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Accor Vacation Club Members enjoy new Loyalty Program rewards

ACCOR-Loyalty-ProgramAccor Hotel’s new loyalty program was recently launched to Accor loyalty members which includes Accor Vacation Club Members.  All Accor loyalty members will enjoy VIP treatment while staying at Accor Hotels Australia wide with benefits for Members include priority check-in, complimentary Wi-Fi, late check-out and welcome drink on arrival plus more…

Posted in 2015 Enews - 05/05, Accor Vacation Club | Leave a comment

Wyndham Reaches Industry Milestone of 50,000

wyndham-logo2Vacation ownership heavyweight Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific has hit a major industry milestone, welcoming the 50,000th owner to its WorldMark South Pacific Club.

The Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific model offers a flexible form of timeshare by granting Club owners yearly vacation credits to access holiday accommodation across a network of WorldMark South Pacific Club resorts, for the life of the Club (until 2080).

The ownership milestone comes as the company also celebrates its 15th anniversary.

“We have grown from just one resort in Denarau Island, Fiji, in 2000 when we welcomed our very first vacation owner to the WorldMark South Pacific Club, to the company we are today with a portfolio of 26 Club resorts and 50,000 Owner families,” said Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific President and Managing Director, Barry Robinson.

Based on Australia’s Gold Coast, Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific has grown to be one of the city’s largest private employers with more than 1,000 staff based at the Wyndham Corporate Centre in Bundall and across three Gold Coast resorts. Together with sister company, Wyndham Hotel Group – South East Asia and Pacific Rim, also based on the Gold Coast, the two companies employ more than 4,000 employees across five countries. 

Posted in 2015 Enews - 05/05, Wyndham News | Leave a comment

Wyndham Announces First Vacation Club for Asia

Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort - PhuketWyndham Vacation Ownership, part of Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN), has launched its first vacation club in Asia, with the announcement of a flagship mixed-use property in Thailand today.

CLUB WYNDHAM ASIA is the latest addition to the extensive Wyndham Vacation Ownership portfolio, which includes more than 190 vacation ownership resorts across North and Central America and the South Pacific, and will be managed and marketed from the Australian-based headquarters of Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific.

Today the hospitality giant announced the club’s debut property will be the 213-room Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort – Phuket, formally known as the luxurious Sea Pearl Villas Resort, Phuket, which will be officially rebranded on 1 June, 2015.

The resort is owned by local developer, Sea Pearl Business Company Ltd and Sea Pearl Beach Company Ltd, and will operate as a mixed-use property managed by Wyndham Hotel Group, accommodating club members, who will have access to 30 newly refurbished apartments that have been purchased for CLUB WYNDHAM ASIA, as well as hotel guests.

Barry Robinson, President and Managing Director of Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific and Wyndham Hotel Group South East Asia and Pacific Rim said this new development marks a monumental milestone for the company.

“We are extremely excited to announce the launch of CLUB WYNDHAM ASIA in this prime South-East Asia location,” he said. “We have dedicated a substantial amount of time and resources to finding the ideal flagship property for our new vacation club,” Mr Robinson said.

“This will be our first Wyndham branded, mixed-use property in Asia and I am confident Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort – Phuket will exceed the expectations of our members and hotel guests.”

The sleek, contemporary resort, which was constructed in 2011, is perfectly positioned a short  distance to Thailand’s tourism capital, Patong Beach. Located on 15 acres of hillside, the property boasts 180-degree views of the Andaman Sea.

The resort will offer CLUB WYNDHAM ASIA members eight room types, including Deluxe Private Pool Villas and Deluxe Jacuzzi Rooms. Onsite facilities include four restaurants and bars; a multipurpose hall for meetings and events complete with catering; and a five-star day spa offering a range of lavish treatments.

There is also a state-of-the-art fitness centre boasting a 35-metre lap pool, fully-equipped gym, yoga room and kids’ club. Resort services include a free scheduled shuttle to Patong Beach and Jungceylon shopping precinct; as well as concierge and limousine services.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the world’s largest vacation ownership company and hotel group with its introduction into Thailand. We are certain that the globally-recognised Wyndham brand will be a perfect fit for the sleek and sophisticated style Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort – Phuket offers,” said Managing Director of Seapearl Group, Mr Sitikorn Soontornnont.

