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ISSUE 23 • WINTER 2015

Spa gives resort a sparkle

Video: targets a new generation

Autumn in the New Forest Copyright Helen Hotson

Turning owners into salesmen


LETTER FROM THE CHAIRMAN

GIVING SUPPORT TO TIMESHARE OWNERS AND RESORTS This particular topic – timeshare exit – continues to generate interest from the media.

committees, owners and professionals come together to network and discuss all aspects of timeshare.

Recently in my blog, I wrote that the term is giving out the wrong signals to resorts, owners and the media.

The Park Royal Hotel, Warrington, will host the event from March 4-6.

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elcome to the final edition of 2015 - how quickly time goes by. Can it really be 12 months since our last winter issue?

It is time to find different terminology that reflects what really needs to happen – and TATOC is focusing the association’s efforts on this important issue.

Well, time flies when you are having fun so they say, and this year we have enjoyed some very successful and enjoyable moments.

The TATOC Consumer Helpline has reported a large increase in the number of owners looking to relinquish their timeshare. For a variety of reasons, these owners no longer wish to, or are able to, continue with their ownership.

We welcomed several new resort and individual members to the TATOC family and increased the number of business affiliates. Applications for TATOC resort accreditation continue to be encouraging as we work to reach our target of 50 accredited resorts by 2016. As well as the TATOC Consumer Helpline we have worked hard to support our resort members. TATOC attended several resort annual general meetings and committee meetings to provide assistance. I represented the association at industry conferences around the world, spreading our message about the consumer and discussing timeshare exit plans. 2 | Sharetime issue 23

For the first six months of 2015, the Helpline received 213 consumer enquiries about timeshare exit or relinquishment. This is an increase from 141 contacts for the same period in 2014 and just 56 in 2013. While not huge in number, the figures show an increasing trend among owners, many of whom bought in the 1980s and 1990s when timeshare was sold in perpetuity, a real selling point at the time. The issue of timeshare relinquishment has been on the industry’s radar for some time. I am sure it will be discussed in detail again at the upcoming TATOC conference. Our conference is a unique event. It is the only time when timeshare

This year there is no joint seminar with the Resort Development Organisation so conference registration will begin on Friday afternoon - with the TATOC annual general meeting beginning at 5pm. The agenda, speakers, delegate booking forms are all available from the TATOC website (www.tatoc. co.uk/tatocconference) and I look forward to seeing as many of you there are possible. Thank you for supporting the Sharetime magazine; the TATOC team of staff and directors wish you all a very happy Christmas and a New Year that brings health and happiness.

Harry Taylor, executive chairman

HARRY’S BLOG

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isitors to the TATOC website are being encouraged to click through to Harry’s ‘blog’ to find out more from TATOC’s CEO and executive chairman, Harry Taylor. The blog can be accessed via the top menu on the TATOC website (tatoc.co.uk).


CONSUMER HELPLINE UPDATE:

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BY MARK CALDICOTT, Helpline Manager

CONSUMER HELPLINE

TATOC Consumer Helpline REPORT

Helpline manager, Mark Caldicott, looks back over 2015 and shares TATOC’s advice on management fees. Mark Caldicott

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his last issue of Sharetime in 2015 is a good opportunity to compare the activities of the TATOC Consumer Helpline this year with what we achieved in 2014.. Last year, owners reported a total amount of £977,765 lost to scammers. In response, the team issued TATOC Consumer Helpline guides to assist consumers recover £777,573, if the advice was taken. Unfortunately, we were unable to help consumers recover the outstanding £200,192. This had been paid by bank transfer or cheque, which provide no recourse if things go wrong. This year the Helpline team has already received reports of £1,096,183 lost to scammers - an alarming rise of over £118,000 – and it’s set to increase when the final figures for 2015 are calculated. Again, the team issued guides that should help consumers recover £704,050. The remaining £392,123 was paid by bank transfer or cheque and is lost. At this time of year, many owners receive their management fee invoices and we see a spike in calls and emails from consumers. Each year management companies undertake a budgetary calculation

to determine the cost of operating and maintaining the resort/club for the following year. This calculation forms the basis of the management fees set for that year. Almost always costs increase because of inflation, wage rises and so on and, as a result, management fees can increase on a yearly basis. TATOC believes it is best practice for clubs to announce fees well in advance and to provide owners with information justifying the level of fees set for the year. Although annual management fees are used to operate and maintain a resort, it sometimes happens that additional money is required to meet unexpected expenditure. It could be that some major refurbishment or building work is required; shortfalls sometimes result from changes in taxation rules or currency exchange rates and so on. When this happens a club will inform owners that there will be a special levy - explaining what it is for, how it has been calculated, and how it will be collected. When a special levy is raised it is a requirement for all owners to make payment in the same way as applies to annual management fees.

If you have any problems with your ownership, or if you have difficulty in paying annual fees for any reason, make immediate contact with your resort and owners committee. Simply stopping the payment of fees is never the best course of action. Stopping payment of fees could have legal and financial consequences. For example, your use of on-site facilities could be withdrawn and penalty charges might be applied to your account. You may be referred to a debt collection agency and legal action taken against you. Details outlining your resort’s policy on management fees and special levies will be found in the latest version of your constitution.

You can also contact the Helpline team: www.tatocconsumerhelpline.eu info@tatocconsumerhelpline.eu Tel: 0845 230 2430 or 0345 230 2430 LiveHelp: Live online chat available through the TATOC Consumer Helpline website The service is free of charge and open throughout the year. Sharetime issue 23 | 3


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4 | Sharetime issue 23


TATOC NEWS

TATOC Resort Accreditation Geoff Chapman, senior resort accreditor, updates Sharetime on the organisation’s resort recognition programme.

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esort Accreditation is TATOC’s kite-mark of quality and is the highest accolade the association can give.

It is awarded as recognition that a resort is delivering the highest standards of accommodation, facilities and services and an excellent overall holiday experience to its owners and guests. For a resort to achieve accreditation, it must demonstrate it fully embraces the TATOC Code of Conduct. The timeshare product must be sold correctly and the resort well managed and maintained - with the consumer as the principle focus. The last 12 months have been an incredible period for the accreditation programme – the busiest and most successful since its launch in 2009. In the last year, 15 resorts have been visited to have their accreditation status renewed for a period of three years. Five new resorts have been recognised for the first time.

TATOC 2016 conference Date for your diary

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ATOC has released details of its 2016 conference, which will take place on March 4-6. The venue will once again be the Park Royal Hotel, Stretton, near Warrington. The association has set up a conference hub on its website which includes booking forms, sponsorship information, venue details and speakers. The hub can be found at: www.tatoc.co.uk/tatocconference Based on feedback from the recent conference survey, the all-inclusive package, which comprises all conference sessions, meals and accommodation, has been designed to provide the best value-formoney for those attending.

There are now 44 accredited resorts; four more have applied and are awaiting inspection. An ambitious target was set at the 2015 TATOC conference to have 50 accredited resorts by conference 2016 and this target has almost been achieved.

