The Las Calas story: biggest ever disabled guests



The Las Calas story: biggest ever disabled guests
ISSUE 20 • Winter 2014
The Las Calas story:
delivering the product
Conference will be
biggest ever
Resorts who care for
disabled guests
El Golfo Atlantic near Lago de los Clicos, Lanzatore © Hobox
Facing challenges together
by TATOC executive chairman, Harry Taylor
During this 25th anniversary year, the TATOC team has been busy implementing the aims and
objectives of its second five-year plan. With the TATOC Consumer Helpline busier than ever
and increasing demands from consumers and industry, CEO Harry Taylor believes that the
services offered by the association are more essential than ever.
his is the last edition of Sharetime
for 2014 so I would like to take this
opportunity to highlight some key
achievements from what has been a busy
We have welcomed four new resorts into
membership and affiliated six companies – all
of whom will now follow the TATOC code of
Resort accreditations continue and five went
through this robust process this year. As
accreditation lasts just three years, we are now
undertaking re-accreditations to ensure that
standards are maintained.
TATOC has worked closely with resort
committees, industry and other agencies on
timeshare contracts, constitutions and the
perpetuity issue.
In line with our mission statement we believe
it is essential to establish procedures that will
enable the departure of existing timeshare
owners without prejudicing the interests of
other owners.
The TATOC health check programme for
mature resorts continues to be a popular
option and our ambassadors are working hard
and enjoying some great results.
This year has also been a year of developing
relationships and working with a range of
interested parties.
TATOC has formed a working alliance with
the National Timeshare Owners Association,
based in the U.S.A., and has assisted
American fraud agencies to prevent scams.
Our media exposure continues to grow and
TATOC is called upon to provide information
and insight from a consumer perspective.
We have worked with the industry to ensure
new products are developed that encourage
timeshare ownership by a younger market.
TATOC has been criticised by some for our
close links with the industry.
However, we are facing challenges arising
from an ageing owner base, a difficult
financial and marketing environment and the
evolving requirements and expectations of
today’s holidaymaker.
Not one body - either consumer or industry
- has the total solution so we must face these
challenges with a unified approach.
TATOC believes that all parties have a
fundamental role to play in the successful
future of timeshare.
The focus must be to service the on-going
needs of existing owners, provide the facilities
and services they purchased while at the
same time satisfying the emerging needs of
younger markets. This can only be achieved
with a secure and strong timeshare industry.
It is not possible for TATOC to exercise a
positive influence on the industry from the
position of ‘antagonistic outsider’.
There is no conflict of interest in a good
relationship between consumers and reputable
timeshare companies. TATOC is proud to
work with reputable timeshare businesses to
protect, promote and enhance the future of
timeshare for owners.
TATOC is independent and impartial in
representing the best interests of owners and
fighting against rogue companies and bad
The TATOC Consumer Helpline has rapidly
gained a reputation for being professional,
well informed, unbiased and genuinely
Not only does it have direct contact with
timeshare owners but also receives referrals
from the The Competition and Markets
Authority, Citizens Advice Bureau, the
police, banks, solicitors, media and other
government agencies.
In line with our five-year plan, the current
services of the Helpline will be extended
to give specific assistance to individual
consumers in difficult circumstances where
general information is insufficient to resolve
their enquiry.
Helpline has now been registered as a separate
company, with its own constitution, logo and
The TATOC Conference 2015 will take place
from March 6 – 8 at the Park Royal Hotel,
Stretton, Warrington, Cheshire, England.
Early bookings are predicting it will be
another sell-out.
The conference officially begins with
registration on Friday afternoon, but will be
preceded that morning by the second joint
seminar organised by RDO and TATOC.
The first seminar saw a full house covering
emotive topics - 2015 will possibly be more
Further details of the conference, delegates’
packs and the seminar can be found on the
TATOC website.
I must give thanks to the Manchester office
staff for their unstinting commitment. At
times it can be harrowing when dealing with
distressed callers.
Thanks also to the board for a year of hard
work with difficult issues successfully resolved
and to Emily and Colin Collins for the
production of Sharetime Magazine.
I am confident that 2015 will be another year
of achievement for TATOC.
Wishing all a happy Christmas and that the
New Year brings health and happiness.
The Helpline will be introducing pro-active
measures to respond to incidents/trends and
provide information to timeshare businesses,
government agencies and all other interested
The Helpline has an essential role to play. To
continue its expansion the TATOC Consumer
Harry Taylor, executive chairman
ISSUE 20 • Winter 2014
The long road
to charity status
by Harry Taylor, TATOC executive chairman
n the day-to-day business of TATOC
in the new millennia it became
increasingly clear that people were
being targeted by fraudulent companies and
getting into extreme difficulty and distress.
People who, in many cases, were vulnerable
by circumstances of age, financial difficulty,
bereavement and so on.
In an attempt to address this problem a joint
industry/TATOC initiative known as VOICE
(Vacation Owners Independent Coalition in
Europe) was established to deal with these
consumer difficulties.
However, funding for VOICE was always
challenging and, in addition, VOICE experienced
difficulties in delivering the desired service to
consumers. The programme closed in 2007.
Unable to ignore consumer needs, TATOC
in 2008 established a dedicated helpline at
its offices in Manchester. Since it started the
helpline has received more than 50,000 calls
and e-mails relating to more than 18,000
individual consumer cases.
Ninety per cent of the people who ask for our
help with complaints have suffered at the hands
of companies who set out to be misleading,
deceptive or deliberately fraudulent.
In setting out to help them,
TATOC has never made any
charge for the helpline service
and never used premium-rate
telephone numbers.