“This would be one of the best deals Thailand has ever seen in terms of a mixed-use market, combining a worldwide hotel chain and vacation club,” Mr Sitikorn Soontornnont added.

Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort – Phuket will also be home to CLUB WYNDHAM ASIA’s first Sales Deck – a preview centre where potential vacation club members can embark on a visual journey through the array of exciting travel destinations on offer.

CLUB WYNDHAM ASIA brings Wyndham’s flexible, points-based vacation ownership product to Asian consumers and offers them over 4,000 global destinations through Wyndham’s extensive vacation ownership network, plus a partnership with timeshare exchange giant RCI.

The club operates on a tiered benefits system, whereby members enjoy access to a number of holiday extras, in accordance with their ownership level.

“There are more than 900,000 owner families around the world currently enjoying the fantastic holiday lifestyle offered by Wyndham Vacation Ownership.  I am confident that this exciting product, which gives members the flexibility to choose the timing, location and duration of their holidays, will be hugely popular with the Asian consumer,” Mr Robinson said.

Posted in 2015 Enews - 05/05, Wyndham News | Leave a comment

RCI Wins Six 2015 ARDA Awards, Including Coveted ‘ACE Innovator’ Honor

rci-logoRCI won six awards last night at the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) 2015 Awards Gala Dinner.

Among the most prestigious of the accolades was the ARDA Circle of Excellence (ACE) Innovator Award: Large Company, which RCI earned for developing its Online Points Conversion Tool. The web-based marketing solution helps RCI® affiliates more efficiently convert their owners from traditional RCI Weeks® ownership to RCI Points® ownership.

“We’re ecstatic to once again take home the ACE Innovator Award,” said Gordon Gurnik, president of RCI. “Through the Online Points Conversion Tool, our affiliates are finding they can reach a greater audience in their efforts to improve owner conversion rates and efficiencies – without increasing their direct mail or telesales costs. This award represents a great win for the industry, for our valued affiliates and for RCI.”

Prior to the online solution, affiliates were challenged by the limited number of touch points they had to interact with their owners and explain the benefits of a new product offering, mostly dependent on phone or in-person conversations. Through the online tool, affiliates can customize e-mail invitations to targeted prospects, encouraging them to click an individualized URL to access their current ownership benefits. Leveraging interactive animations and videos to create a compelling presentation, this personalized solution then walks the prospect through the enhanced benefits they would enjoy by upgrading their ownership from RCI Weeks to RCI Points.

RCI was also recognized with the following awards:

  • Call Center: RCI Resort Services Solutions
  • Inventory Revenue Manager/Team: RCI Revenue Management Reporting Team
  • Magazine, Print Format: RCI Ventures® magazine Q2 2014
  • Magazine, Electronic Format: Endless Vacation® magazine Spring 2014 App for iPad®
  • Website, Industry Partner/Other: RCI.com

“On behalf of everyone at RCI, we’re thrilled to have received these awards from ARDA,” continued Gurnik. “They are a testament to our ongoing dedication and commitment to providing full-circle business support to our affiliates and delivering dream vacations to our members.”

Posted in 2015 Enews - 05/05, Around the World, RCI News | Leave a comment

Prioritise your Online Marketing – Tourism e kit Shows you How

Tourism e kitKeeping its promise of remaining up to date and relevant to small businesses, the Australian tourism industry’s favourite online learning tool, the Tourism e kit has released a brand new tutorial, ‘How to prioritise your Marketing Spend when it comes to Online Marketing.

With a myriad of technologies in the marketplace, it can be confusing and daunting for a small, busy operator with limited budgets to best know how to target their customers. “Often it’s a trial and error exercise with a shotgun approach.  We understand that tourism operators struggle to make the right decisions about where to focus their investment of time and money.” said Wendy Smith, manager of the Tourism e kit.

