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Cendant Corporation to Spin Off Wyndham

Cendant Corporation to Spin Off Wyndham

Hospitality industry giant Cendant will create Wyndham Worldwide, a new business entity

Cendant Corporation is expected to spin off Wyndham Worldwide during the third quarter of 2006, making Wyndham Worldwide the largest hospitability company in the world to offer a range of lodging products and services. The spin off will establish Wyndham Worldwide an independent, publicly traded company, with the following branded products: Wyndham®, Ramada®, Super 8®, Wingate Inn® and Days Inn®; the vacation exchange and rental businesses of RCI®, Novasol® and Landal GreenParks®, and the timeshare businesses, Fairfield® Resorts (FairShare Plus®) and Trendwest® Resorts (WorldMark®)

The company has mentioned no plans for merging the two timeshare giants, Fairfield and TrendWest. As Stephen P. Holmes, Cendant vice chairman explains, “Even as we adopt a new corporate brand to represent the sum of our hospitality businesses, we recognize the tremendous value and equity of each of our brands. Our commitment to our total brand portfolio remains just as strong, and we will continue to grow and enhance the presence of our brands within their respective market segments.”

The Timeshare Directive Gets a Makeover

The Timeshare Directive Gets a Makeover

A strong standard of timeshare control is about to get even tougher.

The European Commission has launched a public consultation regarding its Timeshare Directive, seeking to plug loopholes that have become evident since the Directive’s 1994 release. The original intent of the Timeshare Directive was to create a standardized cooling off or rescission period for timeshare buyers wishing to change their minds. Additionally the Directive sought to reduce pressure sales techniques, while ensuring that timeshare buyers receive adequate information about the properties they purchase. The Directive addresses timeshare contracts that are 36 months in duration or longer.

During the years that the Timeshare Directive has already been in place, timeshare sales practices in Europe have improved greatly. Yet some new timeshare-like products have been developed seeking to take advantage of gaps or loopholes in the Directive’s language. New products are being sold for 35-month memberships along with certain vacation clubs that also fall outside the guidelines established by the original Commission action. The 9-week consultation, which began earlier this month, seeks to plug these gaps, as well as prevent future problems from developing.

The Timeshare Directive is presently applicable to any contract made for timeshare purchase (36 months or longer) under the law of a European Union country or when the property is in the European Economic Area. The European Union countries include: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, all of which grant timeshare buyers a 10-day rescission period. The United Kingdom, (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) has an additional specific ruling that typically gives buyers a full 14 days to change their minds.

Tribewanted: Not Your Average Timeshare Vacation

Tribewanted: Not Your Average Timeshare Vacation

An island in the Fijian archipelago is the setting for a new Survivor-themed timeshare-esque vacation concept.

So, who’s heard about the new Survivor-style timeshare vacation, Tribewanted?  Is this a vacation, or a thinly-veiled attempt to get people to pay to labor on someone else’s island, while being video-taped for posterity?
 
Tribewanted describes these activities on Adventure Island as, of course, the “adventure of a lifetime.”

“It is Tribewanted’s aim to create a sustainable and ecological community on Adventure Island and to encourage tribe members to actively take part in this challenge.”  The community opens September 1st 2006 but is already building online.

Tribewanted’s motives notwithstanding, what they do have is great PR and an interesting website.
 
Joining the Timeshare Tribe is certainly affordable; at $220 up to $660, the timeshare tribe is open to many vacationers. “Tribe Members” can join for one to three years. At the end of the three years, the island, which is actually being leased, will be returned to its owners, who may or may not open it up to the public again.
 
A new slice of the ecotourism pie, Tribewanted’s goal is to have a “positive impact on both the environment and the communities it is working with in Fiji. They are keen to promote responsible tourism and actively engage in developing a sustainable eco-community on Adventure Island.”  Perhaps most interesting is Tribewanted’s ultimate goal, “To promote and raise awareness for sustainable and eco-friendly living and travel as a real option for both tourists and communities around the world; showing that you don’t need to be an eco-warrior to blend with the environment.” Hurrah!
 
If the real chief of the island, Tui Mali, decides so at the end of the three years, everything will be dismantled and removed. Or, the adventurous experiment will be continued. Either way, there are currently about 4000 more tribal places available, and current members hail from all around the world.

…And Speaking of Timesharing for Sports Fans

…And Speaking of Timesharing for Sports Fans

Here’s further proof that timesharing is a solid business concept

Owner’s Pass, LLC, a San Francisco Bay area company, barely one year old, is taking the concept of timesharing to the world of professional sports. The luxury suites and skyboxes in most major arenas are utilized only about 50 percent of the time. The cost to lease them for a year is often so steep that many companies pass on sports suites as an option for entertaining their present and prospective clientele. But as John Arledge, CEO and founder of Owner’s Pass explains, “Timesharing is a proven business model that has been successful for other expensive assets such as vacation real estate, corporate aviation, and luxury yachts. We saw the opportunity to extend that model to sports where companies were losing tens of thousands of dollars to under-utilized suites.”

The concept of Owner’s Pass enables companies to use sports suites as much or as little as their schedules permit. Instead of owning a suite for a full sports season, a company can now select specific events to attend, giving them greater control over both their time and their dollars.

Imagine. Ownership privileges and flexibility, while paying for only the time you actually use…now that’s a great idea!

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