Paul Mattimoe, CEO of Timeshare Perspective, in an Exclusive Interview, PART III
Saturday, June 21, 2008
This is the final post in a three-part blog series with the President & CEO of Perspective International Ltd & Timeshare Staff Ltd, Paul Mattimoe.
Over the past two days, Paul has shared with us the history and development of Timeshare Perspective magazine, and the development of the exciting new, Owners Perspective scheduled to launch early next month. In today’s The Timeshare Authority blog, Paul Mattimoe reflects on the state of the timeshare industry and what he sees in his crystal ball for the future.
Q: How do you see timeshare developers, timeshare resellers, and timeshare advertising and marketing companies coexisting? Are they competitors, or do you see them working to support each other and serving different aspects of the timeshare market?
A: Everyone competes, but the industry has changed a great deal in the past ten years and competition has gotten healthier. Although there are varying versions and opinions about relationships between developers and resale companies, there are more and more that are forging partnerships and it is inevitable as the industry continues to regain its credibility that the future consumer will dictate that they happily co-exist, just like the real estate or automobile industries. Thanks to the internet it is a very transparent world – consumers know that there are varying options available to them, and if they don’t, the first search engine they use will tell them that. To answer your question in relation to our publication, we will provide an independent and level playing field allowing them to coexist and let the readers decide what works best for them.
Q: How is (and will) the soft economy in the US; the escalating price of oil; and the uncertainty brought about by the pending Presidential election in America, impact the timeshare industry in the US and globally, from your perspective?
A: The timeshare industry is historically resilient against economic issues; higher occupancy rates compared with hotels have always carried existing resorts through any hard times. New sales may suffer slightly, but again, it’s usually the more affluent that are interested in timeshare who are less affected anyway. Look at the vacation home industry, they are likely to suffer as it is an expensive luxury item, but the fractional market is expected to benefit as where people may not be able to afford the whole villa they want to buy, they may still be able to afford a fraction of it, if they can’t afford that then maybe a timeshare is the right choice for now – everyone needs a vacation at some point.
Q: Is Dubai the current hot market for timeshare growth? If not, who is, and who will follow them as next?
A: Yes, everyone has their eyes focused on Dubai at the moment and Perspective Magazine has been covering the progress so you can read all about it in the past few editions, but since the consumer friendly timeshare law was tentatively approved in principle a couple of months ago it has given the green light to all the companies who were waiting in the wings, and now there seems to be a new proposed resort announced every week. Due to the wealth of the local marketplace within the Middle East, sales will boom, then international sales will begin and the industry will mature in the region. The expected success is also due to the way tourism has been cleverly planned out for Dubai. Further areas of future growth will be Asia, and in particular, China.
Q: Where do you see your company and your publications a year from now?
A: We have expanded greatly in the past twelve months, doubling the number of pages and increasing the circulation and exposure of Perspective Magazine in particular, so with a new magazine, buyers guide and resort guide, I think the next twelve months will be spent building each of these to maturity.
Q: Five years from now?
A: Five years from now we aim to have Perspective Magazine distributed to every active shared ownership resort and sales center in the world and hope to have Owners Perspective magazine offered to new members by the majority of developers and marketers globally.
Q: Any thoughts on how the internet is reshaping the way people buy and sell timeshare, and on what the future will bring, including Web 2.0; social networking; and the changing face of the internet in general?
A: With the growing credibility of the timeshare and fractional marketplace, the internet is being used more and more to promote the products, so there is no reason why in a few years time, purchasing online wouldn’t be a viable option – this would also bring about lower marketing costs thereby reducing the price of purchase (whilst increasing profits naturally) and making the products even more accessible to consumers.
Q: What is the most exciting news on the horizon for timeshares/ fractionals/ all aspects of vacation ownership?
A: All new resorts are now built bigger and better, major brands continue to include timeshare and fractionals in their mixed use developments, and as before the growing acceptance and perception change towards timeshare is leaning the industry towards another boom in the near future.
Q: And the biggest challenges?
A: To continue to educate the press / media and consumers about the difference between bogus holiday clubs that get branded as “timeshare scams” and the actual genuine article that the industry and major hotel brands offer. It is a long road, but many companies are now working together to change this.
The Timeshare Authority wants to thank Paul Mattimoe for his time and his valuable insights. If you missed any part of this 3-part interview, be sure you read The Timeshare Authority posts for June 18 and 19. If you haven’t already done so, follow this link to the Owners Perspective and sign up for your free subscription to this new magazine, that promises to be filled with info, insight, and valuable timesharing tips.
Click here to read Sell My Timeshare NOW‘s most recent press release about Owners Perspective.