Indeed, every call and e-mail to the helpline
carries a significant cost in telephony and internet
services, salaries and office administration.
We decided to seek charity status as a way to
help with the difficult task of fund-raising so
the work of the helpline could continue.
In June 2011, the TATOC board agreed a
project description and milestone plan and
an application was made to the Charities
Commission for charitable status.
Consumer Helpline in isolation, as a separate
entity to the wider responsibilities of TATOC.
To achieve this, a totally new company was
established in February 2013 to support
the separated helpline’s responsibilities and
Help was sought from the National Council
for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO),
the Community and Voluntary Service in
Manchester (known as MACC) and the
Charity Commission advisory service. We are
tremendously grateful to these bodies for their
help and support.
With all details finalised, a second application
was made in February 2014. But even so the
path was not a smooth one. The Commission
has a responsibility to ensure that charity
status is awarded only to bodies established
wholly and exclusively for the public benefit.
They take this responsibility seriously.
Following several months of discussions the
application was once again rejected because
the Commission did not feel the TATOC
Consumer Helpline had sufficient separation
from the larger TATOC Association,
and required greater clarity of purpose to
demonstrate public benefit.
After so much work (and considerable cost), and
driven by an absolute certainty and belief that the
helpline was unquestionably established wholly
and exclusively for charitable purposes, the
TATOC board challenged this latest rejection to
the Litigation and Review Process in July 2014.
After further communications and discussions
with the Commission, the sincerity of the
objectives and intentions of the TATOC
Consumer Helpline were recognised and
on October 17, 2014 we were delighted to
receive the following e-mail:
“We are pleased to tell you that we are
satisfied TATOC Consumer Helpline is
established for charitable purposes for the
public benefit. It has therefore been entered
on to the Register of Charities with the
Registered Charity Number 1158892.”
We were greatly disappointed when this was
rejected. But, following discussions with the
Commission, we recognised and understood
why: much of its scope lay outside of the
requirements for charitable status under the
Charities Act 2011.
It has been a two-year battle but the work
and reputation of the helpline has proved the
deciding factor. We gave an assurance to the
Commission that the helpline will continue
to be exclusively for the public benefit and
that we will do everything in our power to
maximise that benefit.
The Commission suggested that an
application might be more favourably received
if it was made on behalf of the TATOC
So now the work begins! The motivation for
seeking charity status was not an academic
exercise or some casual ‘label’ we sought for
the TATOC Consumer Helpline.
It was to enhance the reputation and
recognition of the helpline to assist in its
work, and to help in attracting funding to
continue, broaden, and expand our consumer
help wherever it is required.
TATOC conference
2015 – Time To Change
“The theme of TATOC’s 2015 conference
will be ‘Time to Change’ and I believe this
is something that everyone involved in the
industry needs to consider.”
So said Harry Taylor, TATOC CEO, who is
planning the association’s key annual event.
The industry is experiencing challenging times.
Legislators throughout Europe, the media and
consumer bodies are looking at how TATOC is
tackling the issues of perpetuity contracts and
exit policies.
“All parties involved in our industry have had
discussions and debates – now is the time to
Taylor has chosen a wide range of speakers who
will share their thoughts, suggestions and ideas
for positive change - building a long-lasting
future for owners with a legitimate industry.
Speakers announced to date
John Spence - Karma Resorts
Gregory G. Crist - National Timeshare
Owners Association
Darren Ettridge - Interval International
Michael Coletta – Hilton Grand Vacation
Stuart Carrington - Thomas Westcott
Calvin Lucock - RDO
Robert Webb - ARDA ROC
Geoff Chapman - TATOC
Mark Caldicott - TATOC Consumer Helpline
Alex Radford - My Lawyer in Spain Group
Phil Watson - Worldwide Timeshare
Francis Taylor - DAE
Ramy Filo – DAE
Second RDO/TATOC seminar:
The second joint RDO/TATOC seminar will
take place on Friday, March 6th, 2015 at the
TATOC conference venue.
Delegate booking forms and further details on
speakers, the programme and the seminar are
available on the TATOC website.
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With a low initial entry cost, part exchange options and probably the most cost effective
annual fees in the industry, eXpectations Holidays private members club is a natural choice
for owners wishing to increase their holidaying options and may provide a simplified exit
route for members when the time comes.
Marketing support and incentives available to resorts and owner’s committees.
To discover more call us now on
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or email [email protected]
ISSUE 20 • Winter 2014
In my
Working together to
make a difference
by Robin Mils, managing director, Aroma
haretime magazine spoke with Robin
to find out his views on the future of
the timeshare industry.
Take as an analogy the mobile or cell phone.
The average consumer utilises only 20 per
cent of a smart phone’s functionality.
What is your background in the timeshare
industry and what experience have you
gained during that time?
We should learn from this and offer a product
that the majority of our clients will use,
keeping it as simple and transparent as possible.
I joined the industry in 1985 just as so many
others at that time, by pure accident!
From a consumers’ perspective I feel that only
in recent years have they started to become as
pro-active as they could and also should.
I cut my teeth in the Algarve working with
one of my greatest mentors, Jorge D’Almeida.
It was mental but very enjoyable.
Some years later I went on to set up Interval
International’s Portuguese operation. From
there I went on to assume varying positions
culminating as group sales director.
Interval was a tremendous training ground
for me in all aspects of the industry. It was
here that an appreciation of the consumer’s
needs in product development really started to
feature in my thought process.
After my time at Interval International, I went
on to develop a points scheme for RMI called
Infiniti. I subsequently managed the merger of
RMI with Jack Petchey’s Portuguese operation.
