusbaum said.

"I call them the 'rational rich,' " Nusbaum said of fractional buyers. Instead of sinking $3 million into a second home or condo in a destination resort, such as Aspen, and then using it only part of a year, he said, a buyer will invest a fraction of that and keep the balance for other uses.

"Many affluent families already have second or third homes, and they can be money pits," Nusbaum said. A fractional, he said, duplicates much of the luxury for a fraction of the cost.

While the Orlando area is the nation's leading timeshare market, it is a relatively budget-minded market that has never been considered prime territory for upscale fractionals -- at least not when compared with exclusive locales such as Vail and Aspen, or St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, Nusbaum said. Until now.

O'Sullivan said the Orlando area's vacation-home market has tightened to the point that value is hard to find, and upper-income buyers will have a new option in the fractional project.

Lighthouse Key owners will experience "full-time luxury living," he said, "starting with groceries in the refrigerator when they arrive and 24-hour concierge service."

Construction starts soon on a 26,000-square-foot clubhouse with a 4,500-square-foot luxury spa.

ICI Homes is already planning a second local fractional project, this one with an "eco-tourist theme," as part of the Legacy Resort development of regional impact on Shingle Creek, said Kevin Mays, vice president of the resorts division.

The company will start a "residents' club," Mays said, that would allow fractional owners to spend time at other resorts. Members would also have access to many other resorts worldwide through the Interval International exchange network.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Timeshare And Leisure Real Estate Symposium Announced

Under the theme of New Horizons in Shared Ownership, the event is co-hosted by RCI's parent company, Cendant Vacation Network Group, and specialist industry consultants, Ragatz Consulting. Set for Dubai's Burj Al Arab Hotel 28 - 29 April, the event aims to attract a high profile audience of business investors, real estate developers and specialists from the industry.

The shared leisure real estate market is booming globally and clearly possesses great potential for investors within the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Timeshare growth worldwide over the next five years is expected to be around 50%, but probably greater than that in the Gulf area where so many major tourism developments are underway. RCI's Middle East operation, now head quartered in Dubai, aims to use the symposium as a means of explaining how the shared ownership sector can play a pivotal role in making these developments a success.

A central feature of the B2B programme is a presentation by Ragatz Associates covering a comprehensive consumer survey exploring the attitudes and habits of Gulf Arabs towards timeshare and other models of shared ownership, such as fractionals, private residence clubs and condo hotels. This first-time research will seek to quantify perceptions and preferences towards the timeshare market, which already includes 30,000 owners within the Middle East. Presently the majority of these own timeshare in Egyptian resorts, but the main focus of the survey is skewed towards the potential market in the Gulf area.

RCI's own estimates, calculated on the basis of new accommodation entering the shared and or self catering sector by 2008, indicate that this will generate over $2.5 billion for Dubai's economy alone. Hence the research and the symposium represent a crucial opportunity for all those seeking to identify the most efficient business models to succeed in this burgeoning market.

The first day includes an in-depth educational workshop aimed at those who have little or no experience of the industry. This offers an introduction explaining why shared ownership concepts are so relevant to the local scenario. Incremental to this is the recognition that timeshare is compatible within the Islamic principal of 'Sukok' permitting ownership of property by way of a title or deed.

The second day includes a comprehensive programme covering relevant aspects of the shared ownership sector. The format will include presentations and panel debates covering a wide range of topics.

Carlos Vogeler, VP Industry Relations, Cendant Leisure Real Estate Solutions speaks about international and Gulf specific tourism trends. There will be a panel on Next Generation Timeshare Products and Developments; Brett Archibald, Managing Director, Cendant Vaction Network Group, Hong Kong, will moderate this. David Bansmer, Managing Director, The Registry Collection and Vice President, Business Development RCI, will moderate the panel on Condo Hotels, Buy to Use and Let.

Richard Regatz, President of Ragatz Consulting, will moderate new Fractional Ownership Products and The Benefit of Operating Mixed Use Developments. The presentation on Middle East research findings, which will be presented by Kevin Wallace, Managing Director, Ragatz Consulting, also forms a central part of the agenda, followed by a Q and A sessions and concluding with a summary of key factors for success.

Panellists include: Kevin Wallace, Managing Director Ragatz Consulting; John McDonald Managing Director, Club Galaxia/Grecotel Vacation Ownership; Rick English Managing Director CLRES Turnkey Solutions, Dubai; Motassan Hadjaj, Saudi Arabia

The event is the perfect opportunity for everyone interested in learning about the advantages of shared ownership. It includes an extensive range of subjects presented by international experts covering case studies by successful developers, sales and marketing techniques, rentals, financing and regulations.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Middle East Receives First Timeshare Franchise

Major companies such as Hilton, Hyatt and Marriot have added their household names to an industry that previously attracted too much attention to marketing tactics and perhaps not enough to valuable product development and delivery.