“As part of the bi-annual E kit update, we hope this tutorial will assist operators by taking a step by step approach in identifying your target audience, creating personas and through case studies looking at what content you need to create and where or how to connect with your audience online.” commented Smith.

We are also very excited to advise that as part of the March release, which includes an update of 65 tutorials in their entirety, we have also launched a new tutorial: Online in India. This introductory tutorial provides an overview of the emerging Indian Tourism market – its size and demographics and the growing potential it offers.

According to Tourism Australia, India is Australia’s 10th largest inbound market for visitor arrivals and total expenditure.  Last year, India saw the largest increase in holiday visitors to Australia, after Malaysia and China, with a 14.6% increase.

To tap into this growing market and understand the Indian consumer’s preferences, this e kit tutorial covers online marketing strategies and operational activities which Australian tourism businesses should consider when engaging in this market.

Log on to the tourism e kit to gain access to these free tutorials: www.tourismekit.atdw.com.au

Posted in 2015 Enews - 05/05, Business | Leave a comment

RCI Makes the Virtual Presentation a Reality for Affiliates with Launch of RCI® LiveStream

rci-logoRCI is helping affiliates take their sales and customer service presentations directly to the consumer with the launch of RCI® LiveStream, a visual remote selling system that is the first of its kind in the timeshare industry. This revolutionary platform gives resort representatives the ability to present to consumers face-to-face through video conferencing, providing a digital-savvy way to interact with customers without the need for them to be physically on site.

“The ultimate goal of RCI LiveStream is to expand the reach that affiliates have with prospective and current owners,” said Fiona Downing, senior vice president of Business Development and Operations. “The platform can be used virtually at any time, from anywhere, removing many of the limits of the traditional sales floor. It can also be used for many of the services affiliates usually provide at the resort. These range from selling and making account upgrades to educating consumers on the benefits of timeshare, and even providing day-to-day customer services.”

While using RCI LiveStream, agents can see each customer react just as they would in person, which often helps guide the course of each presentation. This allows affiliates and customers to reap the benefits of face-to-face interactions, but avoid obstacles like time constraints and distance that often keep them from meeting in person.

Resort employees can present using the video function along with the many other tools available at their fingertips. Through the platform, they can access materials they need for a typical presentation, ensuring that they can include the same details they would in an on-site resort meeting. They can play videos, use a scribble-pad, access documents and more. Plus, RCI LiveStream is customizable, so that affiliate staff members have the support they need to speak about their specific property.

“RCI LiveStream is a culmination of the technologies we have been building over several years at RCI, which has helped secure our position as the leader in digital sales tools for the timeshare industry,” said Gordon Gurnik, president of RCI.  “It allows resort staff to use state-of-the-art technology to engage customers, providing a new way to create meaningful connections in today’s tech-centric world.”

RCI LiveStream is the latest in a string of innovations that contribute to its RCI 360SM support for affiliates. The exchange provider aims to deliver thoughtful, powerful solutions for affiliates’ business needs. As a strategic business partner, RCI offers services that aid affiliates at each part of their business cycle, from leads and sales to operations and owner relations.

RCI LiveStream was developed by RCI in collaboration with sales technology specialist Generator Systems. For more information, visit the RCI booth at the ARDA World 2015 Annual Convention & Expo, contact your account representative, or visit RCIAffiliates.com.

Posted in 2015 Enews - 05/05, RCI News | Leave a comment

Wyndham Recruits New Senior Director of Owner Services and Loyalty

Diane MitchellWyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific is pleased to announce the appointment of Diane Mitchell to the position of Senior Director of Owner Services and Loyalty.

Diane will be based at the company’s corporate headquarters on the Gold Coast and will oversee the operations of several key departments including Reservations, Travel Club, Owner Services and Owner Education.

These departments work simultaneously to deliver exceptional service and unforgettable holidays to WorldMark South Pacific Club by Wyndham’s 50,000 plus Club Owners.

Diane has been in the timeshare industry since 2007, most recently as the Director of Marketing and Operations – Asia Pacific, with Wyndham’s sister company RCI, based in Singapore.