TATOC Re-Sale Accreditation TATOC also operates an accreditation programme for timeshare re-sale companies. This is currently on hold pending the European Commission’s review of the Timeshare Directive, which may provide additional clarity in this area. Once procedures have been revised all re-sale companies recognised by the association will be invited to undertake the accreditation process.

TATOC chairman, Harry Taylor addresses delegates in 2015

Delegate rates start from just £430 for TATOC members and affiliates, rising to £480 for non-members. “We always try to keep the costs of the TATOC conference to a minimum to ensure that our delegates enjoy the very best value conference with some great speakers. The Park Royal has been an excellent venue in the past and we look forward to working with them again in March,” said Harry Taylor, TATOC chief executive. Sharetime issue 23 | 5


RESORT NEWS

Resort Case Study:

Addressing the needs of modern holidaymakerS The Brockwood Hall team outlines their approach to appealing to a new type of holidaymaker with spa experiences.

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ith the ever-increasing demands of modern holidaymakers, self-catering resorts are constantly challenged to find ways to make their resorts more attractive to the market. So how do timeshare properties set themselves apart? By offering a new dimension in guest experiences. A fail-safe way to create superior and memorable guest experiences is the introduction of a new dimension in guest treatment intended to indulge the senses. With this in mind, South African Club Leisure Group (CLG), which recently acquired Brockwood Hall, a luxury resort in the U.K. Lake District and recent winner of TATOC accreditation, put ‘engaging the senses’ to the test. Having commissioned spa partner, La Vita Spas, to open its first U.K. facility at Brockwood Hall, CLG chairman Stuart Lamont explained: “Although the current spa site is temporary, we have been overwhelmed at the resounding success achieved since the opening of the spa. “In South Africa, most of our 60 properties boast great spas which

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stimulate demand and also provide great package opportunities where we combine wellness with accommodation, which increases loyalty to particular properties. “We are committed to developing further resorts in Europe and believe that spas will form an integral part of the unique experience.” Rioma Cominelli, owner of the La Vita and Cellu-Beauty Spa brands, added: “We had no idea how responsive the U.K. market would be and the results have been astounding. Guests love the extended hours, wide range of treatments and the shared time with family. U.K. usage appears to exceed the South African figure of 2.5 average treatments per guest, per week.

Rioma went on to say: “Our model is based on customer centricity focused on enhancing how guests feel, from check in to check out. Our formula is inclusive of free, comprehensive assessments of resort properties – delivering input on design aesthetic and infrastructure capabilities. From express

spas to luxury day systems, to staffing, training and the overall management of the spa - we provide the full service.” A wide spectrum of ‘wellness’ is encouraged, including Nordic walking, land and aqua aerobics, swimming and even wellness education. Rioma and her executive team are excited about wellness opportunities in the U.K. and Europe and are finalising either turnkey spa facilities or joint venture spa arrangements with a number of resorts. The first test case has revealed that Europeans and the British are well informed and becoming increasingly passionate about health and wellness. They are including such elements into their breaks – and more than ready to opt for properties offering the healthy, ‘feel good’ experiences that comprehensive spas can offer - whether for a weekend or a fortnight break.


RESORT NEWS

All change at Belton Woods 2015

Awards for Pant Glas Hall

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ant Glas Hall in Carmarthenshire, Wales, has been awarded TripAdvisor’s 2015 Certificate of Excellence presented to accommodation, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from visitors. The coffee shop and restaurant has also been award five stars, the highest possible rating, in the latest hygiene inspection. The restaurant offers freshly cooked meals with a different menu every evening. The resort has recently teamed up with Hoseasons to offer rentals throughout the year. There are a number of special offers available over the winter months - the resort website has further details.

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ulia Newton has been appointed lodge manager at Belton Woods, near Grantham, Lincolnshire. Julia, who was previously assistant manager at the resort, said: “I’m really enjoying the new role. It’s exciting to be in charge of all the changes that are happening. My aim is to get Belton Woods back where we need to be, and that begins with the refurbishments

Significant refurbishment work has begun on lodges 11 through to 19. This includes improvements to the bedrooms as well as the master and twin bathrooms giving each lodge a more modern and high-quality character. Further refurbishment plans are in place for the next seven years, beginning in 2016.

Burnside wins gardening award

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ongratulations to Hapimag Burnside Park, in the U.K. Lake District, which won the best commercial property title in this year’s Windermere in Bloom competition. Resort gardener Joan Gunn has worked at the resort since 2004 and this is the second year she has been recognised for her work. She is already planning next year’s garden, which she hopes will be award-winning again. In 2014, Burnside received a gold award for commercial property.

Work continues at Four Seasons Fairways

Hillside Apartment Lounge

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ast year Four Seasons Fairways, on the Portuguese Algarve, embarked on a villa renovation programme and the first seven properties have been completed.

Hillside Apartment Master Suite

that are taking place.”

The resort is now preparing for the second stage with work starting this winter on another 12 villas. The new look is by the internationally acclaimed Quinta Style Boutique Design, in Almancil, who have combined a traditional

Portuguese feel with the latest in contemporary comfort. A dove grey fabric is used for sofas and armchairs. Blue and white accent cushions and decorative panels add traditional Portuguese touches. The bedroom furnishings use soft greys, greens, yellows and aquamarine blues. Quality fixtures and fittings throughout and modern lighting complete the look. Sharetime issue 23 | 7


in my view

IN MY VIEW Rachel Littleworth, resort manager at Club Las Calas, in Lanzarote, shares her views on operating a successful mature resort in a competitive holiday environment.

BACKGROUND

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hile we continually search for ways to attract new owners, we must never lose sight of the importance of keeping existing owners happy. I have an excellent team at Las Calas, many of whom have been with the company for over 20 years. We also have the support of management company Resort Solutions who take care of the back office demands while we focus on the clients. We are constantly looking at ways to improve the resort, as it is important owners notice something different every time they return. Sometimes these are small improvements such as new sunbeds, but recently the changes have been bigger as we progress with the upgrade programme. The programme includes fitting new kitchens with state-of-the-art white goods and new bathrooms. This gives owners confidence and peace of mind that their maintenance fees are financially well managed. Having a financially healthy long-term fund gives us the opportunity to complete large projects without asking for supplements. As we want to cater for all owners and guests, we have recently

installed a lift and made the whole resort accessible to those less mobile. Las Calas has stepped up the fun activities on-site with a new animation team offering fitness options, sangria and cocktail demonstrations and the everpopular quiz. As well as four swimming pools, Las Calas has a leisure centre with mini shop, gym, sauna, children’s ballpark and the much-loved Charlie Bears Kids Club. The owners are our best ambassadors and we want them to rave about the resort to friends, family and other guests. Many of them love meeting up with their holiday friends so we have improved the facilities to encourage the social side. This includes happy hour and special meal deals persuading owners to stay on-site for the whole evening enjoying the fabulous entertainment. Encouraging owners and guests to integrate and become friends often leads to a new owner, as people want to be part of the Las Calas experience. Owners want to be kept informed and Las Calas communicates with owners through the club’s website, Facebook page and resort bulletin handed out on arrival.

