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Visitor Arrivals Data

Latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics

August 2014

  • There were 6.7 million visitor arrivals for year ending August 2014, an increase of 8.2 per cent relative to the previous year.
  • There were 4.4 million visitor arrivals to Australia during the eight months to August 2014, an increase of 8.9 per cent relative to the same period of the previous year.
  • There were 538,800 visitor arrivals during August 2014, an increase of 2.9 per cent relative to the same period of the previous year.Data Bureau of Statistics
Posted in 2014 Enews - 10/14, Homegrown | Leave a comment

Tourism e kit releases new Instagram tutorial and announces trainers

The Tourism e kit has released a new tutorial outlining how to set up an Instagram account and tips on how best to use this social media platform to promote tourism products and experiences. The Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW), the project managers of the Tourism e kit, has also recruited a team of nine Licenced and Accredited Tourism e kit trainers based around Australia to deliver digital marketing training customised for the tourism industry.Kit

Posted in 2014 Enews - 10/14, Business, Industry Tips & Advice | Leave a comment

Wyndham Torquay Welcomes Food and Drink Lovers for a Long Lunch

TORQUAY, VIC - Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific Torquay will proudly host the Long Lunch, the main event of the second annual Drink Art Food Torquay (DAFT) Fiesta on Saturday October 11th.

The DAFT Fiesta long weekend, which runs from the 10th – 12th October, celebrates and promotes local food, producers, artists and venues.

The Long Lunch is set to commence at 12.15am at Wyndham Torquay. As guests enjoy a three-course meal and local beverages, they will be able to soak up the sounds of a local live band and the picturesque views of Zeally Bay Beach, which sits directly opposite the resort.

Attendees will also be given the option to participate in a silent auction and raffle that incorporates a number of exciting prizes from local businesses.

After lunch, guests will be invited to continue the festivities at the resort’s relaxed and stylish alfresco cocktail lounge, Sandbar.

Those who wish to eat, drink and dance the rest of the night away can board the DAFT Beats Bus at 6pm to tour local venues.

Tickets are available for purchase from reception at Wyndham Torquay. For more information about the Long Lunch visit www.wyndhamAP.com or http://daftorquay.com/long-lunch/Wyndham Torquay

Posted in 2014 Enews - 10/14, Wyndham News | Leave a comment

The Map Gap: Is Your Hotel Getting Lost on the Web?

GooglePlease excuse this statement of the obvious:

If guests can’t find your property, they can’t stay with you.

These days, “finding you” starts long before they jump in a cab and affects more than their ability to make it to your front desk.

With Google’s recent updates and the growing importance of local search listings, ubiquitous map presence has become a critical component of hotel internet marketing.

Recent changes to Google’s local search algorithms allow the omnipotent search engine giant to look more closely at location details. Now, Google searches are more accurate when it comes to distance and ranking. And if you want to compete, your map presence must be current and accurate across all major local search directories and mapping tools.

Fortunately, improving your map presence is relatively simple compared to other SEO tips:

Start with Creating a CONSISTENT Map Identity

Wherever you publish your property location, make sure your property name, address, and phone number (NAP) are listed exactly as they are shown on your contact page of your website:

Your map identity should include:

  1. NAP: consistent name, address, phone across all mapping tools.
  2. Up-to-date contact information and operational hours. (Don’t assume operational hours for your hotel are listed as 24 hours. Somebody may be searching for your restaurant hours. This is the time to check.)
  3. Use location and product keywords in your title. (Instead of saying,The Clubhouse, call yourself,The Clubhouse Resort of Tampa.)
  4. Choose a few visually arresting photos that represent your property well.

2 Key Places to Update Your Map Identity

Now that you have a consistent, accurate identity, you only need to update in two main places. Most online maps are controlled by HERE (formerly known as Navteq) or Google My Business.

HERE is a mapping service that feeds information to Yahoo! Maps, Bing, and GPS services, including Garmin, Lowrance, and NDrive.

To change information with HERE, go to their website. Go to Map Creator.

Find your location and right click. Choose Report Map changes. Make your changes and send.

Google My Business is the marriage of Google Places and Google+ dashboard. The combination makes updating your information even easier. It also makes having current information more important. Chances are you already on Google My Business. But now is the time to check your map identity on the site.

While you’re on their page, double check the pictures that represent you property. Change old photos out for newer, better quality pictures.

