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More Evidence That Timeshare Sales Pitches Don’t Work

More Evidence That Timeshare Sales Pitches Don’t Work

Two recent conferences send a strong message: that travel and tourism consumers are fed up with traditional advertising and timeshare sales pitches, leaning more toward online information-gathering.

This past December, two conferences were held in San Francisco, the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) conference and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) conference.

Two conferences in San Francisco. At first glance, this doesn’t seem like spectacular news. What’s the big deal here?

At these conferences, marketing research professionals dealing specifically with the travel, tourism and hospitality industries basically announced that conventional marketing tactics don’t work anymore.

Sounds familiar, right? I’ve blogged about this subject before. Only now, it seems like some portions of the industry are slowly catching up to where SellMyTimeshareNOW was two years ago.

What do I mean by conventional marketing tactics? Television commercials, pushy salespeople, junk mail, email spamming… you get the idea. People are sick of invasive marketing, and are finding alternative ways of getting information about products or services. Most of the time, this happens online.

People aren’t stupid. Whether we’re talking blogs, social networking sites, product review sites, or syndicated feeds, the modern consumer is absorbing as much information as possible from as many different sources as he or she can find.

What does this mean to timeshare buyers, sellers, and renters? 

Get with a company that’s ahead of the times, not behind them. Blogs, syndication, consumer-generated content, and search marketing have all been proven to be more successful ways to generate timeshare sales –  compared to email spam, telemarketing, slick TV ads and mountains of junk mail.

I sincerely believe that the opportunities afforded by these new marketing techniques come at an ideal time in the history of timeshare, when the industry is slowly but surely ridding itself of bad apples. By assigning long-term customer satisfaction a greater priority than making a fast buck, a wide range of remarkable men and women are making sweeping changes in our field.

Let’s keep up the good work!

Death of Sheikh Maktoum, Emir of Dubai

Death of Sheikh Maktoum, Emir of Dubai

Rapid tourism growth and timeshare development expected to continue and possibly escalate, despite passing of innovative leader.

On January 4, 2006, Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al-Maktoum, died of natural causes at the age of 62. Sheikh Maktoum was the Vice President and Prime Minster of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Emir of Dubai. The Crown Prince of Dubai, who is also the Defense Minister of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, immediately succeeded his older brother as the new Emir.

While Sheikh Maktoum’s passing means a short term shutdown of most businesses in Dubai, including the stock exchanges in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and all governmental offices, it may in the long run mark the start of some of the most dramatic business expansion the tourism and hospitality industries have ever seen.

Sheikh Maktoum was a forward thinking man, but his younger brother and successor Sheikh Mohammed, is a true business visionary. Sheikh Mohammed is already renowned as the “intellectual architect of Dubai’s building boom,” and many believe that as he steps into his new role, the best is yet to come.

In case you do not already know, Dubai is a roughly 550 square mile (3,885 km) man-made oasis/playground, and is one of the seven emirates that comprise the federation of the United Arab Emirates. It is bordered by the warm waters of the Persian Gulf to the north, Saudi Arabia to the south and west, and Oman to the east.

Dubai has grown in recent years into an international hub for business, tourism, and recreation. This financial escalation is primarily the result of Sheikh Mohammed’s recognition that new revenue sources would eventually be needed to replace Dubai’s dwindling oil reserves. (The capital, Abu Dhabi, holds most of the oil reserves for the UAE.)

Dubai already boasts the world’s largest man-made offshore islands (shaped like palm trees no less), 500+ hotels (including one of the world’s only 7-star properties), unsurpassed shopping (24 karat gold can be purchased for a third of its going price in Great Britain), indoor snow ski slopes, beautiful beaches, and theme park recreation that rivals the famous Mouse. It is the most culturally tolerant of the Middle Eastern countries and is only a short hop for millions of visitors from the Middle East, India, Asia, and Europe.

This remarkable tourist mecca is no longer one man’s opulent dream. 100,000 visitors from Great Britain will holiday there in the next three months alone. Conservative projections plan for 15 million annual visitors by the year 2008.

And what are they building in Dubai to accommodate all their guests?

Why, timeshares, of course. Dubai is highly security oriented, with a family-friendly atmosphere—an ideal match for the typical timeshare vacationer.

I’ve mentioned “the Orlando of the East” previously in this blog, but don’t just take my word for it. David Clifton, Interval International’s Marketing Director for Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa said (during the September 2005 Timeshare & Resort Investment Conference held in Dubai), “Dubai and the Middle East have set a clear objective to become the next tourism destination of choice. …The key factors are all there—a cosmopolitan atmosphere, creativity, a strategic location at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, as well as great weather and shopping. …Timeshare is a major piece of the puzzle that will help drive intra-regional as well as international visitors to Dubai and Arabia.”

