athoc

ATHOC Annual Conference

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The ATHOC Annual conference is being held in Surfers Paradise on Queensland’s fabulous 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.

The committee have determined a new livelier format with a number of quick 10 minute information sessions on topical issues to keep you more entertained and informed. Let us know if there is something specific you would like to learn about.

Posted in 2015 Enews - 05/05, ATHOC Annual Conference, Australian Timeshare Industry, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

Karma Royal Group announces restructure to support global expansion

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April, 2015 – Karma Royal Group has made a number of key changes to the overall structure of the group of companies and the roles of people within it at a senior level to support the strong global expansion currently being undertaken by the group.

All operations, whether timeshare and fractional sales, management company, real estate, or business management, sales support and administration will be run through three new divisions:

ASIA AND AUSTRALIA

INDIA AND MIDDLE EAST

EUROPE AND CARIBBEAN

Each division will have its own budgets, cash flows and targets and be wholly independent and responsible for its region. Within each region a management hierarchy will be adopted based on a three tier system.

TIER ONE – Regional Presidents
Comprising a president of sales and marketing and a president of operations (the president of operations will additionally hold the title of regional managing director).

TIER TWO – Regional Vice Presidents
Responsible for sales, marketing, hotel sales, I.T., finance, hotel operations and sales support.

TIER THREE – General Managers
Responsible for the operations and performance of each revenue generating profit unit.

As part of this new structure Karma Royal Group has pleasure in announcing the following regional presidents:

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Appointments are currently being made or reconfirmed for other management positions and will be announced in due course.

“I am passionate about developing people and management as it is only through this that the company can hope to continue to be the success it is,” said John Spence, Chairman and Founder of Karma Royal Group. “To quote the old mantra ‘give them wings and help them fly!’”

John Spence will continue to be extremely active in the company both in his role as chairman of the holding company, assisted by Gary Knowles as group CEO, but also in an executive management role within the operational companies, which he will frequently spend time in on a rotating basis and remotely.

www.karmaroyalgroup.com

Posted in 2015 Enews - 05/05, Around the World, Australian Timeshare Industry | Leave a comment

Perfect your pitch with Interval’s enhanced sales tool kit

IntervalscreenNew Features Offer Easier, More Seamless Sales Presentations

Interval International, a prominent worldwide provider of vacation services and an operating business of Interval Leisure Group (Nasdaq: IILG), has expanded its Interval Sales Tool Kit (STK) app. With STK, resort developers can seamlessly access their suite of sales tools to create compelling, turn-key presentations with the swipe of a finger. The new functionalities, “Workspace” and “Favourites,” complement the array of other cutting-edge features already available.

“Today’s buyers expect an interactive experience that offers immediacy and flexibility,” said Bryan Ten Broek, Interval’s senior vice president of resort sales and marketing. “With the new features, STK can help sales professionals be more agile in how they deliver their presentations and turn prospects into sales successes.”

Available for complimentary download on iPad® devices, STK offers dynamic ways to demonstrate the benefits of vacation ownership and Interval membership. The new technology allows sales teams to customize and bring their presentations to life by easily importing images, presentations, floor plans, renderings, press releases – anything and everything needed to personalize their pitches.

The award-winning app is continuously enhanced and updated with robust digital content. Features include the all-new Workspace, which allows presenters to integrate their most useful sales elements and easily personalize pitches, and Favourites, which provides users with an easy-to-access location to download and save their preferred sales components. It also offers: Exchange Tracker, which animates hundreds of member exchanges in near real time on an interactive map; Globe, a three-dimensional, responsive feature that allows users to

explore Interval’s world of exchange, including high-definition destination videos on Interval HD, informative magazine articles, and a summary view of area resorts; Resort Directory, a continuously updated library of property images and videos, along with resort descriptions; Vacation Calculator, which clearly reinforces the value proposition of shared ownership by tabulating what prospects would potentially spend on future vacations; Interval HD, which offers virtual tours of dream vacations by showcasing eye-catching destinations and resorts, along with helpful videos about Interval’s products and services; and Magazines, which includes current and past digital editions of Interval World® and Vacation Industry Review.