Most recently I have been working with
Club Leisure Group to develop a European
operation. I am working to promote our
management company First Resorts as it
expands its portfolio into Europe starting with
the acquisition of Brockwood Hall.
Further, I hold several key positions within
the Resort Development Organisation
(RDO), the European trade body. I do feel
that my years of experience in the industry
give me the ability to contribute positively as
a ‘navigator’ to the differing directions we are
certainly going to head in the coming years.
What changes have you seen over the years for
consumers and the industry?
I cannot help but feel that we really have not
changed our offering anywhere near to the
extent that we should have over the years
to stay up-to-date with our clients’ rapidly
changing requirements. The industry is not
offering products for a new, far more diverse
client base.
I am certain we over-complicated points
programmes initially to give the perception of
tremendous change from the existing product.
We also tried to build far too much into the
product, when in reality the inner core was
very much more of the same thing.
With TATOC to help, they have the
opportunity to take the product and the
industry to the next level.
Can the industry reverse the poor perception
of timeshare in certain sections of the media?
Certain sections of the media do not want to
ever have their perceptions changed, whatever
we do. We need to appreciate this and move on.
We must work together with the media as
a whole and on all platforms and levels. We
need positive campaigns with clear achievable
We have a fun product – and we should be
championing this to all ages. We need to
make changes to keep us ahead of the game
and our product competitive within the
mainstream leisure and tourism sector.
Is there a market for existing owners to sell
their weeks and points?
Until we change the perception of our
product offering as well as of the industry as a
whole, I am sorry to say that this is not viable.
Ours is a product that is still in the main sold
and not bought. Once we are able to reverse
that, then most certainly there will be a resale/secondary market.
Again, at the risk of becoming monotonous,
we will only achieve this by all stakeholders
working as a team and pulling in the same
direction to achieve a common set of objectives.
What is the likelihood of new products being
introduced to existing owners and programmes to
improve the experience of long standing owners?
Robin Mills, managing director, Aroma
Robin Mills, managing director of
the points-based holiday programme
Aroma, will be celebrating 30 years in
the industry in 2015. His experience
includes working with timeshare
exchange organisation Interval
International through to his work
with the industry’s trade association,
the Resort Development Organisation
(RDO) – with much more in between.
by default, the experience of long-standing
existing members will be improved.
We all need to deal with the two ‘elephants in
the room’ – exit and re-sale.
It is imperative that in the very near future we
come up with a strong and manageable exit
policy that both works and is fair to all parties.
With your crystal ball, tell us what you see
for the timeshare industry and buyers in the
next five years?
I hope what I see matches what I wish for all
of us.
I would like to think that we can develop
further a flexible, dynamic industry that
is in a position to meet the ever-changing
requirements of our existing owners – as well
as attracting many new clients.
As for management fees, I feel charges will
evolve in the coming years to be more biased
towards usage as opposed to being purely fixed.
I feel there will be continued consolidation
of our existing business, which will assist in
resolving some of the on-going problems of
our legacy resorts. It is essential that we do
not just leave them to hang out and dry.
There certainly will be. New offerings have
already started. But they do need to go much
deeper and change considerably in order to
appeal to a far broader range of consumer.
I do feel that resolving the exit issue will go
quite some way to paving the way for creating
a re-sale solution. We have been an industry
of innovators over the years. We must not lose
sight of that element.
Finally, everyone appears to be of the same
opinion that change is essential as well as
being integral to a strong future. Therefore,
But we need to work hand in hand with
consumers while utilising innovation to
achieve a more certain, brighter future.
Pergola chairman
celebrates silver
Resort news
Kololi sets
up library
in The Gambia
he Isle of Man Family Library is
spreading the world of books far
and wide – with a gift to help set up
a library in The Gambia.
It has made the donation through the
International Black and White Association
(IBWA), a non-religious and non-political
charity, which stands for respect between
different races and cultures.
The charity helps people who are disadvantaged
and exposed to intolerance via link ups with
local charities around the world.
Books donated by the Family Library and the
Mobile Family Library have been sent to a
children’s library in Kololi, in the Gambia.
Martin Freestone, developer of Kololi Beach
Club and director of the IBW Association,
said: ”With the donation of the books it was
important that they found a good home and
that they were made available to those who
Local boys enjoying the new Kololi library
need them. Setting up a library here in Kololi
was the answer.”
The books range from those for young children
to large print editions for adults.
“This is a wonderful donation
and one that will make a real
difference to people in The
Gambia,” said Jennie Thompson,
fellow director of IBWA.
Mary Cousins, librarian in charge of the
Family Library, said: ‘We are more than happy
to donate books we no longer have need for to
such a worthy cause. Having met Jennie, we
were impressed with the aims of the charity
and more than happy to help.”
For more information on Kololi Beach Club
he Langdale Estate, in the English
Lake District, has added to its
award-winning sustainability
credentials by generating sufficient
electricity via water wheel to power its two
electric Twizy cars.
Set in the former gunpowder works’ original
water wheel pit, the innovative new model is
now producing enough electricity to effectively
run its two electric cars.
The Langdale Twizzy
The Twizy cars are
offered for hire to
Langdale Estate
guests, enabling
them to explore
the Lake District
scenery while
enjoying peace
of mind that
their journey is
effectively carbon
he Pergola Club in Malta has
been celebrating 25 years of
Ann Jennings’ role as committee
Ann and her husband Chris have been
owners at the Maltese resort since 1986 when
they first visited with their children.