Automating your mapping and local listings

New services from Neustar and Moz make it easy to avoid falling into the map gap. These affordable services allow you to create and edit your listing in one place, then publish it to hundreds of sources simultaneously.

Now that you know how easy it is to give yourself the online map advantage, check your identity today!

 

Posted in 2014 Enews - 10/14, Around the World | Leave a comment

World Champion Surfers Unite with Corporates for Surf Challenge Charity Event

GOLD COAST  – World champion surfers have joined forces with surfing enthusiasts from some of Australia’s most prominent organisations for the 2014 Brisbane Airport and Wyndham Resorts Corporate Surf Challenge charity event on the Gold Coast.

Seven time world surfing champion, Layne Beachley and fellow Australian surfing legends, Mark ‘Occy’ Occhilupo, Shane Powell and Gary ‘Kong’ Elkerton joined 16 teams of surfers swapping their business suits for board shorts on Friday October 3, raising $30,000 for the FSHD Global Research Foundation.

The FSHD Global Research Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to finding a treatment and cure for Facioscapulohumeral Dystrophy (FSHD), a muscle wasting disease, which is complex and progressive. There is no treatment and no cure.

The Corporate Surf Challenge, held at Duranbah Beach has grown in popularity with more than 80 competitors from 14 Queensland and interstate businesses participating this year, including Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific, Brisbane Airport Corporation, Clayton Utz, National Australia Bank, Ray White and Norton Rose.

The Corporate Surf Challenge kicked off with Occy and Kong being auctioned to the highest bidding teams. Beachley participated with a team from Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific as ambassador for the company.

The winning team was the Ray White Concierge group.

Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific CEO and Managing Director Barry Robinson said, “Once again the Corporate Surf Challenge charity event was a roaring success with surfers of all experience levels coming together with world champions for a very worthy cause

“The Corporate Surf Challenge is fast emerging as one of Australia’s greatest annual corporate charity surf events, and the support shown by Queensland and interstate businesses, and the local community has been phenomenal.”

Primitive Surf founder and CEO Craig Rees, who was the visionary for the event six years ago said, “The response and comments we get from everyone involved each year is amazing, with this event now becoming a highlight on the calendar of many of South East Queensland’s corporates.

“It’s a very unique day with the focus not only on having fun and surfing as a team, but also hanging at the beach with clients and enjoying good food and wine,” he added.

Surf ChallengeA range of prizes were handed out to the winning teams including, five night’s accommodation at Ramada Resort Port Douglas, Custom made surfboards from Primitive Surf, accommodation vouchers, a cricket bat signed by former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh and a mountain bike. Two return flights for two people to Hawaii donated by Hawaiian Airlines and a holiday package from Ignite Travel were auctioned off on the day.

Posted in 2014 Enews - 10/14, Wyndham News | Leave a comment

Wyndham Torquay Reveals New Endota Spa

TORQUAY, VIC - Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific Torquay yesterday unveiled a brand new onsite Endota Day Spa, complementing the resort’s luxurious and relaxing style.

The soothing waters of Zeally Bay Beach serve as the perfect backdrop for the spa, which allows resort guests to relax and further unwind during their stay at Wyndham Torquay.

The spa, which is also open to members of the public, offers a wide array of treatments from relaxation and remedial messages, full body ready-made packages, gift vouchers and even group spa bookings for the perfect girls’ day out. Whether clients are looking for a refreshing treatment or an age-defying facial, the spa specialises in customised facial treatments that start with skin mapping to identify precise skin types and issues, and uses signature brand Dermalogica products to treat the individual’s skin.

A number of lavish beauty salon treatments will also be on offer, including manicure and pedicure options, spray tans, waxing, and eyebrow and eyelash tinting.

Located at the gateway to the Great Ocean Road, Wyndham Torquay is one of Wyndham’s most desirable and relaxing holiday destinations.

For more information about the resort visit www.wyndhamAP.com.Endota Spa

Posted in 2014 Enews - 10/14, Wyndham News | Leave a comment

Making Timeshare easier to use

0614-12ATHOC has developed a new guide for owners to offer tips on how to best use your timeshare.

The document has been developed in email format so that you can send out to your owners or add to your website.

View and download PDF brochure – click here.