Rachel has lived in Lanzarote since 1987 and has worked for the Diamond Group for 27 years. She began working at Diamond Club Las Calas in reception and was later promoted to head of reservations and reception for the whole group. Rachel was appointed resort manager at Las Calas over 20 years ago and has overseen the on-going success of the resort which was the first to achieve TATOC accreditation in 2009.

The most popular form of communication is the weekly owners’ meeting, which not only keeps them up-to-date but also gives them the chance to discuss ideas, raise concerns and allows the resort management team to give accurate information. When it comes to managing a mature resort it is about offering the whole package. Our mission statement is: creating a lifetime of holiday memories year after year. The team is highly motivated to meet this and strives to make owners feel special by providing the best possible service. We want them to be excited about returning for their next holiday. Sharetime issue 23 | 9


AFFILIATE NEWS

Timeshare RE-Sale FIRM affiliates with TATOC This will run alongside the main re-sale business and will assist private owners at resorts that will not work with third party re-sale businesses.

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imeshareForSaleOnline.com has been successfully affiliated into TATOC. Headed up by Anthony (Tony) Bugg, the website has been in operation for some time providing private timeshare re-sales. The team works with other re-sale businesses in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the U.S. to re-sell other vacation-style products. Currently in development, and set to launch later this year, is a new auction website, OwnersTimeshareAuctions.com.

With over 30 years’ experience in the timeshare industry, Mr Bugg explained his decision to affiliate his business with TATOC: “We appreciate the work TATOC does for the industry - we sincerely wish to be part of its future.” Harry Taylor, TATOC’s executive chairman commented: “I was delighted when Tony asked if his business could affiliate with TATOC. It shows his commitment to timeshare consumers and provides them with the very best service. Tony and his team will comply with the Association’s Code of Conduct and Code of Practice so owners can be reassured when they are using their services.”

Weholi attends Welsh expo Held at the Cardiff City House of Sport from November 4-5, 2015, the exhibition hosted some 1,000 exhibitors and over 4,000 delegates over two days. weholi’s Kevin Wash with the expo team

weholi.com, a global ‘marketplace’ to rent or sell your holiday ownership, recently exhibited at the largest business expo in Wales. 10 | Sharetime issue 23

Kevin Wash, weholi vice president for sales and marketing, joined marketing consultant Vivienne Sharman-Lewis and her team to promote weholi to a wider audience of travellers and private holiday property owners.

Safety first with satellite phones

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s part of a wide-ranging effort to improve the safety of members, owners and guests at its European properties, Diamond Resorts has introduced the use of satellite phones in staff emergency response kits. Satellite phones will ensure that all Diamond Resorts guests have a reliable means of communication in the event of a network outage during a widespread emergency or natural disaster. Diamond Resorts’ satellite phones operate independently of ground mobile networks by using the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology of Globalstar, the largest provider in the world. The phones are state-of-theart Qualcomm GSP-1700, sturdy devices with long-life batteries that allow team members to manage any emergency without the risk of losing communications with external responders. Said a spokesman: “Guest safety is of the utmost importance and Diamond will continually seek opportunities to improve the guest experience by incorporating latest technology and safety procedures at its resorts worldwide.”


AFFILIATE NEWS

Celebrity chef’s recipe for relaxing: a CLC World resort

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ans of TV and radio cookery shows will recognise celebrity chef Cyrus Todiwala, who recently took time out from the kitchen to enjoy a holiday at CLC Club La Costa World resort, on the Costa del Sol. A regular contributor to BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, he is author of several renowned cookery books such as The Incredible Spice Men, linked to a prime time BBC TV series of the same name, which saw he and Scottish chef Tony Singh spice up some

favourite British dishes. Members of CLC World for the past 15 years, Cyrus and wife Pervin Todiwalas arrived with friends keen to seek out restaurants serving typical Spanish food. As well as running the family restaurant empire, Cyrus’s commitments include charity fundraising with involvement in a forthcoming dinner in aid of breast cancer; education and training initiatives for young people; and a deep interest in the environment and sustainability.

Awarded an MBE for services to skills development and training and an OBE for his contribution to the hospitality industry, this super busy chef also cooked for the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations! The Todawalas trip to the Costa del Sol was followed by another visit to a CLC World resort, this time CLC Duchally, in Scotland, to coincide with Cyrus attending the Master Chefs of Great Britain annual lunch and AGM in Edinburgh.

New locations for Club Paradiso Platinum

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ilverpoint has re-located two of its Club Paradiso Sunseeker super cruisers from Tenerife to the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf. The first to be moved is Miss Moneypenny, a Portafino 46 craft. This luxury vessel headed for Malta in May this year to service Club Paradiso Platinum members and is currently berthed in the Three Cities Marina. The second Sunseeker – Diamonds Are Forever – is also a Portafino 46 and is currently being prepared for transport to Dubai, in the Persian Gulf.

These spectacular boats give members a taste of the highlife, said a spokesman. Members are offered the opportunity to take their day skipper licences so they can captain the boats themselves. Alternatively, they can arrange for a fully qualified local skipper. Known for its manoeuvrability and high performance, the Sunseeker Portofino 46 can accommodate up to ten adults on its decks with space to sleep up to six adults below.

Club Paradiso Sunseeker supercruiser

Club Paradiso co-ordinator Nancy Claphouwers said: “We’ve re-located these two boats in response to feedback from Club Paradiso Platinum members who were looking for more flexibility. “Now they will be able enjoy the Sunseeker experience at three Club Paradiso locations around the world. We’re currently negotiating a fourth location, which will probably be either Salcombe or Dartmouth, in Devon.” Sharetime issue 23 | 11


ASK YOURSELF

COULD YOUR RESORT BE MORE SUCCESSFUL? Would it be better if it had: more owners/members? more rental guests? higher standards? a refurbishment? detailed accounts? professional management If you think your resort would beneďŹ t from a professional review contact: U.K. 07939-903157 / 07816-303917 Spain & Canary Islands +34-620729925 / +34-619126203 USA & Caribbean +1-408-221-1926 / +1-434-325-1167

stuart@leisuremanagementplus.com www.leisuremanagementplus.com

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FEATURE

VIDEO:

HOW TO REACH A NEW GENERATION

2015 has been named the Year of Video Marketing. So what, you may ask? Video is not relevant to my resort and we certainly don’t have the budget for it.

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ut it’s time to think again, says Emily Collins, from EVC Marketing Communications, who looks at the growing importance of video and how it’s an ideal tool for timeshare resorts. At every TATOC conference delegates ask the same question: how do we encourage the younger generation to visit our resort? Well, here’s one answer – video marketing. And before you ask, it doesn’t need to cost a fortune and yes, anyone can do it.

First some startling statistics. • 78 per cent of people watch videos online every week; • People stay two minutes longer on websites with video; • By 2017 video will account for 69 per cent of all Internet traffic. If a picture paints a thousand words, then one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words - the equivalent of 3,600 web pages according to Dr. James McQuivey, of Forrester Research. Such statistics confirm that, when you use video on a website, you have a powerful tool that attracts visitors to your site and keeps them there.