“This enhanced version of STK makes it easy for our developer clients to integrate their own digital content with the high-impact components of the app,” added Ten Broek. “With so much content and technology at your fingertips, it makes for very powerful and convincing presentations without the significant investment required for other solutions.”

STK is currently available for download on iPad® devices. For a demo, click here.

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

Making Hotel Reservations – Is Mobile Living Up to the Hype?

HotelReservationMethodPie-558x320No, according to a national study by D.K. Shifflet and Associates. The study found that less than 10% of hotel reservations made in 2014 were done so using a hand held device. Further, while the majority of hotel reservations were made using laptops or desktops, more than 1 in 4 travelers still use traditional, non-electronic, methods for reserving their hotel rooms.

“While many marketers focus their efforts on mobile, it is important to know that most travelers are using other methods to make their reservations including a large majority who still make reservations in more traditional ways,” notes Chris Klauda, Vice President at D.K. Shifflet & Associates.

When developing hotel marketing plans it is critical to understand the type of traveler using each method and how your hotel brand is positioned. Profiles of reservation methods used for specific hotel brands and/or traveler segments are available through D.K. Shifflet & Associates.

McLean, VA, April 27, 2015

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

Travel Company Fined $6000 over phone sales

A Queensland-based travel company which failed to notify consumers of a cooling off period for phone sales was fined $6000 and ordered to pay costs of $1282 by the Perth Magistrates Court.

Beachbreak Holidays Australia P/L, trading as Ezy Flights and Up’n’Go Travel, sold travel vouchers by cold calling consumers and offering discounted packages for flights and accommodation. The company did not notify consumers about the ten business day cooling off period, as required by the unsolicited trading provisions of the Australian Consumer Law.

In May 2012, a consumer from Korbel received a call from a sales representative from Ezy Flights and agreed to purchase a package of four flights and ten nights’ accommodation. No information about the cooling off period was given during the phone conversation.

Later that day the consumer received an email attaching the invoice, vouchers and agreement document. The agreement document did not display, on its front page, information about the consumer’s right to terminate the agreement within the cooling off period and the agreement included a clause that could be void. The company was also required to include a notice that the consumer could use to terminate the contract, which it failed to do. When the consumer terminated the agreement, Beachbreak did not immediately refund her money, as required by the ACL.

In July 2013, a consumer from Kinross received a call from a sales representative from Up’n’Go Travel and agreed to purchase travel vouchers, but no information about the cooling off period was given.

Similarly the consumer received an email later that day which included the vouchers, an invoice and the agreement document. The agreement document did not display prominently, on its front page, information about the consumer’s rights to terminate the agreement and the agreement included a provision that would be void. The notice enabling the consumer to terminate the contract was also not included. When the consumer terminated the agreement, Beachbreak did not immediately refund her money, as required by the ACL.

Commissioner for consumer protection Anne Driscoll said the consumers in this case wanted to terminate the agreement but had difficulty in getting a refund. “The essence of the unsolicited, or door to door trading, laws is to give consumers who are caught by surprise the opportunity to review their decision to purchase and the opportunity to cancel the contract if they choose to do so,” Ms Driscoll said.

“Traders who market their products or services by cold calling or door to door sales are obliged to ensure that the consumers know their rights with regard to the cooling off period and could face prosecution if they fail to comply with the ACL with regard to unsolicited sales.

“By not accepting payment or supplying goods and services during the cooling off period, the contract can be easily terminated if the consumers change their mind. Companies should not make it difficult for consumers to cancel contracts made under these circumstances and will be denying the consumer’s legal rights under the ACL.” AccomNews, 8 April, 2015

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

Underinsurance

1114-4SURVEYS REVEAL ALARMING STATISTICS

Probably due to the harsh reality of the current economic climate, it is estimated that 1 in 6 small businesses have no insurance of any kind. Of businesses that are insured, half of these are insured for only 60 to 85% of Replacement Value. And it gets worse with the revelation that between 17 to 25% of ALL small businesses are under insured and risk business failure following a serious insurable event.

The most alarming part to Underinsurance is that it’s predominately discovered at the time of a claim or loss, which by then is too late to rectify. This has been demonstrated on many occasions over recent years following major events such as floods, storms, bushfires and cyclones.

