Changes at Marriott Vacation Club Reflect Shifting Paradigm
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
In a changing marketplace, it is not surprising that people are also changing the way they buy timeshare or sell timeshare they no longer wish to own. Late last month, Marriott Vacation Club International announced staffing changes at their St. Kitts Beach Club Resort, where some twenty-nine employees will be let go, effective January 1, 2010.
The economy clearly plays a part in this decision, but so does a shifting paradigm in the timeshare industry. As Ed Kinney, Marriott Vice President of Corporate Affairs told a reporter for the online publication, SKNVibes “The reason for closing the gallery is in part due to the economic downturn, but it is also in part because we can sell our product through other effective channels. We found greater efficiencies in certain channels, such as selling to current owners and their referrals and using our telesales group that is also web-based, providing greater global exposure.”
Consumers have grown extremely comfortable with online resources for booking travel. Of course it follows that the same would be true of the way they buy timeshare or sell timeshare. Why sit through a timeshare sales presentation when you can go online and search at your leisure for the timeshare you want?
When you buy timeshare online, you have time to think through your decision-making process in an unpressured way. You can choose to buy timeshare from the developer, paying the full price or sometimes a negotiated discount price. For consumers who want to realize a substantial saving, timeshare resales offer an even better option, affording timeshare buyers discounts as great as fifty percent and sometimes more off the original price of the timeshare.
Remembering the Human Element When Discussing Timeshare Sales
Most importantly, discussing these types of changes in consumer patterns and buying models is not intended to make light of the fact that seven management people and 22 people in non management positions with Marriott Vacation Club International’s St. Kitts Beach Club Resort have lost their jobs. For them and their families, discussions of shifting paradigms offer no consolation. And Marriott timeshare is doing all that they can; as Ed Kinney explained to SKNVibes, these are “valued associates” and there are options for the terminated associates to, “…travel to another location or to apply for a position in the adjacent Marriott resort”.
“We have jobs posted throughout our system,” says Kinney, “and we certainly counsel the associates to make them aware of those different opportunities.”