At this time Ann was teaching full time
before her move to head of further education
for a national charity and setting up their
new centre in the Midlands.
After this, Ann continued her career in
teacher training and became the education
and training manager for a national company.
“The first annual general meeting took place
in June 1989. In short, I wasn’t happy with
the agenda and travelled over to Malta to
attend. It was from there that I was voted on
to the committee and have been re-elected
every year since then.”
As Ann’s work with the club increased she
decided to become even more involved and
her company Medjen was appointed the
collecting agent for the resort’s maintenance
Langdale water wheel
generates ‘Twizy’ power
The estate recently partnered with the University
of Cumbria to install the new water wheel,
which is a modernised, state-of-the-art version of
the usual classic design.
The developer John Grima presents
a plaque to Ann Jennings
The new water wheel
Charity coffee morning
“I remain passionate and committed to the
club and its members,” she says. “There have
been many ups and downs over the years but
I am happy to say we have come through
them and are still enjoying our holidays.”
One example of Ann’s relationship building
with Pergola members is the club’s annual
weekend activity held in the U.K.
n September 25, Azure staged a
coffee morning at its Malta resort
as part of the 2014 World’s Biggest
Coffee Morning, a worldwide fundraising
event by Macmillan cancer support group.
Azure Malta invited members, staff and guests
at the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Golden Sands
to “pop in and sample some of the mouthwatering cakes on display” and make donations
to Macmillan – the largest cancer care and
support charity in the U.K.
“It was a lovely event and a great achievement.
Well done to everyone involved,” said Gaye
Shakeshaft, an Azure member.
Azure management doubled the amount raised
on the day to €2,570.
Members enjoying the annual weekend event
This year’s event was held at the Hollins
Hall Hotel, Shipley. Some 60 guests enjoyed
a Bavarian-themed gala dinner and the
weekend included a visit to Lotherton Hall,
in Leeds, and a steam train experience to
Haworth, home of the Bronte sisters.
ISSUE 20 • Winter 2014
Diamond launches
additional guest services
Resort news
Diamond Resorts has introduced a range of guest services in their U.K. and European
resort destinations. They include:
Universal sockets
Conscious of the stringent luggage rules imposed
by airlines, Diamond has installed one ‘universal’
socket in all its managed resort accommodation
across Europe, with the exception of the U.K. at
this time.
This means that guests do not need to worry
about packing adaptors for any electrical
appliances they bring, as their normal electrical
plugs will fit into the new socket.
Clubs to hire
A brand new service available for golfers enables
them to hire golf clubs and other equipment.
With several locations throughout Europe,
including two retail shops at Malaga and Faro
(Algarve) airports, local handlers will meet
customers at the airport or the resort to deliver
and return the hired equipment.
Coffee to go
Guests who now fancy a coffee while at reception
can take advantage of a new service available at
all European resorts.
New Nespresso machines with different capsule
coffee flavours are ready for guests to use.
Start your day the fresh bread way
Local bakeries have been contracted to deliver,
where requested, freshly made bread and pastries
to guests in their apartments every day.
Changes to WiFi
By the end of March 2015 and across all
Diamond managed resorts in Europe, WiFi
access will now be offered to members free of
charge for two concurrent devices per bedroom.
Access will be limited with members restricted from
downloading movies, video streaming and so on.
Resorts will do their utmost to supply sufficient
bandwidth to cover all members’ connectivity
Launch of DRI
Monscierge app
The rollout of Monscierge,
an advanced technology of
interactive touchscreen devices,
has been successfully installed at
27 European resorts.
In addition to the lobby devices within the resorts,
members and guests can now download the Diamond
Resorts International Monscierge mobile application
for iOS or Android devices prior to their stay.
Crown recognised by industry
Crown Resorts has again been recognised
by the industry for its renowned welcome
and the holiday experience it offers to
thousands of members and guests each year.
For 2015, RCI has awarded the resort a Silver
Crown, Interval International its Select Quality
tier and TATOC has recently confirmed reaccreditation for a further three years.
These awards consolidate Crown Resorts’
position as a club offering top holiday
Emphasis at the resorts centres on ‘value for
money’ holidays and is supported by all the staff
working within the resort.
The front of house team provides a range of
services; the animation team offers seasonal
activities and cultural programmes for all age
groups; the food and beverage staff provides
meals and drinks in the restaurants and cafes;
and the maintenance and cleaning staff handles
the apartments and public areas.
Finally, the Crown Resorts PLUS department
offers a range of add-on holiday enhancements
including an internal exchange service, airport
transfers, car rental, meal plan offers, discounted
They can use the app to discover resort specific
information such as on-site amenities, event
information and navigate nearby restaurant
recommendations, as well as excursion
opportunities and off-site activities.
The app allows guests to receive updates and
information on upcoming events and activities,
special offers in resorts and the latest news.
The app is available for both iOS and Android
operating systems through the search engines
by entering Diamond Resorts International and
choosing the Monscierge option.
Those downloading from iTunes will need
to select the iPhone only option, even if
downloading from an iPad.
Diamond Resorts
joins Instagram
Diamond Resorts has expanded its social
media presence on to Instagram.
The platform’s ability to connect highly visual
content with a large number of people is ideal
for Diamond’s new organising principle, Stay
Instagram’ s engagement rates are claimed to be
18-times higher than Facebook and a staggering
48-times greater than Twitter, accounting for
more than 1.6 billion photo-likes per day.
golf green fees and accommodation
Crown’s commitment to on-going
improvements is supported by the
annual investment made in the
apartments and general facilities. The
owners’ committee has approved the
following works for winter 2014/2015:
• Up-grade of the reception area at
Club Marbella;
• Creation of indoor seating and a
billiard area in Club Marbella’s
international restaurant;
• Completion of the apartment door security
card locking systems;
• Continued investment in purchasing soft
furnishings: curtains, pillows, duvets, sofa
covers, cushions, and so on; and
• Continuation of complete apartment
refurbishment including kitchen and
bathroom upgrades.
