Wesleu KogelmanCan timeshare be sold on-line? It’s already happening says Wesley Kogelman, CEO of timeshare re-sale and rental company BuyaTimeshare.com.

Technology is a concept that can mean different things to different people. Some of us thought using a fax machine was a major technological achievement. The technology of today can make your head spin.

Stunning advancements in technology have shown some in the timeshare industry trying to figure out how to leverage today’s tech tools and sell timeshare products and programmes to a new, younger audience.

What amazes me is that there is still debate within the industry as to whether the product can even be sold through websites and using devices such as mobile phones and tablets.

People who have built their careers selling the product still speak at conferences saying that timeshare is not sought out by consumers but must be sold, indirectly challenging the concept of on-line timeshare sales.

I’m here to say that timeshare transactions are taking place on-line and I have the statistics to prove it.

Talking timeshare on-line

Prospective buyers are using the internet every day to search for information about the timeshare product.

According to Google, people enter about 129,000 searches per month into their search engines using three terms with buyer intent - 74,000 searches for ‘timeshares for sale’, 33,000 searches for ‘timeshare re-sales’ and 22,000 searches for ‘buy timeshare.

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RDONikkie De Waal, director of operations and finance for the Resort Development Organisation (the association of resort owners) outlines highlights of the recent RDO5 conference held in London.

This year’s conference of the Resort Developers Organisation (RDO) saw representatives from the timeshare and hospitality industry gather at the Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel in London, for two days of presentations and panel discussions.

Brand consultant BJ Cunningham, visiting professor at Brighton University, kick-started the conference with a highly entertaining and engaging session about ‘the power of telling the truth’. A brand is not a logo, he said. It is a promise and the key is to be who you really are.

This year’s moderator Geoff Grout, a business consultant specialising in leadership, team building and peak performance, led a session on success and told delegates that success was a decision, reached by setting goals, planning and commitment.

Keys to success were providing direction, teamwork, communication and the ability to change: the difficulty was not developing new ideas but escaping old ones.

Delegates were told that good, consistent and genuine customer service would result in guest satisfaction and drive positive on-line reviews.

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ARDA new generation of timeshare ownersNew U.S. timeshare owners are younger, have higher incomes than current owners and represent a more culturally diverse cross-section of households.

According to the newly released Shared Vacation Ownership Study from the ARDA International Foundation (AIF), the timeshare industry has returned to growth mode. In part this is due to the influx of a new type of owner — one that will help to continue the trajectory of the industry.

AIF says these new owners are younger, have higher incomes than current owners and represent a more culturally diverse cross-section of U.S. households.

“We’re excited not only about the fact that sales are up in our industry but also about why they are up,” said Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of ARDA.

“While existing owners continue to enjoy the lifestyle and purchase more timeshare, it’s the new owners who are responsible for the majority of qualified new sales.”

The study reports that the profile of new owners has changed. They are nearly ten years younger than typical timeshare owners. Thirty-nine per cent are ‘Gen Xers’ and thirty per cent are millennials, with the median age of thirty-nine.

Forty-two per cent are African American or Hispanic. They are also highly educated, with seventy-two per cent being college graduates and twenty-three per cent of these having graduate degrees.

Their median household income is $94,800 and they have plenty of disposable income — forty-seven per cent of new owners made just a single payment to cover their purchase and fifty-seven per cent spent $10,000 or more on their timeshare.

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Disabled travel with timeshare resortsThe team at Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket has examined the importance of providing accommodation and services for disabled guests visiting resorts. Their top selection in the U.K, Tenerife and Spain is outlined here.

For many of us, choosing our next holiday is an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. However, families who have to consider a loved one’s disabilities before travelling, can find the process far from straightforward.

Holiday ownership should be a great option for those looking for peace of mind that their selected accommodation will be well suited to their needs.  But this is not always the case.

Many resorts have not adapted their accommodation and facilities to meet certain requirements. They simply do not provide services and facilities for people with disabilities.

Diamond Resorts International is committed to providing top class holiday experiences for members, owners and guests and makes a conscious effort to provide disabled guests with adapted accommodation and facilities.

An Auxiliary Accessories Catalogue is now available, offering important items for different impairments, including mobility, hearing and visual needs.

Common areas within the resort are regularly up-graded with ramps, non-slippery floors and special parking facilities available in front of the adapted accommodation and by reception.

All Diamond team members have also carried out accessibility training and ambassadors have been appointed to personally take care of guests’ requests.

Below are four Gold Crown resorts from Diamond’s portfolio. All boast swimming pool hoists on internal or external pools. There is dedicated accommodation with adapted bathrooms and a range of facilities inside the accommodation to make holidays as seamless and relaxing as possible.

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