Timeshare Isn’t Just For Tropical Destinations…

Timeshare Isn’t Just For Tropical Destinations…

Does it feel like everyone is planning a ski vacation, except you?

In the US, 6.8 million people go downhill skiing one or more times each year, (according to the 2006 Statistical Abstract of the US Census Bureau). This only leaves you and about 292 million Americans who won’t be making it to the slopes. 

But since skiing looks like such fun, good exercise, and a fantastic way to enjoy the wintry outdoors, why do you think you and those other 291,999,999 folks haven’t tried it yet?

Most people, when surveyed, site lack of time as their number one reason for never learning to ski, with lack of money as a close second. And of course, adversity to broken bones, desire not to make a fool of one’s self, and lack of opportunity all make the top of the list. Nevertheless, if you have not tried skiing—or haven’t been in years—aren’t you curious about what you are missing?

Those who love skiing sometimes speak about the feeling of being one with an Alpine mountain. They savor the smell of the snow and the taste of the crisp air as they glide silently over pristine powder in the Canadian Rockies. In the moment, they are connected to every skier who shares their devotion to the experience, and at the same time, they are entirely alone in their personal triumph. For a few short moments, Vail, Aspen, Snowmass, or Telluride takes them beyond the walking-running-jumping limitations of legs and gives them the ability to glide, slide, and sometimes even fly.

Even if you aren’t nearly this poetic, you’ve got to admit that the chance to get out in the fresh air, take on a sport like a kid again, and recharge your brain doing something totally different than your normal grind… sounds pretty enticing, doesn’t it? Add the backdrop of a vivid blue New Mexico sky or perfect white New England snow, and a luxurious timeshare ski resort ANYWHERE and you really have to question why you aren’t planning your own ski holiday right now.

The smart economics of timeshare ownership solve those issues of not enough time and not enough money. Ski vacations are so easy when you take advantage of timeshare accommodations.

Timeshare ski resorts offer a great place to stay, conveniently close to the slopes. Many resorts include discounts on lift tickets, on-property instruction, plus saunas, spas, and sometimes masseurs for after-ski relaxation.

Even if you find yourself intimidated by the thought of slippery slopes, don’t abandon the idea of a great ski holiday. Can you walk and chew gum at the same time?

Then consider cross-country skiing. It won’t take you long to master the rhythm of the skis, and once you do, there will be no holding you back.

Great timeshare vacations aren’t just a summertime thing!

Local Government Restricts Belize Timeshare Operators

Local Government Restricts Belize Timeshare Operators

Your relaxing vacation in Belize just got even better!

Effective immediately: timeshare operators, off-property consultants, and other timeshare-hustler types in and around Ambergris Caye, Belize, will have to back off. It seems the Belize Tourism Board was getting too many complaints from tourists (and locals) trying to enjoy a peaceful day at the beach or a leisurely stroll along the city streets and shops.

Many Belize timeshare operators were simply being too pushy. On December 8, 2005, timeshare representatives, the Belize Registrar of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation, area police officers, and members of the San Pedro Town Council met together to discuss the problem. As a result, a resolution was enacted requiring, “all timeshare operators cease and desist from soliciting timeshare sales in public areas.”

A second resolution requires that timeshare operators apply through the San Pedro Town Council for a trade license for their timeshare booths and kiosks. They will now be required to adhere to the guidelines and procedures stipulated by their trade license or face stiff penalties or a ban on soliciting.

Representatives from the following Belize timeshare properties participated in the decision: Captain Morgan’s Vacation Club, the Seven Seas Resort, The Villas at Banyan Bay, Aquamarina Suites, Costa Maya Reef Resort, and the Belize Yacht Club (Island Club Resorts).

It’s very encouraging to see more countries around the world getting tough on pushy timeshare sales tactics, and it is particularly gratifying to see Belize getting into the act. Obviously the Mayor and the six members of the San Pedro Town Council are serious about protecting the serenity of their community – and rightfully so, considering that Belize is a tranquil natural paradise in its own right. Just off the coastline of Belize lies the second largest barrier reef in the world—and the three incredible Belize atolls. Centuries of coral, in colors from red to green to vivid yellow, have helped form the atolls, and nowhere does the Great Belize Barrier Reef run as closely to the shoreline as it does in Ambergris Caye.