It satisfies their information and entertainment needs and resorts that fail to include it in their strategies do so at their peril. We often hear the importance of content marketing as a tool to increase Google rankings. Well, video is the future of content marketing. This is especially so for a younger target market that uses video to determine whether the resort will provide the holiday experiences they want. They trust video. They can see other like-minded people enjoying the resort and know that it will give them the holiday they want. Video is the perfect format for quickly grabbing the attention of a busy audience. It enables strong storytelling in a short, but memorable, format that viewers can enjoy.

But is video suitable for resorts today – even mature, legacy resorts? Yes, because production costs have fallen significantly and you no longer need to be a technical whiz to use it.

So how can video be used? 1 Drive traffic to your website Search engines like Google love video and, if properly optimised, you can use video to increase visitors to your website. 2 Turn a static website into an interactive destination. A simple promotional video that explains who you are lets visitors see what your physical location is like – and is better than any photograph. 3 Engage with customers

Engage viewers and they will share the video with others, spend longer on your website and more time interacting with your brand.

Start a video contest, ask users to upload videos of themselves when they are at your resort, invite them to embed videos on their own social media.

For any social media campaign and SEO (search engine optimisation) exercise, video is without doubt one of the best tools in your marketing kit.

For further information on how video can help your resort, contact EVC Marketing Communications on: +44 (0) 203 123 9273 or emilyc@evcmarketing.com Sharetime issue 23 | 13


FEATURE Alex Radford

Timeshare committees:

INVEST IN THE FUTURE OF YOUR RESORT Alex Radford, a U.K. solicitor and Spanish abogado, has worked with a number of timeshare committees implementing changes to their resorts. Here he provides some top tips to ensure the future survival of a property.

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e all have a pretty good idea of what makes a great holiday whether it is sunning yourself in Spain, walking in the Lake District or visiting Disney World with the grandchildren. What helps to make that great holiday is first class self-catering accommodation with excellent facilities and plenty of activities within the area to keep the family busy. Whether you stay in a timeshare resort or an hotel, we all have high expectations for our accommodation, which is usually selected after the family has agreed the destination. As timeshare resort budgets decrease and tighten, the hotel industry, a major competitor for the timeshare industry, continues to improve and invest in their accommodation and facilities. Therefore, as committees running timeshare resorts, it is crucially important for the facilities and accommodation at your resort to be improved, kept up-to-date and local activities added. Remember you are in the hospitality industry and the holiday memory-making game!

How can we do this, you might ask, as we have fewer timeshare owners, fewer people paying maintenance fees and no active sales?

Although you may feel this is a resort-specific issue, you should be aware that many timeshare developers have been facing the same challenges that you are currently facing and have successfully overcome them. The reality of the challenge is that, as the number of timeshare owners decreases, the rental of the timeshare accommodation has increased and replaced the income of those former timeshare owners who paid maintenance fees. If you are not doing so already, you should be actively increasing, marketing and promoting your rental offering and ensuring that when those renters come to visit your resort, they have a memorable holiday and may consider coming back and buying a timeshare at your resort. However, before those renters start arriving, it is important to analyse the strengths and weak-

nesses of your resort, the state of the accommodation and its facilities along with the financial state of the property. Consider what first attracted you to your resort? What will attract future generations and what would they expect to see in the accommodation and facilities? What unique selling point does your resort have compared to the local competition? What changes can you easily make to the resort and which require greater investment? Price the changes by obtaining quotes from local suppliers and then establish a priority list of the changes to be made. Once you have considered the above points, it is important to put a strategic plan together outlining the changes you will make to the resort over a set period of time. These do not have to be major changes - incremental changes and improvements on a tight budget are fine so long as you and the committee agree on where you all want to be in three, five and ten years’ time. Only when the committee has agreed to the plan should it be submitted to the members to agree and vote on.

Contact Alex Radford on aradford@mylawyerinspain.com or call on 0845 508 2395. Sharetime issue 23 | 15


RESORT IN FOCUS: Rhinefield apartments

The hotel and apartments at Rhinefield

Keeping high standards is key to success Sharetime magazine spoke with committee chairman Derick Manning from Rhinefield Apartments, a mature resort in the heart of the New Forest.

BACKGROUND

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What is the history of Rhinefield?

he 14 apartments that make up the Rhinefield resort, in the U.K.’s New Forest, are based in the east wing of Rhinefield House.

The club began in 1987 when the developed apartments were first sold as timeshare interests.

The resort comprises 11 two-bed, one three-bed and two one-bed apartments – all unique in layout, design and size.

However, the history of the site dates back to the time of William the Conqueror, who used it as his New Forest hunting lodge around 1097.

There are over 550 weeks in ownership with the balance held by the club and available for rent and re-sale. The resort sells fixed week ownership. Each year, owners use 65 per cent of the weeks, exchange guests use ten per cent and 15 per cent are rented commercially. Apartments have a fully-equipped kitchen, TV, DVD player and free Wi-Fi. On-site there is an indoor spa with pool, sauna, steam room, gym and spa treatment rooms, an outdoor pool, gardens, tennis courts, and two hotel restaurants, lounge and bar.

16 | Sharetime issue 23

In 1877, Rhinefield was given to Mabel Walker-Munro by her father and it remained in the family until 1950, when they were forced to sell to pay death duties. There followed a period of uncertainty for Rhinefield. The house became a private school and, in 1972, Oliver Cutts purchased the freehold and carried out considerable refurbishment.

In 1982, Nicholas Hotels bought the house and developed Rhinefield into a hotel and luxury apartments to be leased on a timeshare basis. The hotel accommodation and conference facilities occupy a new wing to the west of the house, while parts of the original cellars were incorporated into the leisure complex. Rhinefield is now owned by Hand Picked Hotels, who have achieved 4-star status for the hotel, as well as two Red Rosettes for the restaurant. How has timeshare fared over the past five years? In spite of the ageing membership, over the past five years the proportion of


RESORT IN FOCUS

the inventory held by owners has remained at around 77 per cent due to a steady, but limited, replacement of older owners through low-key, in-house marketing. Major refurbishment has been undertaken during this period with the final phases of kitchen refurbishment currently under way. How do you keep your product attractive while still making ownership financially viable? Refurbishment has returned the luxury apartments to the high standards maintained by the hotel throughout the property. Keeping the standard of luxury high through continuous replacement and renewal makes the cost of ownership financially viable for owners looking for such standards in a unique property in the centre of the New Forest. Have the holiday patterns of your owners changed over recent years and what is the impact on your resort? Some of the ageing members no longer wish or are able to make use of their weeks resulting in increasing rentals of both owned and weeks currently held by the club for resale. What are the key reasons why you think you have succeeded? A determined and active committee, strong financial controls and the full support from Hand Picked Hotels who run all the day to day activities through Rhinefield Timeshare Management Limited, a company within the hotel group.

How has the marketing and sales approach changed over the years? Both our website and other third party sites drive traffic to the resort, provide information to potential visitors and give the club opportunities for rental and/or re-sales.

management company or does the manager report directly to the committee? Rhinefield Timeshare Management Limited is the management company and part of the Hand Picked Hotels group. All staff are employed by the hotel.