In the Middle East, markets such as Egypt, Lebanon, Jordon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Yemen have been hosts to various marketing enterprises selling either local timeshare products or Mediterranean resorts, a playground for the Arab elite.

The idea of using a Franchise model has, however, not been so quick to catch on in this region.

One reason is that most developments organize their own selling, and are single site developers.

World Class Vacation Club, a Multi-Destination Club, has successfully penetrated several markets in the region and beyond through its relationship with Platinum Resorts International over the past five years.

Today, Platinum Resorts International, a company wih 12 years experience in that market. has announced that it has finally acquired the Master Worldwide Franchise License of World Class Vacation Club.

Platinum has launched its market search for qualified distributors and franchisees throughout the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.

'We have created synergistic components that a normal broker-agent program would not be able to provide' says Bassam Nakad, VP of the Group.

'Our target market for these franchise opportunities are travel agents, timeshare executives or entrepreneurs in the market where they have established credibility and roots.'

'We see tremendous opportunities in this business model, by tapping into the entrepreneurial skills of so many promising experienced timeshare executives and managers worldwide, our ability to deliver World Class products to this new potential audience is in concert with our goals' said Bassam Nakad,

Resort Franchise Associates, based in Beirut, is the trade name of the franchisor's marketing arm. Resort Franchise Associates will seek relationship development with business partners in Dubai, Libya, and UAE and throughout the Middle East.

Platinum Resorts International, a company founded in 1994, currently utilizes franchise agreements in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and will expand its growth rate and distribution channels through qualified operators selling the World Class brand.

Resort Franchise Associates will also offer B2B relationship products to existing timeshare developers or timeshare associations who are in resorts which are sold out to offer additional benefits packages to their member base.

The company has seen emerging markets in China and Dubai and Croatia as real areas of great potential to match the needs of customers in those booming markets.

'We are actually looking for responsible ethical partners to grow our business with and to protect our brands, and return the franchisee many more rewards that they could ever receive with a typical timeshare job,' commented Mr. Michael Tolan, President of Platinum Resorts International

'Our brand will enjoy growth and as our member base expands and is responsibly promoted, and as this happens we will continue to add more value to our customer base, with benefits often tailored to individual markets,' he continued.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Risky Business In Timeshare Real Estate

Global players in the timeshare industry have moved into China, despite its rocky legal system, and wait patiently to strike it rich. Zach Coleman investigates
T he sales pitch hit Mr Zhu as he made his way down the aisles of a Shanghai houseware store: If he filled out the survey, his name would be entered into a big prize draw.

A few days later, a caller asked him to go to an office building downtown. When he and his wife arrived, the staff welcomed them as winners of the draw and invited them to watch a video. It described a resort in Yunnan province where they could buy long-term rights to stay for a week each year, or accumulate credit toward longer stays. As the Zhus puzzled over the arrangement, staff pressed them to secure usage rights for 15 years for 30,000 yuan (HK$28,825).

The Zhus' debit card allowed them to pay only 3,000 yuan on the spot, so a staffer offered to escort them home for more cash. Suddenly, wary because night had fallen and their home was far away, Mrs Zhu declined.

Two days later, the Zhus began asking for their money back. They didn't get it, so they took their story to a local newspaper as a warning to other naive consumers.

Timesharing, an industry whose high-pressure sales tactics and sometimes dubious schemes has generated more than its share of complaints and lawsuits in countries from Singapore to Australia to the United States, has arrived in China.

Timeshares, like insurance, come under scrutiny because consumers pay up front on the promise they will reap substantial benefits far into the future. Industry veterans say trouble usually appears most rapidly in new markets, which lack proper regulations to govern sales practices and assure buyers that properties will be both maintained and available.

China meets this description and more. The timeshare industry's advance on the mainland comes against the backdrop of an inadequate legal system that tends to favor local business interests and an incomplete transition from communist state control to private land ownership.

The constitution explicitly acknowledged the general principle of the sanctity of private property only in 2004. Timesharing depends on highly refined notions of fractional ownership yet to be anchored in Chinese law.

These hazards aren't putting off Resorts Condominium International (RCI) or Interval International. The two, dominant players in the global timeshare business and both units of US-based travel conglomerates, run membership clubs that allow timeshare owners to trade usage rights bought at one resort for stays at others around the world.

