TIMESHARE CELEBRATES ITS SUCCESS

With success comes the luxury of introspection. That's the environment the timeshare industry finds itself in today, as sales, profits, innovation and customer satisfaction continue to rise.

At last month's American Resort Development Association convention in Orlando, President & CEO Howard Nusbaum took the opportunity to share with the 4,000 or so attendees some lessons the timeshare industry has learned — and continues to refine.

“The industry is in its sweet spot,” said Nusbaum, “but we need to be more consumer-centric. Even after all of our efforts, the public loves our product, but they still don't like the process.”

Noting that the vacation ownership divisions of major hotel brand companies always have the highest levels of customer satisfaction, Nusbaum said the industry must continue to improve its image-building and further refine the marketing processes. One lesson he believes timeshare executives are finally learning is that government oversight is not necessarily a bad thing. “We chafe about it, but in reality the regulatory framework now in place saved this industry and continues to protect us,” he said at the group's opening general session.

Another phenomenon, said Nusbaum, is that “the more things change, the more they stay the same. The industry started selling fixed weeks at specific properties. Then came points and clubs, but now one of the hottest trends is fractionals, which is fixed weeks at fixed properties.”

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