Our rentals are also promoted through Booking.com and feeds from other websites promoting The New Forest. We are not on Facebook or TripAdvisor. There have not been any concerted aggressive sales or re-sales campaigns in recent years. There is low-key, in-house re-sale activity to leads such as exchange or rental guests, hotel visitors and website enquiries. Do you offer a re-sale and rental programme to your owners – how does this work and is it successful? Owners can make their weeks available for rental. These are then added to the available inventory visible on Booking.com. The committee sets market rents on Booking.com.

The entrance to the hotel and apartments

The club has a contract with the management company. The timeshare administrator reports to a committee made up of three owners and two appointed by the hotel. As a resort what are you most proud of?

Owners wishing to sell can add their weeks to the re-sale availability list.

Completing the refurbishment without having to raise a special levy.

How do you fund and manage refurbishment at the resort?

Why did you decide to join TATOC?

Refurbishment has been planned in phases, funded from the management fees, and procured and managed at a practical level by the property team at Hand Picked Hotels.

To listen to the market place, learn and exchange views with our contempories.

How is the resort managed? Do you use the services of a

Rhinefield Apartments Rhinefield House, Rhinefield Road, Brockenhurst, Hampshire SO42 7QB E: enquiries@rhinefieldapartments.com T: +44 (0) 1590 625619 Sharetime issue 23 | 17


RESORT NEWS

Quality counts at RCI The quality of a resort can make or break a holiday. This is why RCI’s locallybased resort operations teams work closely with resort managers to ensure that resort and accommodation quality is of the high standard timeshare owners deserve.

R

CI also claims to be the only exchange company to pro-actively operate a health and safety compliance programme, working with resorts to drive adherence to national health and safety regulations, and legal requirements. RCI’s policy requires resorts to complete a health and safety checklist every three years and says it is “not afraid of disaffiliating resorts that let their quality standards slip”. Quality is a priority at these two RCI-affiliated resorts, which have just completed major makeovers: Brockwood Hall is situated in the picturesque Lake District, in the naturally beautiful Blackcombe and Whitecombe Hills. The resort is now under new management and all 32 of the

The refurbished lounge at Brockwood Hall

The refurbished kitchen diner at Brockwood Hall

18 | Sharetime issue 23

The refurbished pool at Holdiay Club Vista Amadores

Scandinavian-style lodges have recently been refitted. The £1.5 million refurbishment programme has been funded by First Resorts and has resulted in larger bedrooms, plush carpets, new furnishings and fittings, including hot tubs on the balconies. The resort has a new spa, Cellubeauty, and guests can also pick up groceries from the on-resort shop, or enjoy meals in Clara’s restaurant or the Pesto Bistro. Venturing further afield, Holiday Club Vista Amadores, in Gran Canaria, has recently unveiled its new resort makeover. Apartments have been re-designed with light and airy interiors, state-of-

A refurbished bedroom at Holdiay Club Vista Amadores

the-art bathrooms and glassfronted balconies giving optimum views of Amadores Beach. Guests can also enjoy the new pool and spectacular views over the coastline. The €1.7 million project follows a similar refurbishment at sister resort, Holiday Club Puerto Calma, also in Gran Canaria. Resort developer, Holiday Club Resorts, is investing €25 million in refurbishing many of its properties, including two Finnish flagship timeshare resorts, with a €5.2 million spend on apartments at Holiday Club Tampereen Kylpylä and €6.7 million on Holiday Club Katinkulta.


RESORT NEWS

Diamond Resorts receives 2015 Orbitz Best in Stay awards

D

iamond Resorts International’s Royal Oasis Club, at Pueblo Quinta in Malaga, Spain, has received the Orbitz Best in Stay award and Santa Barbara Golf and Ocean Club, in Tenerife, has been awarded the Orbitz Best in Stay Elite Award for 2015. Every year Orbitz recognises up to three properties in more than 120 destinations around the world; the Elite designation is reserved for the resort with the highest rating in each market. The awards are based on the overall numeric score of

T

ATOC was represented at the Crown Resorts annual general meeting in Leeds in early autumn. Crown is a group of five resorts, located in the heart of the Costa del Sol. All have achieved TATOC Resort Accreditation.

hotel reviews and customer ratings covering: amenities, maintenance, hotel staff, room comfort, location and value.

 According to David F. Palmer, Diamond president and chief executive: “We are proud to be recognised by one of the world’s largest travel sites for our high quality resorts and unparalleled hospitality.”

Barnsdale acquires defibrillator

B

arnsdale Resort in Rutland has installed an automated external defibrillator (AED) and trained staff to minimise the time taken to treat a casualty. The majority of cardiac arrests are due, at least initially, to an abnormal, fast, irregular heartbeat known as ventricular fibrillation (VF). Electrical defibrillation is well established as the only effective treatment. AEDs are devices that deliver the necessary controlled electric shocks to terminate VF.

Crown Resorts AGM: Timeshare at its best

The chance of successful defibrillation declines at a rate of more than ten per cent with each minute of delay before a defibrillator is used. The delay from collapse to delivery of the first shock is the single most important determinant of survival. Barnsdale, an RCI gold crown resort, has also launched a refer-a-friend programme with £250 awarded to members whose families or friends complete the purchase of a single week of ownership.

In addition to the six committee members present were representatives from Shakespeare Martineau (the clubs’ legal advisers), FNTC (trustees), Vacation Care (management company) and Tim Cubley, the resorts’ manager. On the day, 42 members attended, representing all but one of the resorts. Many others had cast by proxy their votes on committee elections and resolutions. Annual general meetings provide an ideal opportunity for members to have direct discussion with their elected committee and with fellow members. Geoff Chapman, senior resort accreditor, writes: “Visiting the annual general meeting was an enjoyable opportunity to engage again with Crown Resorts and their members.

“The Crown Resorts meeting was a superb example of a club working closely with members to ensure their continued high quality holiday experience at competitive prices.” Harry Taylor, TATOC CEO, said “Many thanks again to Crown Resorts for the invitation. TATOC is keen to engage with owners and their resort committees at every opportunity and we will be delighted to attend AGMs and other resort meetings whenever possible.” Sharetime issue 23 | 19


THE NEW IS HERE Offering even more value than before…

RCI’s enhanced Platinum programme gives members some great new ways to get the most out of membership including: Member Rewards on selected RCI transactions Priority Access to highly demanded destinations Additional discounts with RCI Travel - £50 off a car hire or hotel booking

20 | Sharetime issue 23

NEW! Unit upgrades and resort changes NEW! FREE Deposit Restore** NEW! Longer Points Extension* NEW! FREE Points Transfers* Plus so much more!


For just a £49 RCI Membership upgrade fee receive over £500 of value from RCI Platinum There’s never been a better time to be an RCI Platinum member

To learn more visit RCI.com or call 0845 60 86 380 Terms & conditions: RCI reserves the right to vary or amend benefits available. Some benefits may be subject to availability. Please visit www.aboutrci.co.uk/platinum/terms. RCI Platinum is not available to RCI Lite members. £49 Platinum fee is for 1 year’s membership. *Points members only. **Weeks members only.