RCI and Interval are out to make China timesharing safe in order to better present mainland resorts to their international members and, more importantly, bring Chinese travelers into the companies' worldwide network of holiday destinations.

RCI has a total of about 3.2 million members. About 10,000 of them are in China, but John Paul Nichols, who runs the company's international operations from dual offices in Beijing and Mexico City, believes the domestic tally could eventually grow to match RCI's entire global roll in size. Since 1999, RCI has sunk millions of dollars into various programs to build the foundation for Chinese timesharing.

"We're taking risks in China that we wouldn't take elsewhere," he says, sounding like many another pioneering mainland investor.

Interval has so far been more cautious about investing, but has just opened its first representative office in the country and next month will put on a conference for resort developers in Beijing.

"Timeshare [in China] is at its absolutely infancy," says Asia Pacific executive director Joe Hickman.

Many Chinese travel companies are looking for a piece of the timeshare business too. At least two, Teda Resort Alliance Development and China Anda, part-owned by China Travel Service, each lay claim to being the biggest player in the country. Another, China National Real Estate Development Group, made headlines when it proposed buying 20,000 vacant apartments in Hong Kong - built as part of the SAR's aborted Home Ownership Scheme public housing program - and offering them to mainland timeshare users.

Profit is the motivation. Margins for timeshare resort unit operations often run double to triple those of conventional hotels and are relatively resistant to the effects of crises such as SARS and terror attacks, since customers buy ahead.

As a result, many major international hotel groups have been moving into the business, particularly in the US. In Asia, Marriott International operates a timeshare resort in Phuket, and Accor, owner of the Sofitel and Novotel brands, recently announced it will set one up in Bali.

In China, hotel developers are showing interest in allocating portions of their projects for timeshare sales to raise funds to finish construction, says Godfrey Hui, a director and 25 percent owner of Teda Resort.

"China is building [resorts] fast and furiously," Hickman says. "The reality is they will quickly overbuild." He believes too many ordinary hotel rooms on the market will spur developers to consider other ways to market their properties.

Hui says their interest should dovetail with those of middle-class Chinese looking for new investment opportunities given sagging domestic stock markets. He sees an openness to timesharing despite several years of press accounts in Shanghai and other cities of traps and pitfalls much deeper than the one that ensnared the Zhus.

Trouble started around 1998, Hui says, as marketers arrived in Shanghai targeting residents with newly gained freedom and funds to travel. Some sellers were sincere but underestimated the legal obstacles to timesharing. Others were just serial scam artists, reminiscent of the kind of hucksters who once sold swamp land in Florida to New Yorkers a generation ago.

"They took advantage of the innocent people in China," he says.

Tianjin Teda International Hotel Development, linked to the Tianjin city government, formed Teda Resort at about the same time through a joint venture with a company experienced in Australian timeshares. The partners enlisted a British trust company to provide in-house finance services but ran into difficulties in the absence of relevant regulatory backing.

Teda Resort eventually found a way forward with the help of its parent. Tianjin Teda assigned about 30 rooms in hotels it owned in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin to Teda Resort to sell weekly usage rights to consumers. Teda Resort now has about 4,000 members and 10 resorts and took in about US$1.8 million (HK$14.04 million) in revenue in 2004.

RCI began enlisting Chinese resorts in its exchange network in 1999 then opened an office in Beijing two years later. It now has 40 Chinese resort members along with an office in Shanghai and another opening shortly in Guangzhou. It is also setting up a Chinese call center.

To give customers more choice, RCI has a deal with Gulliver Travel, a fellow subsidiary of travel conglomerate Cendant, to allow RCI members to stay at an additional 80 Chinese hotels. Nichols says Gulliver buys about 500,000 room nights in Chinese hotels each year for its wholesale travel agency operations and many in turn can be tapped by RCI.

Nichols believes RCI can have 700 resort members in China within five years, but only if it grows by leaps. "We don't believe the way to go into China is to tie up with 50 little resorts," he says.

Instead, RCI has formed links with local travel companies, including Teda Resort, which says it is RCI's largest Chinese partner.

RCI announced in late 2004 that it had reached an agreement with China Anda to add its 10 timeshare resorts to RCI's network, but RCI spokeswoman Ranjana Biswas says the tie-up did not go forward. RCI also had talks with China Real Estate and last year announced agreements with HNA Group, parent of Hainan Airlines, and China Youth Travel Service to help each develop travel clubs in which members can exchange points for hotel stays and other services.