Along with the investment in the apartments
and resorts, the club continues to invest in staff.
Every year a number of training course
The Crown team with their RCI awards
requirements are identified. These can vary
significantly, from reviewing the ‘meet and greet’
offered by staff to members and guests on arrival,
to supplying regular up-to-date information on
the recently launched club website.
Committee chairman David Francis explained:
“We are a club focused on continuous
investment and improvements, excellent ‘value
for money’ and customer service. Members can
enjoy a lifetime of holidays in one of the club’s five
locations, with a wide variety of sizes and styles of
apartments - a choice to suit all.
First Resorts, is one of South Africa’s most dynamic management companies, providing resorts and hotels with the highest
levels of Service Excellence. Managing Agents for over 60 resorts throughout the country, our comprehensive resort
management programme incorporates properties ranging from boutique bungalows to resorts with over 200 apartments.
● On and off site Operational Management
● Proven Revenue Generating Strategies
● Reservations and Rental Programmes
● Certified and Accredited Training
● Bulk commodities and Consumable Purchasing
● Design Marketing, Web and Online Strategies
● Efficient and comprehensive Financial Management
● Wellness Spa Expertise
● Food and Beverage Facilitations
● Sophisticated Customised Software
First Resorts provides our clients with a complete 360° Service.
Contact us for service evaluations and tailor made solutions for your property.
ISSUE 20 • Winter 2014
The top resorts
for disabled travellers
The 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.
or 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
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.
Woodford Bridge Country Club,
Devon, England
As an old coaching inn from the 15th century,
Woodford Bridge Country Club, in southwest England, gives travellers with disabilities
an excellent choice of one- and two-bedroom
lodges, each with its own private parking bay.
Ground floor lodges come with spacious
patios so guests can easily take in the beautiful
surroundings of the Devonshire Countryside.
The resort has a heated indoor pool and an
easily accessible bistro serving up first-class
The Big Sheep Theme Park has a full
programme of year—round entertainment
with great accessibility.
South of the resort is the must-see Eden
Project, awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of
Excellence 2014, which is also easily accessible
for all.
Pine Lake Resort, Lancashire, England
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
Offering stunning lakeside views and a
beautiful backdrop of mountainous terrain,
Pine Lake Resort has a selection of studio and
two-bedroom ‘Scandinavian-style lodges in
the heart of the English Lake District.
All Diamond team members have also carried
out accessibility training and ambassadors
have been appointed to personally take care of
guests’ requests.
The leisure centre has an indoor pool and
spa with a pool hoist. Two parking bays are
available directly outside the entrance and
there’s an adapted changing area. A team
member is also on duty for assistance during
opening hours.
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.
The towns of Carnforth, Lancaster and
Morecambe are all accessible and have
disabled toilet facilities. A brief drive north
takes travellers to Grizedale Forest, which
offers a wide array of family activities with
easily accessible trails and the only remaining
indigenous woodland herd of red deer.
Sahara Sunset, Malaga, Spain
Moorish inspired architecture is a distinctive
feature of Sahara Sunset, a year-round resort
providing guests with disabilities a choice
of one- and two-bedroom apartments from
which to enjoy Spain’s sunshine coast and
sandy beaches.
In addition to three easily accessible
swimming pools, the Santa Ana Beach, only
a stone’s throw from the resort, has been
adapted with wheelchair accessible ramps and
specially adapted buggies available to take
guests with special needs right to the water’s
The resort’s Casbah Café provides guests with
casual meals on the terrace, while the on-site
dining facility is complimented by team
members providing hours of entertainment.
Santa Barbara Golf and Ocean Club,
Golf Del Sur, Tenerife
Nestling on the southern coast of Tenerife,
Santa Barbara Golf and Ocean Club offers
one- and two-bedroom adapted apartments
overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Apartments provide ramped access, grab
rails in bathrooms and a wet room. The
spacious ocean-facing swimming pool is easily
accessible while live entertainment and local
cuisine can be enjoyed at the Ocean Lounge
& Restaurant.
The local commercial centre is wheelchair
accessible with shops, restaurants and bars.
The market stalls of Los Cristianos to the west
are easily accessible while Las Vistas Beach
has superb support for visitors with mobility
For more information on these resorts, please
visit To find
out more about other resorts well suited for
those with disabilities, visit
ISSUE 20 • Winter 2014
Affiliate news
the missing
A third ‘element’ available as
part of the Resort Solutions
Limited (RSL) and VRI
Europe’s new management
proposition is proving a
potent factor in the work of
equipping and transforming
resorts to face the future
with renewed confidence.
RSL managing director, Brad
Revell explains.
t’s been over a year since U.K.-based
resort management company RSL
became part of VRI Europe through
Interval Leisure Group’s (ILG) joint venture
partnership with CLC World.
Headquartered in Leicestershire, we are
now an operating arm of VRI Europe with
access to greater resources and expertise,
while retaining autonomy in our day-to-day
dealings with committees.
3 0 - y e aarr y
annive r
utchinson & Co Trust, one of Asia
and Europe’s leading trustees in the
shared leisure industry, celebrates
its thirtieth anniversary in 2015.