Sharetime issue 23 | 21


FEATURE

Uncovering secrets of the Costa del Sol Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket discovers ‘little gems’ away from tourist hot spots.

T

he Costa del Sol is a familiar area for many readers who return every year to enjoy their timeshare resort. The team at Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket stepped away from the popular coastline to find some little gems hidden in the rural hillside villages, which even the most frequent visitor to Spain may have missed.

Castillo Monumento Calomares Affectionately known as Calomares Castle (Columbus Castle), Castillo the Castillo Monumento Monumento Colomares Calomares, in Benalmadena, is the largest monument dedicated to the great explorer Christopher Columbus.

Flamenco in Sevilla

Kelipé Centro de Arte Flamenco A visit to Andalucia wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the passion of flamenco: we recommend the truly authentic version at the Kelipé Centro de Arte.

The intriguing display takes visitors on a journey through the pioneer’s life; however, the unique architecture and floral gardens that greet you on arrival are equally captivating.

Located in the historic city centre of Malaga, the Kelipe portrays the emotion involved in the flamenco with an intimate display right before your eyes.

This exhilarating collection of cliff walks is carved into the hillside at El Chorro, to the north of Fuengirola, and was awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence (2015)

La Cueva del Tesoro

Step back in time to the old town of Estepona, where narrow streets and traditional villas give a real sense of traditional Andalucía.

Opened by King Alfonso XIII in 1921, this series of hiking trails offers a tranquil experience away from the bustling beaches of the Costa del Sol.

Carved by the consistent tide lapping against the shoreline, the caves are said to contain a hidden treasure from the past Arabian era in the 12th century.

El Caminto del Rey

El Caminito del Rey

22 | Sharetime issue 23

Legend surrounds these fascinating sea caves in Malaga, which date back to the Neolithic period (around 2,000 - 10,000BC).

Old town Estepona

Wander through the rich pink of the Hibiscus flowers filling the Plaza de las Flores; admire the clock tower, completed in 1473; and the Castillo de San Luis dating back to the same era.


FEATURE: RESORT REVIEW

Lehigh resort Florida

Steve Burton by the Lehigh resort swimming pool

The apartments are typically one-bedroom in size, sleeping up to four or five people. There are also a number of studios and a handful of two-bedroom and lock out units. There is never a shortage of things to do with a fantastic activities programme during both day and evening. The swimming pool is large and the temperature of the water just perfect. There are plenty of sun loungers so no need to be up at 8am to stake out your reservation.

Steve Burton, Sharetime resort reviewer and regular exchanger, reviews Lehigh Resort Club in Florida. He admits it’s one of his favourite destinations.

One of my biggest turn-offs when staying at a timeshare resort is to receive regular phone calls from customer services trying to sell you more timeshare.

I

have owned timeshare since 1980 and since then have made over 550 exchanges with RCI to around 100 different resorts. My preference when choosing a resort is for a quiet, scenic location, preferably near the sea or a golf course. It is not my scene to stay at large impersonal resorts with hundreds of guests and numerous sales staff ringing you to arrange a sales presentation.

The resort has its own pleasant nine-hole golf course with very reasonable green fees, which include cart hire. Other golf courses are located within a five-mile radius.

The resort’s picnic and BBQ area

So why do I enjoy it so much?

Lehigh is a special holiday place for those in the know. I first visited back in March 1994 and have since spent over 100 weeks at the resort.

You can tell from the RCI resort number that Lehigh Resort Club is a mature resort dating back to the late 1970s. The timeshare accommodation doesn’t have the wow factor of some, but the units are comfortable.

I could have vacationed at any of RCI’s 4,000-plus resorts, but choose Lehigh for the welcoming feel and warmth of the staff, owners and guests. Everybody is friendly - even if new to the resort.

The resort is not located in an up-market area and is 30 miles from the nearest beach, which is a draw back for some people. 


The property is located in a peaceful location with the majority of units located either on a golf course or by a small lake.

This will never happen at Lehigh Resort Club. At the Sunday welcome meeting there is a two-minute sales pitch from the real estate guy and then you’re left to enjoy your vacation. If you are interested in becoming an owner, you will have to make the first contact. Perhaps one of the best-kept secrets is that, apart from the period between Christmas and Easter, RCI nearly always has availability. For me, the best time to visit is between October and mid-December when the weather is great and the resort and surrounding area are quiet. I hope to see you there one day in the future. Sharetime issue 23 | 23


WHO ARE WE? WHAT DO WE DO?

TRAVEL & LEISURE GROUP

23 YEARS OF SUCCESSFUL RESALES THE RESALE SOLUTION TO OWNERS AND DEVELOPERS... Celebrating 23 years of successful resales, Travel & Leisure Group, established in 1992, are the longest running Timeshare Estate Agent in Europe, assisting clients from all over the world in buying and selling Timeshare properties, with monies safe in solicitors hands. A family owned company with a first class reputation within the industry. Travel & Leisure Group are trusted by both consumers and developers alike, with over 20 experienced staff covering major European languages. So if you are looking to sell, add to your ownership or rent we are here to help. • • • •

In house conveyancing - unrivalled knowledge of timeshare transfers, we also handle transfers for people buying or selling privately Experienced staff speaking major European languages Websites in nine languages - over two million visitors per month Renowned for a high level of customer care and our friendly relationship with resorts

Head Office

SPEAK TO ONE OF OUR SALES ADVISORS NOW... OR COME TO OUR HEAD OFFICE IN SUDBURY, SUFFOLK

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0800 988 7157 or +44(0)1787 881111


FEATURE: AFFILIATE FOCUS

AFFILIATE FOCUS TAKING THE PAIN OUT OF COLLECTIONS Sharetime speaks with managing director Roy Caligari, from TATOC Affiliate Resort Recoveries, to find out how their collection service can assist resorts. What service do you offer timeshare resorts? Resort Recoveries provides a third-party management fee and finance collection service for timeshare resorts. This is a major activity for resorts as the implications of late or non-payments can be huge. Financial constraints may be placed on the development and maintenance of the resort and may even lead to additional increases in annual fees to the detriment of owners who pay promptly, in order that high quality standards at the resort can be continued. What is the history of Resort Recoveries?

In 2007, we were approached by a large resort from the Canary Islands and asked to assist with the collection of outstanding maintenance fees. This was our first involvement within the timeshare industry and we learnt first hand about the complex relationship between owners and resorts, which provided us with knowledge and understanding of the industry. We were able to demonstrate to other operators/developers our abilities to assist in improving their working capital position. Instructions followed from other resorts in Gran Canaria as well as Malaga, Tenerife, Cyprus and even as far afield as Thailand.

My company CBC International launched Resort Recoveries in 2011 after an increase in the number of instructions we were receiving for assistance in the collection of outstanding management fees.

What sets you apart from other collection services?

The Resort Recoveries brand was developed to allow us to work closer with resorts, management companies and developers to ensure payments are made on time.