Posted in 2014 Enews - 10/14, Australian Timeshare Industry, Consumer Tips & Advice | Leave a comment

Active sales information for consideration – Tim Wiedman, McCullough Robertson’s Partner

enews_60McCullough Robertson’s Partner Tim Wiedman met with the companies in active sales at the conference and has offered some important information for all to consider/implementation.

Best interests duty

A person who provides personal advice to retail clients must act in the best interests of the client. Section 961B(2) provides that if the adviser has done each of the items listed in that section they are deemed to have acted in the client’s best interests. Section 961B(2) is commonly referred to as the ‘safe harbour’ provision (and an adviser must have done all the items listed in section 961B(2) to have the benefit of the ‘safe harbour’).

One of the items listed in section 961B(2) was that the adviser has ‘taken any other step that, at the time the advice is provided, would reasonably be regarded as being in the best interests of the client, given the client’s relevant circumstances’. This ‘catch all’ requirement was criticised was the financial services industry as it was ambiguous and provided no certainty to advisers and the Coalition Government had promised to remove it.

The Corporations Amendment (Streamlining Future of Financial Advice) Regulation 2014 commenced on 1 July 2014 and removes the ‘catch all’ requirement for advice provided between 1 July 2014 and 31 December 2015. The 31 December 2015 sunset date reflects the Government’s intention to amend some of the FOFA provisions in the Corporations Act by bringing a Bill before Parliament (i.e. the change has been made by regulation with the intention of the Corporations Act being amended at a later date).

The other ‘safe harbour’ requirement which is problematic for the timeshare industry is the requirement, where advice is provided recommending a financial product (such as timeshare) be acquired, to ‘conduct a reasonable investigation into the financial products that might achieve those of the objectives and needs of the client that would reasonably be considered as relevant to advice on that subject matter and assess the information gathered in the investigation’. This is relevant for the typical financial planning circumstance where a planner who, for example, recommends a life insurance product to a client should consider a variety of insurance policies and recommend the policy which is best suited for the client. However, it does not translate well to the timeshare industry where timeshare sellers are engaged by a particular timeshare company and solely promote that company’s products.

If an adviser is unable to meet each of the ‘safe harbour’ requirements it does not mean they have breached their duty to act in the best interests of the client. It simply means they do not have the benefit of the ‘safe harbour’ provision (which deems them to have met their best interests duty) and therefore the onus is on the adviser to prove they have acted in the client’s best interests.

Holding scheme property

ASIC released class order 13/1409 late last year which:

  • imposes minimum standards on responsible entities for holding and dealing with scheme property (which the responsible entity must meet if it holds scheme property or which the responsible entity must ensure a custodian meets if the custodian holds scheme property); and
  • requires custody agreements between a responsible entity and custodian to address various matters.

Item (a) will apply to each of you from 2 January 2015 and, if any assets are held by a custodian, item (b) must be complied with by 1 November 2015.

Unfortunately, the class order is targeted at investment funds (rather than timeshare) and assumes the fund has staff responsible for custodial functions and other staff responsible for investment decisions. The minimum standards include:

  • having an appropriate organisational structure;
  • segregating ‘custodial’ staff from persons performing other functions in a way which minimises the potential for conflicts of interest;
  • have a documented policy approved by the directors which is designed to ensure custodial staff are not influenced because of conflicts of interest to act other than in accordance with their duties;
  • structuring the business so custodial staff can report directly to the board or compliance committee and the duties of custodial staff do not extend to other functions that may create conflicts of interest;
  • ensure ‘custodial’ staff are appropriately trained, has the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their role, have time and authority to perform their role and are adequately resourced;
  • record-keeping obligations; and
  • having a written process to determine whether assets should be held by a custodian or the responsible entity.

Requirement for statement of advice to be signed

The Corporations Amendment (Statements of Advice) Regulation 2014 was passed earlier this month. The Regulation makes the following changes:

  • requiring an SOA to signed by the adviser as well as by the client to acknowledge receipt;
  • requiring that if a client, after receiving an SOA, requests further or varied advice, the adviser must ensure that instructions from the client are documented in writing; signed by the client; and acknowledged by the adviser (this obligation will likely apply where personal advice is provided regarding upgrades);
  • requiring advisers to include the following statements and information in the SOA to ensure clients are aware of their existing rights and the adviser’s obligations under the Corporations Act (I have only included those requirements relevant to timeshare):
    1. that the adviser is required to act in the best interests of their client and give priority to the client’s interests ahead of their own;
    2. that the adviser genuinely believes that the advice being provided to the client is in the client’s best interests given the client’s relevant circumstances; and
    3. that the client has the right to seek further or varied advice from their adviser at any time.