Hutchinson was incorporated in 1985 - the
same year that Microsoft released its first
version of Windows and comedian Ernie Wise
made the first mobile call in the U.K.
Timeshare had also started to take off as a new
type of leisure product and Peter Hutchinson took
his first steps into the industry, offering a simple
collections service to one resort in Portugal.
Initially running the administration from his
home with colleague, Joy Pope, the business
grew as timeshare boomed. Hutchinson was
A re-designed, modern-looking website (www. that is easy to navigate,
and a contemporary rebranding of the logo,
are visible signs of RSL looking to the future.
There are a number of areas where the support
of VRI Europe has been invaluable including
providing the assistance of CLC World for
those resorts in need of sales solutions.
Recent RSL-managed resort success stories
published in Sharetime have included features
on Monte Carvoeiro and Club Las Calas,
which point up the additional benefits of
the new arrangements; a direct result of the
backing and resources of experienced business
partners which can translate into accelerated
refurbishment programmes and new lifeblood
through re-energised sales.
Brad Revell,
RSL managing director
Monte Carvoeiro had
experienced difficult
times – appointing a
professional management
company was the turning
point for that resort.
We professionalised the
management, started a
refurbishment programme
and stabilised and
reassured the owner base.
The other piece of the jigsaw was CLC World
Sales & Marketing coming in and saying we will
back that up by taking inventory at the resort, at
the same time bringing other benefits to the table.
Similarly at Las Calas – the resort was
experiencing little demand for its traditional
fixed weeks and it did not have the sales and
marketing expertise to generate new potential
clients in the way that CLC World can.
By taking on inventory, CLC has helped the
resort bring forward refurbishment plans far
more quickly.
appointed as a trustee completion agent and
the team saw an opportunity to establish
themselves as timeshare trustees.
In 1987, the company became Hutchinson &
Co Limited, which later became Hutchinson
and Co Trust Company Limited. By the end
of the 1980s, its head office was set up in
Camberley, Surrey, from where it has been
servicing its growing resort client base ever since.
The nineties was a decade of change. Germany
was reunited, Nelson Mandela freed and the
World Wide Web was invented and the use of
the Internet grew exponentially.
The timeshare industry continued to grow
and the first meetings of the Timeshare
Association, now TATOC, took place.
The nineties saw big changes at Hutchinson,
too, as it expanded its business globally,
establishing two overseas branches in
Bangalore, India (1994) and Bangkok,
Thailand (1998).
Many years’ experience and understanding
of the timeshare industry are brought to
bear by RSL/VRI Europe. We embrace the
expertise and excellent record of CLC World
in mainland Spain and Tenerife.
RSL/VRI Europe is able to seek solutions to
resorts affected by an ageing and declining
membership base, reduced fee income and
old stock; with RSL applying its considerable
knowledge for restructuring and turning
resorts around.
By being part of something bigger, we have
more strings to our bow in which the option
to sign up with CLC World can, if required,
play a key part.
With the majority of RSL/VRI Europe
managed resorts located in Spain, the Canary
Islands, the U.K. and Portugal, these locations
are a natural focus for expansion.
Taking their developed management skills into
other resorts, notably those facing difficulties,
with the benefit of the ‘third leg’ access to CLC
World sales and marketing power, has shown
success in nurturing these back to health.
It has also introduced innovative holiday
products tailored to changing consumer
demands, offering unique fractional
ownership and exit package options backed by
CLC World’s established points system.
RSL/VRI Europe is cultivating together the
modern face of resort management – one
designed to offer a lifeline to resorts fighting
for survival and exit products for those that
need them. These have been created from
a combination of the old, in terms of well
honed over many years’ professionalism and
experience in all aspects of resort management,
with new thinking and the backing of leading
industry businesses.
The nineties also saw the introduction of key
consumer legislation for the timeshare industry
and the foundation of the industry body
Organisation for Timeshare in Europe (OTE).
Peter Hutchinson played a key role together
with other industry colleague, in creating the
OTE Code of Ethics. He also assisted the
Thai government in establishing the relevant
timeshare legislation.
The new millennium had a very bumpy start
with an economic crisis and major upheaval in
the Middle East.
Hutchinson firmed up its global expansion by
establishing an office in Spain and another in
It now offers bespoke services to resort clients
across Europe, Asia and the Far East. The
group employs more than 100 staff worldwide,
holds property and assets in trust in excess of
US$1 billion and runs over 100 client escrow
ISSUE 20 • Winter 2014
On-line timeshare sales
– is it just
a dream?
Can timeshare be sold on-line? It’s already happening says
Wesley Kogelman, CEO of timeshare re-sale and rental company
echnology 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.
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.
interact with timeshare owners to purchase
or rent their product.
In 2013 alone, we saw 13,365 purchase
offers made on timeshares advertised on our
website at an average of just over $6,100 per
offer. We post the timeshares that sold on our
website once we receive documentation that
the sale has closed.
Industry support
Wesley Kogelman
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’.
These are people who have a desire to find
out more about timeshares with intent to
purchase. No one searches ‘buy timeshare’
or for ‘timeshares for sale’ without having an
intent to buy.”
The concept of on-line marketing of the
timeshare product is how I have based my
business model, and for nearly 15 years we
have seen prospective buyers and renters
This on-line development is an industry
trend. In 2012, the American Resort
Development Association released the Shared
Vacation Ownership Owners Report through
its research arm.
The report stated that the percentage of
timeshare sales in the U.S. that came from
re-sales grew from 17 per cent in 2010 to 32
per cent in 2012, a staggering growth in just
two years.