Key to our success is our recognition that the client values the owner and wants to enjoy a long-standing relationship. So tact and diplomacy are important skills. Empathy, understanding and the wish to find a resolution suitable for all parties are crucial to their operation. The Resort Recoveries team works

When did you first get involved in timeshare?

We have worked within the timeshare sector for several years, handling the collection of annual maintenance fees and finance charges.

FACTS Managing director Roy Caligari is a member of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management and an accredited mediator. CBC International and Resort Recoveries are: • Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority; • Registered under the Data Protection Act; • Members of the Credit Services Association; and • Holders of the Quality Assurance Accreditation ISO 9001:2008 closely with resorts, management companies and developers to ensure payments are made on time so that quality standards at the resort can be maintained. What can you offer resorts today? We have established ourselves firmly in the marketplace, not only helping resorts to receive prompt payment of management fees, but also offering suggestions as to how to deal with unhappy owners even if they are in arrears with their fees. We have learnt how to advise owners who wish to sell their timeshare how to go about it properly and avoid the many ‘scam’ situations we so often hear about. Anything untoward we report to TATOC. We have produced our own code of practice for handling difficult situations when owners in arrears are in a position to pay financially but have other reasons to withhold settlement. Sharetime issue 23 | 25


26 | Sharetime issue 23


EXCHANGE NEWS

DAE opens up Northern Territory

D

ial An Exchange (DAE) is opening up the gateway to Australia’s Northern Territory with two daeOptions properties now part of the company’s Australian inventory.

Quarter, joins existing daeOptions resort, Mantra on the Esplanade.

daeOptions resorts are non-timeshare properties located in high-demand destinations including capital cities and emerging markets, and are available to DAE Members for exchange or rental.

“Incredible natural attractions, stunning landscape, plus a unique history and culture make the Northern Territory one of the most sought after destinations around Australia and the world,” said Gary Fog, regional manager DAE – Australia & New Zealand.

The area’s newest resort, Zen

Both are located in Darwin, perfectly positioned for exploration of the Northern Territory tourism landscape.

Making HOLIDAY CHOICE easy

P

lanning a holiday can be stressful so RCI is trying to make members’ lives a little easier by providing a range of ways to plan and book their next holiday. RCI has enhanced the search filters and planning tools on its website, RCI.com, to make sure members can find the holiday they want as quickly as possible, as well as being inspired to try an exciting new destination by the site’s Holiday Ideas pages. The exchange company has also introduced another way its members can get additional support with the launch of

New resort choices for RCI members

R

CI provides its members with the widest holiday choices, having almost 4,500 resorts in 100 countries affiliated to its holiday exchange programme. Among resorts which joined in 2015 are:

Country Club Ibipozo

County Club Ibipozo in Jaen, Andalucia, Spain, provides a countryside retreat just a five-minute drive from the small town of Pozo Alcon. The complex features two-bedroom apartments in a traditional Spanish setting, with lush gardens of fruit and olive trees. The Aklandia Resort in Bodrum, Turkey, offers modern two- and three-bedroom apartments with full kitchen facilities. Guests can relax poolside, use the tennis court and gym or, unwind in the new spa. The coastline is also just a short walk away.

the RCI Chat service, which connects members online to an RCI Guide, who will give them the assistance they request. If you have been thinking about a two-centre stay or perhaps some holiday extras, but dread the planning, RCI Travel* can assist in booking things such as airport hotels, parking, cruises and everything in between.

*RCI Travel is owned and operated by ICE Europe, trading as Our Holiday Centre, and uses the RCI Travel brand under licence from RCI Europe.

The Grand Palladium Bavaro Resort & Spa in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, has the full range of entertainment and activities – with live shows, theatre, spa, casino and sports. It is a mandatory all-inclusive resort.

Aklandia Bodrum night view Sharetime issue 23 | 27


FEATURE

PartnerinG with C.A.R.E. in 2016 As C.A.R.E. celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, president Linda Mayhugh looks back to when it all began – and urges resorts in Europe to consider supporting the organisation. The Co-operative Association of Resort Exchangers, known widely as C.A.R.E., was established in 1985 and is the vacation industry’s premier trade group. Thirty years ago, two reservation agents at different resorts were talking about unhappy owners who were unable to exchange their weeks. The agents realised they each had what the other owner wanted and agreed to an even exchange of inventory. The result was two happy owners and thirty years of C.A.R.E. member companies contributing to positive vacation fulfilment throughout the industry. Over the years this business-tobusiness platform has changed and, while some C.A.R.E. member companies still do inventory exchanges, many have converted to utilising their membership to move inventory on a wholesale basis or both. When asked who should join C.A.R.E., my reply is always: “Those companies who want better yield management from their inventory or those companies that have a need to purchase or acquire weekly or bulk inventory for fulfilment.” Today, C.A.R.E.’s membership comprises resort developers, 28 | Sharetime issue 23

management and exchange companies, homeowner associations, travel clubs and wholesalers who work together to provide opportunities for vacation fulfilment, exchanges and revenue enhancement. All C.A.R.E. members comply with a strict Code of Standards and Ethics and benefit from outstanding professional and personal development opportunities at the association’s semi-annual conferences.

TATOC and C.A.R.E. have shared a reciprocal membership agreement for years and are looking for ways to increase synergy between the two organisations. We’ve made progress over the last few years, but both TATOC executive chairman Harry Taylor and I feel we can do more - not only for the betterment of our specific organisations, but for the industry as a whole. As the newly elected president of C.A.R.E., it is my goal to work not only with TATOC, but all timeshare industry associations to further our reach in this global industry that spans the world. This type of collective synergy

will bring more value to members of TATOC as well as C.A.R.E. (and the industry as a whole), so whether you are an individual timeshare owner or a resort member of TATOC – our efforts could benefit any one of you personally and/or professionally. I encourage all TATOC resort members to take a look at the benefits of C.A.R.E and contact us if membership is of interest. We already have members in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia. I’ll be sharing information on TATOC with all of our members as well. The more information we share on more platforms, the greater awareness and probability of upstanding and ethical business practices. Times are changing and we must change with the times. As C.A.R.E.’s president, I’m proud to work with Harry Taylor and TATOC and look forward to sharing ideas and business opportunities for many years to come.

Please feel free to contact me directly should you seek any additional information regarding membership. Tel: +1 863-412-4904 Email: lmayhugh@care-online.org Skype: linda.mayhugh84


TIMESHARE NEWS

TESTIMONIALS UNDER FIRE

UPDATE

KwikChex - acting on behalf of the Timeshare Task Force and the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) - is preparing a report that will include identifying cold callers who plague the timeshare sector. The intention is to examine potential breaches of the Data Protection Act and also criminal activities involving data theft. The ICO has the power to fine businesses up to £500,000, and bring criminal prosecutions against businesses and individuals where appropriate.

Update on Timeshare Solutions Ltd.

held the testimonials because they were provided in 2014.

KwikChex challenged two testimonials on the Timeshare Solutions website, questioning whether they were genuine as they also appeared on a website for a different claims company (although under different customer names).

The ASA acknowledged the company still held contact details, but as its code requires advertisers to hold documentary evidence that testimonials are genuine, it concluded their use was misleading.