Underinsurance may impact a wide number of General Insurance Products, including but not limited to:

  • Home & Contents Insurance
  • Commercial Motor Vehicle Insurance
  • Strata Insurance – both Commercial & Domestic
  • Business Insurance
  • Industrial Special Risks (ISR) Insurance
  • Marine Insurance – both Leisure & Commercial Hull
  • Transit Insurance
  • Liability Insurance

Under these named Policies there are also Policy ‘Sub Limit(s)’ in areas such as: 1) Removal of Debris; 2) Reinstatement; 3) Extra Costs of Reinstatement; 4) Business Interruption; 5) Care Custody and Control… and all need to be considered when tailoring specific insurance contracts.

There are Insurer Guidelines that provide both Underwriting and Claims considerations once Underinsurance has been discovered. Different insurers have varying degrees of Underinsurance impacts to Insurance Policies and these are always displayed as part of the Policy Coverage Terms and Conditions provided.

That is why it’s imperative and prudent to constantly review your Policy Limits and sub limits as part of an on-going risk management strategy. This shouldn’t just occur at Policy Renewal as asset value increases, renovations or upgrades etc., may have occurred during the Policy ‘Insurance Period’. These reviews should be done in consultation with your insurance professional to ensure your Limits of Coverage are adequate. Don’t wait until you make a claim to find out they are not.

There are many considerations when selecting Policy Limits and there are professionals such as builders who are aware of building costs and any standard changes to the Building Codes that may assist.

Property and Business Valuers are also a real asset when setting figures. Specialist insurance areas such as Business Interruption may require the assistance of accountants or financial advisors, or both, to ensure accuracy.

It’s a sensible approach to discuss Policy Limits following any purchases or disposal of assets and a sound practice to ensure that your level of coverage represents a minimum of Replacement Value.

Remember, it’s too late once a claim occurs to say, “I should have phoned my Broker to discuss….”

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

The Registry Collection Adds Two Hilton Grand Vacations Club Properties in Las Vegas to its Network of Affiliated Resorts

registryThe Registry Collection recently welcomed two new affiliated properties from the Hilton Grand Vacations Club resort collection. The two Las Vegas resorts now offer luxury accommodations to The Registry Collection members in one of the most popular U.S. destinations.

“We are pleased to enable members of The Registry Collection to experience two distinctive Hilton Grand Vacations Club resorts in Las Vegas,” said Stan Soroka, senior vice president Club, Resort and Brand Services for Hilton Grand Vacations. “Our Club Members with Elite premier status enjoy access to The Registry Collection resort portfolio which is an ideal enhancement to their vacation ownership privileges.”

The addition of these Hilton Grand Vacations properties is the latest in The Registry Collection program’s ongoing effort to provide its members with more luxury vacation options in sought-after destinations around the world. In 2014, the program added seven new affiliated properties across North America, Asia and Europe, including its first affiliated resort in India through The Rangers Reserve.

“The Registry Collection is thrilled to have added many amazing properties into our network of luxury affiliated resorts in the past year, including two Hilton Grand Vacations Club resorts,” said Gregg Anderson, global vice president of The Registry Collection. “Las Vegas has always been one of the most highly-requested U.S. destinations for our members, and these two properties offer convenient access to everything this exciting city has to offer. They also bring with them the prestige and hallmark first-class service that comes with a stay at any Hilton Grand Vacations Club property.”

For more information, visit TheRegistryCollection.com.

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

Budget preview: Not so dull afterall?

chlogoIn March, Prime Minister Tony Abbott described the forthcoming 2015-16 Federal Budget as “pretty routine… almost dull compared to last year.” But don’t bring out the brown cardigan and tea bags just yet.

There are likely to be some big changes – and some of them may impact you. This teaser provides an overview of some of the changes floated by Government prior to the Budget as well as an indicator as to what we may see announced on May 12.

Why there’s no room for “run of the mill”

Over the past few years, the Federal Budget has been under sustained pressure on the expenditure side from increases in health, welfare and education. Some savings were made in last year’s Budget, for example by reducing Health expenditure that was slated to be paid to the States, however, some of these savings have been counteracted by new initiatives such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

On the revenue side, the dramatically falling price of Iron Ore has the potential to wipe up to $25 billion from Government receipts over the forward estimates. In addition, the declining terms of trade and decline in mining related capital investment will detract from Australia’s GDP growth and employment resulting in lower personal and company tax receipts and GST, as well as higher welfare payments.