These obligations will apply from 1 January 2015 onwards.

Further changes – record-keeping obligations

ASIC has released another class order (CO 14/923) which imposes a new obligation requiring licensees to keep records to demonstrate that both the licensee and their representatives have complied with the FOFA best interest duty and related obligations when they give personal advice to retail clients. These obligations will apply to personal advice provided on or after 23 March 2015.

Posted in 2014 Enews - 10/14, Australian Timeshare Industry, Business | Leave a comment

Timeshare Industry Staff Guide

0614-13INDUSTRY STAFF GUIDE

ATHOC has developed a new Staff Guide to the Industry. It was identified that staff working in one sector of the industry was not familiar with how other parts of the industry worked, ie points v weeks.

Use the guide to help educate current staff and those new to the industry. Click here to view and download.

 

Posted in 2014 Enews - 10/14, Australian Timeshare Industry, Business | Leave a comment

2014 ATHOC Industry Conference- Building on Foundations

Karma3Fiji certainly turned it on for the 2014 conference and with our Fijian born MC Lenora bringing that little bit of extra culture to add to the delight of being on Denarau Island for our three day event.

We went on a great journey with Jennifer Vandekreeke - VP Australia Carnival Cruises to discover the secret sauce that explains why cruising is the fastest growing sector of the travel industry in Australia and heard swashbuckling tales from the high seas on what Carnival needed to change to “Aussify” an all American ship to suit local market expectations.

Wayne Greenwood from Accor Vacation Club led us through a holistic approach to creating the next generation of Timeshare Member Engagement, while Sean Farquhar – Interval International gave us some great ideas on how to Make Escalated Customer Service Issues Work For You. What I did learn is that if you are going to complain about a native species giving you grief on your holiday, make sure its not extinct!

Andrew Shields (Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific) made sure that the industry was up to date with the new privacy laws that had been introduced into Australia and encouraged all to make sure that they are compliant.

Stephen Goy – Classic NZ gave us his first-hand experience in migrating to Cloud computing following the extensive damage done in Christchurch during the earth quakes and the importance of protecting your data.

Ricardo Montaudon the President – Latin America – RCI introduced us to the differences in the timeshare products in other international locations and what the key drivers were to Holiday Ownership.

Leanne Edwards – Regional Human Resources Manager – Accor Hotels Queensland & Northern Territory introduced us to the Peopleology Program that has been run out by Accor and the success it has bought them. How simple some things can be to do and just how much return you get from those simple initiatives.

A strategic session with round tables made up of different industry sectors was led by Mark Stephenson. Whilst the different tables had different questions the feedback came through with a similar theme of more owner education and engagement as well as flexibility of product; a cohesive effort from all to continue to improve the industry image and branding; build community relationships; engage with owner family and friends; educate staff on all products available; and remember that we now have solid competition with readily available apartments on the market that were not then when timeshare began. ATHOC will work to develop some strategies to address the areas discussed.

Layne Beachley took us on her ride through a challenging up bringing including two bouts of chronic fatigue, depression and many injuries to becoming the best in the world, and indeed, a seven times world surfing champion. She had the motivation to be a world champion, the inspiration to surround herself with the people who can help her and the determination to overcome a myriad of challenges. Her exploits are astounding, her attitude unwavering and her achievements inspirational. Layne certainly dared to dream and passionately believes that anything is possible. I am still riding that 50 metre wave with her and have to say the next day I played my best game of golf ever!

Both RCI and Interval International took the opportunity at their sponsored lunches to recognise the resorts for their hard work and continued efforts in maintaining not just their properties and excellence in service, but also the professionalism that they add to this great industry.

It wouldn’t be a conference without a few good parties! ICE gave us a wonderful ICE Breaker party beachfront at WorldMark Fiji with the fire dancers strutting their stuff; DAE took us pool side at the delightful Sofitel Fiji for a wonder night as well as raising a substantial amount of money for the Charity Young Care. The final dinner was held at the Hard Rock Cafe. What a ball was had by all. The band played, and everybody ate a lot, drank a lot and danced a lot. Can’t get much better than that! All in all, another successful conference.

Posted in 2014 Enews - 10/14, Australian Timeshare Industry, Events | Leave a comment