Websites closed A total of 56 websites have been closed following actions which include complaints to authorities and publication on the Timeshare Business Check website.

Although Timeshare Solutions initially said the similarities were because the companies operated in the same timeshare relinquishment industry, they later stated they were not sure if they still

Charity asks resorts to support troops A charity - Give Us Time - is appealing to owners and managers of timeshare resorts to donate accommodation to British military personnel and their families.

S

ince 2001, more than 458 British forces personnel have lost their lives in Afghanistan, more than 2,000 have experienced physical or psychological damage, and families across the country have seen their lives profoundly changed.

Sergeant Simon Hannaford has enjoyed a holiday through the charity

Recognising the impact an operational tour can have, Give Us Time – launched by MP Dr. Liam Fox - takes one-week holidays donated by hosts and matches them with British soldiers in need of rest, rehabilitation and reconnection with their families.

As a result, the testimonials must not appear again and the company was warned to ensure it held evidence to demonstrate that testimonials are genuine and relate to its service.

In 2015, CLC World and Centre Parcs donated 40 and 25 holidays respectively to military personnel. The charity is hoping to increase its number of partners in the hospitality sector this year. Karen Hay, chief executive of Give Us Time, said: “A simple holiday in a neutral environment, away from the responsibilities of day-today life, can have a transformative effect. The hosts that we currently work with can clearly see that they are making a real contribution to military personnel and their families, and it ties in with their corporate social responsibility.”

To find out more, please visit giveustime.org.uk/welcome-timedonor or facebook.com/GiveUsTime Sharetime issue 23 | 29


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Come experience why so many come year after year to re-discover Austria.

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Phone: +43 65 84 / 74 91 - 0 Web: AmericanResortsIntl.com/mariaalm Email: mariaalm@alpenland.at

Phone: +43 64 12 / 70 21 - 0 Web: AmericanResortsIntl.com/stjohann Email: st.johann@alpenland.at

Hochkönigstraße 31 5761 Maria Alm am Steinernen Meer

30 | Sharetime issue 23

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Terms and Conditions Valid for new bookings only, Cannot be combined with any other offer, Subject to availability. We reserve the right to extend or withdraw this offer without notice. *Taxes & Fees are additional **Winter Stay consists of reservations scheduled between 1/7/2016 and 4/3/2016. Call for additional details


ASK AUNTY BETTY

It’s true! Not a rumour. Aunty Betty is back. H

ave you missed me? Don’t all shout at once.

There’s been a lot going on and much to tell since my last column where my friend Beryl was moaning about her old man becoming resort committee chairman - remember?

was no service history and the tyres were bald. And yet many resorts like ours have the same documentation and structure they had at the beginning. Yes, some clauses may have been changed here and there, but fundamentally they were the same!

Our conversation got me thinking and, at my resort’s AGM, I put my name up for election to the committee and, to my amazement, I got voted in.

TATOC offers a resort health check, but I wonder how many committees have considered it and asked how they can make changes to their structure?

Admittedly, there was not much competition and, as you can only serve for a year at a time, I thought it wasn’t too much of a commitment.

The most worrying part for me was the realisation that, as a committee member, if I signed anything on behalf of the members, committee or ‘club’ I would be personally liable!

So the real reason I have been so quiet is because it has taken far more work than I ever thought it would. The first thing I had to do was read the constitution. Well, if you ever have problems sleeping I can recommend it as bedtime reading. I realised that the constitution and, in fact, all the documents we were still using were old – dating back to the 1980s. Some were nearly 30 years old! Now you wouldn’t buy a car that was over 20 years old where the oil hadn’t been changed, there

It’s OK saying we can get insurance to protect ourselves, but in this aggressive world we could still end up in court or writing legal letters at a drop of a hat. Just imagine Bert’s face if someone tried to sue me because of something I had signed. We don’t have a developer any more and are responsible for everything - so I suggested we had an overhaul of our structure. We sought advice from professionals, asked the trustees and our management company and contacted TATOC.

We soon learnt there are simple things that we can do to protect the club. Voting is important; how long committee members can serve and how this is managed. We looked at the contracts between the club and the committee - and also with the trustee when the developer or founder members no longer exist. The more we dug, the murkier it got and we realised everything needed a spring clean. So a word to the wise (and not so wise): have a look at what your club is based on and if, and when, your documentation has been changed. Don’t try to do it yourselves; there is a lot of advice you can get for free before you have to spend a penny. Once these things are written in proper English, without the “herein to afters” and so on, you might understand exactly what you are part of and that can’t be bad, can it? Till the next time,

Sharetime issue 23 | 31


AFFILIATE NEWS

NEW management FIRM offers full consultancy service

L

eisure Management Plus (LMP) is now geared up to manage timeshare resorts and provide a range of consulting and quality assurance services. Managing director Stuart Humphreys explained: “We are now set up to perform management services anywhere in Europe – indeed anywhere worldwide.” LMP is now part of RCI’s Affiliate Access programme and is able to offer resorts KEEZAPP technology that allows guests to

pre-register their arrival. Guests arrive at the resort, the application shows if their unit is ready and then, using their smart phone, KEEZAP opens the door. Says Humphreys: “Most of the larger hotels groups use something similar, so this is an opportunity for single resorts to keep up with this technology.”

More information is available at: http://www.leisuremanagementplus. com/#!technology/c1d4g

The gift of priceless memories

D

iamond Resorts’ team members embrace the company’s core belief in giving back to the communities in which they work and to make a difference in their local area. At Los Amigos Beach Club and Sahara Sunset resorts in Malaga, Spain, team members extended their hospitality to 16 sevento-15-year-old children, from ‘Cuidad de los Niños’, a local orphanage. The children were invited to enjoy a Diamond Resorts day of fun, which for many of them, was their first-ever holiday.

Manuel Sánchez, local authority adviser; Andrés Ruiz, local councillor; Juan Carlos Maldonado, Major of Mijas and Salvador Díaz, CLC World’s director of construction and development.

CLC World given go-ahead for major Costa del Sol project

P

lans to build 250 apartments at CLC World’s prestige California Beach Resort in southern Spain have been given the green light by the local authority. Once completed, the company expects the annual number of holidaymakers to CLC Club La Costa World to rise from 90,000 to 120,000, bringing additional

benefits to the local economy. Work on phase one of the luxury €70million project is planned to start in 2016 and, as construction work gets under way, jobs for between 300 and 500 people would be created. Upon completion, CLC World’s workforce servicing its guests is

Team members ensured the experience would be a memorable one. The programme included pool games, recreational activities and lunch at the on-site restaurants.

expected to increase from the current 1,300 to 1,600. The new apartments will be built on a 25,000m2 area, with 3,000m2 dedicated to commercial outlets. Another 15,000m2, opposite the sea, will be developed as a green zone featuring Mediterranean gardens, lakes and waterfalls. The plans also include an improved access from the resort to the main coastal highway.

Sharetime Magazine 23 Winter 2015  

Sharetime magazine for winter 2015 is packed full of information, stories and news for timeshare owners and the timeshare resort committees...

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