Last week, Marriott Vacation Club timeshare announced its new timeshare points program called, Marriott Vacation Club Destinations.
Lee Cunningham, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Marriott Vacation Club, North America, explains, “… we have successfully evolved our product offering based on Owner feedback, and the Marriott Vacation Club Destinations program reflects a tradition of Owner involvement and was designed specifically for both current and future Owners.”
The news of this new program, long rumored to be coming, has brought on a great deal of discussion, speculation, and questioning by the timeshare community, specifically Marriott timeshare owners and all those who are considering buying Marriott timeshare and timeshare resales.
In profiling the new Marriott program. Sara Clarke, writer for the Orlando Sentinel, wrote:
When the time-share business was young, buyers usually purchased a specific week in the same unit for each succeeding year. “When we started out, it was a very static product, and today it’s almost a vacation currency,” Nusbaum (Howard Nusbaum, ARDA President and CEO) said.
The sour economy has accelerated the points trend, because such programs allow time-share companies to sell in less-than-one-week increments, which lowers the buy-in price for their most basic packages and eases the cost of entry for cash-strapped vacationers.
The Timeshare Authority blog promised you information as we confirm more about the program. Here is some general information and some updates:
- Marriott Vacation Club Destinations is designed to offer expanded opportunity and flexibility to new Marriott timeshare owners.
- Current Marriott timeshare owners will have the option to choose to participate in the program or to stay in their current plan, without losing ownership privileges.
- Each year, Marriott Vacation Club Destinations members will receive timeshare points that they can use, bank, borrow against, or add to by purchasing more.
- Marriott Vacation Club Destinations focuses on four Vacation Collections: the Marriott Vacation Club Collection; Marriott Collection; Explorer Collection; and the World Traveler Collection.
- Membership in the Marriott Vacation Club Destinations entitles you to access the services of a personal Vacation Ownership Advisor. Your personal Advisor can assist in travel arrangements within the four Collections.
- Those who enroll now receive bonus points at the time of enrollment.
- Marriott Vacation Club Destinations members have the option to check in on any day of the week or season of the year.
- The annual membership fee in Marriott Vacation Club Destinations is $165 (in most cases) and provides members the flexibility to change reservations, change their length of stay, and to select the accommodation size that best fits their needs.
As with any timeshare or vacation club, one size never fits all. Marriott Vacation Club Destinations will be more valued by some Marriott timeshare owners than by others, and at the moment, has some Marriott timeshare owners questioning whether the program will help or hurt them. As it stands now, Marriott timeshare owners who bought their timeshare as a Marriott timeshare resale are eligible to be part of Marriott Vacation Club Destinations, however, timeshare resale buyers going forward will not be. Although Marriott Vacation Club Destinations membership is not transferable when you sell timeshare, this is an annual membership program in which you can opt out of membership at any time.
Because so many timeshare owners are abuzz about this topic, you can probably expect both more clarification coming from Marriott Vacation Club and perhaps even some adjustments to guidelines and policies over the upcoming months. The Timeshare Authority blog will do its best to keep you up-to-date.
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