But the more pertinent information to this
discussion is that the most popular re-sale
channel used by consumers was an ‘online
timeshare re-sale listing company.’
The global economic downturn, which began in
2008, had an impact on the growth of re-sales
as consumers became more price-conscious.
But this does not fully explain the continued
momentum we see as buyers and renters use
the web to interact with owners looking to
sell and rent.
Even the major brands are recognising this.
Marriott Vacation Club, for example, has
recently launched a re-sale page on its website
in an effort to tap into the growing on-line
demand for timeshare.
On-line acceptance
As Christmas approaches, millions of U.K.
residents will use the internet to do their
holiday shopping. Last December, on-line
trading in the U.K. for non-food purchases
grew 16.5 per cent from the previous year.
With such an acceptance of buying products
on-line, is it such a stretch to think that
consumers would use the internet to research,
and ultimately buy, a timeshare? I think it’s
a natural progression and one that is only
going to grow over time.
Affiliate news
RFS focuses
on mature
is celebrating ten
years in business
and has decided to
turn its focus to the
issues facing many
Andrew Horton,
managing director of RFS
Established by Mike and Andrew Horton,
who sold their interests in Continental
Trustees, the company recently acquired
the services of industry stalwart Jennie
Said Mike Horton: “RFS provides a
range of services to the industry for a cost
effective price. Historically, resorts used
a trustee to provide certainty to timeshare
purchasers that an independent third party
would securely hold title to the property.
“Naturally trustees make an annual charge
for providing this role. But times have
moved on. Resorts, which initially sold
ninety per cent of their inventory, have
in recent years been suffering an erosion
of membership. This means the costs of
such services are spread over a smaller
membership and this increases the annual
management fee.”
The RSF team has identified that the
fall in member numbers has other
consequences for mature resorts.
“The committee now has to ask itself
how it is going to handle surplus
accommodation, develop a rental
programme and organise a sales outlet.”
According to RFS, many committees need
to acknowledge that long-term timeshare
products are no longer a viable product
“RFS has the industry knowledge and
experience to help established resorts find
a way forward – especially those where
the committee determines policy and is
responsible for the management,” added
For more information visit:
ISSUE 20 • Winter 2014
TATOC resort accreditation
– the best is yet to come
With new TATOC resort
accreditations this year and the
first round of re-accreditations,
TATOC director and accreditation
inspector Geoff Chapman shares
the continued success of this
esort accreditation is TATOC’s
kite-mark of quality and the
highest accolade the association
can give. It is awarded to a resort as
recognition for
delivering the
highest standards
of accommodation,
facilities, and
services, and an
excellent overall
holiday experience to
owners and guests.
There is a place in the
TATOC director
resort accreditation
Geoff Chapman
programme for resorts
of all shapes and
sizes. We recognise that not all resorts
are the same. Inspections are not against a
fixed benchmark but take into account the
country, location, size and nature of a resort.
The requirement for accreditation is
for a resort to demonstrate that it fully
embraces the TATOC code of conduct - a
commitment to the highest standards of
products and services – correctly sold, well
managed and well maintained, with the
consumer as the principle focus.
TATOC’s resort accreditation programme
was launched in 2009 and there are now
41 accredited resorts, with others awaiting
their first inspection.
This year has been the busiest since the
programme was launched. Five new
resorts have been recognised and 14 resorts
had their accreditation renewed. Resorts
have been visited in Spain, the Canaries,
Menorca and the U.K.
Three more properties are currently
Club Las Calas
being evaluated and a further 11 are
due for inspection in the first quarter of
2015. This will make a total of 33 resort
approvals in the 12 months to March 2015,
and will deliver the accelerated programme
announced at TATOC’s 2014 conference.
Resort visits in 2014 have shown very
clearly that timeshare is evolving to meet
the changing needs of owners. In facing
the challenge of maintaining standards
(while controlling management fees),
resorts are developing innovative products
and gaining expertise in attracting guests
to maximise occupancy.
TATOC news
New Helpline
telephone number
he TATOC Consumer Helpline
has a new telephone number
specifically for those calling from
mobile phones and with inclusive-call
packages from their landline provider.
The new telephone number
is: 0345 230 2430.
The current 0845 230 2430 number is
still in operation.
Overall my experience has
been one of excellent resorts,
good management and strong
relationships between owners’
committees and their resorts for the
benefit of owners.
It is a genuine delight to hear ‘hot on
the lips’ of every member of staff, and
to see at every resort without exception,
a dedication and passion for consumer
service and for excellence in delivery of
the overall holiday experience.
It is this dedication at all levels of a resort
that makes it stand out from the crowd.
And it is this dedication that differentiates
timeshare from other products and makes
it still one of the finest holiday experiences
Resort Accreditation is something we are
rightly proud of and the success of the
programme demonstrates resorts feel the
same way.
Our next target is to reach the milestone
of 50 TATOC accredited resorts, and 2015
should see us well on the way.
Timeshare is evolving and so must
TATOC if the recognition programme
is going to see another truly exciting
year, especially as we extend TATOC
accreditation to incorporate points clubs
and other flexible ownership products.
We’ve had our successes but the best is yet
to come.
Club Marbella
Sharetime updates
website look
esponding to increased traffic,
TATOC has updated the design of
the Sharetime magazine website.
The modern, easy-to-navigate design
incorporates the latest news from the
timeshare industry, interesting business
and resort features, offers from TATOC
affiliates and competitions.
The site also includes an archive of all
previous editions of Sharetime magazine.
These can be viewed directly from the
website or can be downloaded as a PDF for
later viewing or printing.