She was a finalist in the Corporate Manager of the Year category of the Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council awards in 2011 and 2012. She has also worked as Accor Vacation Club’s Call Centre Operations Manager.

Diane has extensive experience in change management, policy/process development, recruitment and training and will bring a wealth of knowledge to the role.

Posted in 2015 Enews - 05/05, Australian Timeshare Industry, Wyndham News | Leave a comment

Classic Holidays Raising Dust and Dollars™ in Great Endeavour Rally

apr15-001Gold Coast-based Classic Holidays is raising dust and dollars in the 2015 Great Endeavour Rally from 17 -25 July, to raise much-needed funds for national charity, Endeavour Foundation.

Classic Holidays’ CEO Ramy Filo and Resort Operations’ Morrison Duncan will get behind the wheel as ‘Team Classic’ for the second time since first taking on the challenge in 2006, and this year the race will take them from Redcliffe to Rockhampton in central Queensland, via the Whitsundays.

The leading Resort and Club Management Company is aiming to raise over $20,000 from the timeshare industry and local business community, with funds raised going to Endeavour Foundation to support people with disabilities in regional areas of Australia.

“For Classic Holidays, this is about giving back to the community,” said Classic Holidays CEO, Ramy Filo.

“We love doing it for the cars, the mateship and endless dirt roads, but honestly, having seen firsthand where the funding goes, we feel privileged to again be involved in raising money and awareness for such a worthy charity.”

Worldwide exchange provider, DAE, has come on board as a Platinum sponsor of ‘Team Classic’ to support the team through to the starting line and beyond for eight adrenalin-filled days traversing 4,000km of outback Queensland.

“The top fundraisers get to start in pole position, which is why we are looking to gain a leading edge for our team car and our sponsors by exceeding our $20,000 fundraising target.

“If we can achieve that, and beyond, the benefit will be felt directly by those Endeavour Foundation is there to support, through increased opportunities for choice, control, independence and inclusion for people with a disability.”

Mr Filo said there is still a long way to go and is urging the business community to get behind the cause and be part of the exciting outback adventure.

Donations to ‘TEAM CLASSIC CAR 63’ can be made at https://great.endeavour.com.au/qld/donations

Sponsorship opportunities for donation of products or services preparing the car, the drivers, or for raffle and auction items are also being sought http://bit.ly/1wYGHek

The Great Endeavour Rally has raised more than $8.5 million over 28 years, with all monies raised by Endeavour Foundation supporting people with a disability through accommodation, education, training, vocational and lifestyle opportunities.

Further information about the event can be found at https://great.endeavour.com.au/

Posted in 2015 Enews - 04/05, Australian Timeshare Industry, Classic Holidays News | Leave a comment

ATHOC Annual Conference 2015

ATHOC-Conference15-colourThe ATHOC Annual conference will be held at Surfers Paradise on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

The theme for 2015 is “Getting Engaged”, whilst some of might feel that we are, some of the owners might not see it so clearly. It’s time to really discover what we need to do to achieve Great+ and make sure that everyone knows that this is what we are doing.

Dates are Monday 7th from 5pm, Tuesday 8th & Wednesday 9th September 2015 in the Q1 building in the centre of Surfers Paradise just a short walk from beautiful Surfers Paradise beach.

Mark the dates in your diary. The two day/3 night event will involve numerous speakers from both within and external to the industry. If you would like to recommend a speaker, topic or conference suggestions best get them through quickly.

Posted in 2015 Enews - 04/05, Annual ATHOC Events, ATHOC Annual Conference | Leave a comment

TripBarometer: the world’s largest accommodation and traveller survey

The 2015 edition of TripBarometer examines the Global Travel Economy, including traveller spending trends and hotelier confidence levels across markets. Among the forecasted trends include the average number of international leisure trips being expected to increase by 15 per cent in 2015, with local activities, experiences and cultures being most influential in selecting their next holiday destination. For more research and trends related to international and domestic tourism and travel, visit the Insight Files.

Posted in 2015 Enews - 04/05, Business | Leave a comment