The travel clubs stem from another RCI strategy in China's immature hospitality market - providing consulting advice to resort developers. RCI in 2004 set up two consulting subsidiaries on the mainland to help hotel owners with marketing, back-office operations and other functions.

On the consumer end, RCI is bankrolling a US$1.5 million program to educate residents of major cities about timesharing. "Most Chinese consumers don't know what timesharing or vacation ownership is," says Nichols. "It's generally a blank slate."

The company is also financing a nationwide consumer hotline to receive complaints about timeshare practices.

To head off complaints about resorts in RCI's network, Nichols has a staff of 38 people screening all sales and marketing companies that promote units in member resorts, a task RCI leaves entirely to the developers themselves in other markets.

Teda Resort conducts additional checks and Hui says several sales agencies have been dropped for not abiding by standards.

RCI's goal is for the government to establish a baseline of proper conduct. Nichols budgets about US$15,000 a month for lobbying and has provided thousands of pages of documents on foreign experience regulating timeshares to the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and other government institutions. He has had indications a draft law may be published this year.

Interval is also preparing to visit CNTA and provincial government agencies to promote regulation. Says Hickman: "The business works best with some kind of legislation in place."

Regulation may just be the catalyst needed to take timesharing to the big time in China. Given the current murky environment, the newly well-off have shown a preference for spending on fancy cars and other pursuits while older folks are still put off by the idea of sharing their property with strangers, Hui says.

While his company calls itself the biggest player in the Chinese timeshare market, Teda Resort was valued at just US$702,182 in an aborted deal last year in which a New York-listed affiliate of Tianjin Teda was to take a 55 percent stake.

RCI isn't getting rich in China yet either. "We lost a few million last year, we will lose few million this year and we'll lose a few million next year," Nichols said late last year.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Timeshare Staff Magazine Boasts More than 15,000 New Subscribers in Just Two Months

The new timeshare industry magazine produced by A Broad Marketing Group Ltd for the leading timeshare recruitment company Timeshare Staff Ltd, has exceeded all expectations by generating more than 15,000 subscribers from just two print editions with its impartial view of the industry and strikingly visual layout.

Timeshare Staff Ltd, best known for their pioneering website tested a basic model for the Timeshare Staff Magazine online, aware that there were several other well established industry magazines available, but confident that there was a growing need for a more varied magazine aimed at employees of all levels rather than just management and developers – but at the same time providing an unbiased platform for companies and resorts to promote their brand, products and / or services to a wide but industry specific audience.

Since the first print edition of the magazine which was launched at the OTE Forum in Prague in November 2005 the publication has attracted subscriptions from more than 348 timeshare resorts, 670 timeshare related companies, 5118 timeshare professionals and more than 11,000 non-industry job seekers.

The magazine so far has featured companies such as; Marriott Vacation Club International, Club la Costa, Royal Savoy Club, The Levitin Group, Royal Resorts, Club Greece, OTE - Organization of Timeshare in Europe, ARDA – American Resort Development Association, Club Intrawest, Shell Vacations Club, Hilton Grand Vacation Club, and many more. The full list can be found at

The magazine has also already covered topics such as Private Residence Clubs, Fractionals, Spa Resorts, sales and marketing hints and tips, recruitment and training, featured company profiles, VIP profiles of leading individuals in the industry, use of software to help increase productivity, Legal and Financial, and of course job vacancies from around the world.

The February Issue is still accepting advertisers up until 14th January but is now concentrating on the ARDA Special Edition which will be freely available to delegates at the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas during the Convention from the 26-30th March in addition to all regular subscribers.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Timeshare In Santa Barbara County Is On Its Way

With Trendwest’s opening of the new WorldMark resort in Solvang, timeshare in Santa Barbara County is on its way. The most visible new project of course has been Bill Levy’s Ritz-Carlton, a fractional development in downtown Santa Barbara that is still not quite a sure thing. But that’s not all.

In Goleta, the privately owned Bacara timeshare resort plans to develop what it calls its “phase two,” consisting of more than 60 vacation units with two and three bedrooms. The project would be similar to a private residence club, with Bacara managing the timeshare property.

In downtown Santa Barbara, a development of seven condominiums called Casa Mina was completed and put up for sale as regular condominiums last summer with price tags at $2 million and up. After about a month of advertising the units for sale, the developer quietly took the condos off the market and decided to pursue the fractional ownership route instead. Their Web site, which is still under construction as of this writing, shows the Club Casa Mina Santa Barbara pricing beginning at $395,000.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?