These pressures are likely to force the Government’s hand and rather than a “steady as she goes” tinkering with the national finances there is likely to be a fresh round reform.

What are we likely to see?

As has been the case in relation to Governments of both political persuasions, the Abbott Government is continuing the trend of strategically leaking potential changes before Budget night. The following is a summary of what has been floated publically:

  1. “Google” tax

Based on the United Kingdom’s “Diverted Profits Tax”, a proposed “Google” tax operates by taxing company profits technology companies declare overseas but which come from local activity. In Australia, it would likely be levied at a rate above the corporate rate of 30 per cent to encourage the companies to declare profits locally.

Labor has also announced its own plan to crack down on multi-national tech companies by changing the thin-capitalisation rules to reduce the amount of debt against which companies can claim tax deductions in Australia. Broadly, the Labor proposal involves reducing a company’s debt-to-equity ratio threshold to the same level as the average a debt-to-equity ratio across the entire worldwide group business.

Look for an amalgam of these proposals on Budget night.

  1. Bank deposits tax

Treasurer Joe Hockey has refused to rule out a Banks deposits tax. The rate is likely to be set at five basis points per deposit (or 0.5 per cent for every deposit). The tax was originally announced by Labor, however it is understood to have been seriously considered in the coalition party room. The revenue raised from the tax was originally earmarked to pay for the costs associated with the $250,000 guarantee that the Australian Government provided to the big banks during the Global Financial Crises.

  1. Increased fuel tax

In April, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane raised the possibility of motorists being hit with a tax which would increase the price of petrol by 2c per litre at the pump. Under its obligations under the International Energy Agency, Australia must maintain at least 90 days worth of fuel in reserve as a buffer against future oil shocks.

Currently, Australia’s reserves stand at 52 days. In order to rectify this situation, the government must either build bigger storage tanks or buy fuel in contracts on international markets. According to the Government, either option is “extraordinarily expensive”. The tax revenue will be used to fund this expenditure.

  1. A reduction in the corporate tax rate for small business

Both the Prime Minister and Treasurer have confirmed that there will be a tax cut for small business of 1.5% or more announced on Budget night. While, in principle, this should be welcomed by small business proprietors, there are a number of issues that will need to be dealt with – particularly in the period between Budget night and the end of the financial year. Of critical interest will be the way that imputation credits generated under the current tax rate carry over to dividends paid when the company rate is reduced.

Small business proprietors should check with their Crowe Horwath representative as to the application of these rules prior to the end of the financial year.

  1. New fees for foreign residential property purchases generating increased funding for childcare

In February 2015, the Prime Minister and Treasurer released a discussion paper that flagged a raft of changes to laws that govern the ability of temporary residents and foreign residents to purchase Australian residential property. The paper proposes introducing a compulsory $5,000 application fee on temporary and foreign residents purchasing residential property under $1 million. For temporary and foreign resident residential property purchases over $1 million there will be $10,000 for every extra million dollars in the purchase price.

It is understood that the revenue generated from the introduction of this new levy will be used to fund increased child care subsidies.

  1. “Netflix” tax

The so-called “Netflix” tax will apply GST to downloads of movies, music, books and other media from overseas providers such as Netflix. The Government also plans to push ahead with plans to apply the GST to goods purchased online from overseas which are valued at less than $1000.

Both of these changes to the GST base have been agreed to by the State premiers.

  1. New rural package for drought-affected farmers

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce is set to announce a special economic stimulus package for drought-affected communities in both New South Wales and Queensland. The package is likely to cost between $20 million and $70 million with Government money being directed towards projects such as fencing, road works and paving and laying fibre-optic cable.

What to do now

It is clear that the government is looking for revenue and so it is important to be aware of the changes mentioned above in the lead up to Budget night. Once the Budget is handed down on 12 May, be sure to talk to your local Crowe Horwath advisor regarding how these and other changes apply to you. Contact us on 1300 856 065 or visit our website at www.crowehorwath.com.au to connect with your local advisor.

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

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