The website is sponsored by RCI, Dial An
Exchange, Merlin Software and Worldwide
Timeshare Hypermarket.
Sponsorship and advertising opportunities
are still available.
Visit the updated site at:
Club Caronte
Resort in focus
Las Calas
Club Las Calas, located on the
Canary Island of Lanzarote, was
the first resort to receive TATOC
accreditation in 2011. As the
resort is set to undergo reaccreditation, Sharetime spoke
with committee chairman Mike
West to learn more about this
ever-popular resort.
Facts and figures
Las Calas comprises four distinct areas.
• Las Calas 1: 18 one-bed apartments and
two-bed bungalows;
• Las Calas 2: 56 one-bed apartments
and four two-bed apartments;
• Las Calas 3: 38 one-bed apartments,
16 two-bed apartments and two
penthouses; and
• Mimosa: eight one-bed apartments
and two two-bed apartments.
There are two bars and restaurant facilities,
a games area which has children’s play
equipment, a squash court, gym, table
tennis, DVD and book library and mini
shop selling essentials such as milk, bread,
water and so on.
There are 4,500 owners and approximately
one third of our occupancy are exchange
guests from RCI and Dial an Exchange.
The resort operates a successful rental
programme, both on-site and through
Resort Solutions.
The resort has achieved RCI Gold Crown
status for 14 years and has been voted the
number one destination in Europe by Dial
An Exchange members for the past two years.
Could you tell us a little about the
history of Club Las Calas?
Las Calas is located in Puerto Del Carmen,
Lanzarote. While this is a busy area of the
island, our resort is a short walk from the
seafront, which is ideal for guests, and situated
in a quiet, residential setting.
One of the swimming pools at Las Calas
The building and opening of Las Calas 2 and 3
quickly followed, with the bars and restaurant
facilities opening in these areas at the same time.
Mimosa was a stand-alone complex and
subsequently incorporated into the Las Calas
You use the services of a professional
management company - why did you
choose this option?
We feel it vitally important that our resort is
managed and maintained in a professional way.
Using the services of a management company
gives us this benefit.
The resort has an elected committee working
with the management company so we feel we
have the best of both worlds: a professional
approach that is balanced by the needs of our
owners and guests and represented by our
elected committee.
Rachel, who has been at the resort for over 25
years, manages Las Calas and her knowledge
of ‘all things Las Calas’ is what keeps us the
friendly, family resort it is.
Many of the staff have been with us for more
than 15 years and present friendly, welcoming
faces to our regular guests. We pride ourselves
on our clean and well-maintained site. This is
only possible due to the hard work of our team
of cleaners, maintenance staff and gardeners.
How have timeshare sales fared over
the past five years? How do you sell
your weeks and do you offer a re-sale
service for your owners?
It offers relaxing, quiet holidays – yet is close
enough to local bars, restaurants, shops and
local transport to make it a superb position.
Traditional timeshare sales have been slow so we
entered into agreements recently with business
partners who have products available to bring
new people to our resort.
Las Calas 1 was built and opened some 28
years ago. Many of the original owners are still
regular guests on the resort.
To some degree this has worked and has
certainly helped us be in a healthy financial
We recognise this should not be our only
avenue towards making sure our resort
remains viable. We are always exploring other
ideas to generate sales and footfall on the
We sell to owners, friends and family should
they wish to purchase more fixed weeks and,
latterly, have tried initiatives to enhance this
How do you keep your product attractive
to today’s holidaymaker while still
making ownership financially viable?
Given other holiday options available in the
marketplace, this is hard.
Our greatest sales points remain the continued
quality of the resort, its family feel and the
high standards of maintenance.
Alongside this is the opportunity to visit
the resort time and again, knowing what to
expect. This seems to be the driving force in
retaining our owners.
What are the key points of Club Las
Calas’ success – and what are your
main challenges as a mature resort?
The key points are the family feel, consistently
providing what owners and guests expect and
quality accommodation and facilities with
realistic and affordable maintenance fees.
Our owners have matured with the resort so
the key challenge is to generate a new group
of owners who have the passion to return to
the resort year after year.
We recognise that to do this we need to be
creative in our thinking and not just rely on
traditional timeshare style ownership.
By entering into the agreement with our
current business partner the committee has
been able to draw on their sales and marketing
expertise and offer a variety of ownership
ISSUE 20 • Winter 2014
How do you keep your owners
engaged with the resort so they pay
their maintenance fees and return
each year?
To date nearly all comments have been
complimentary. There are a few negatives
- but we know we will never please everyone and lots of good ideas that we will, subject to
cost constraints, try to incorporate.
We use a variety of media to keep owners
informed on what is happening at the resort
and with the accommodation.
How important is your resort website
and do you get involved with social
Las Calas has a Facebook page that allows us
to promote the resort to owners and nonowners alike. We also have a website (with
a separate, password-protected section for
owners), where we provide information and
news to keep people informed about all that is
The website deals with any issues that are
consistently raised by owners. This ensures
they understand what is really happening
rather than rely on rumour and word of
Our website is extremely important. Facebook
is also important as it gives us a platform to
communicate with non-owners and they can
see what we do and have to offer.
We are very careful that we add only general
news on our Facebook page. It is not the
correct place to share information that is
pertinent only to those people who have a
‘stake’ in our resort.
Everyone was kept informed of the plans
at the AGM and on the website. One
apartment has now been completed and is
available for owners to view when they are in
Lanzarote. There is a book available to capture
There are pictures on the website and we
have set up a dedicated e-mail address for
We have adopted the RDO guidelines
regarding perpetuity and have communicated
this to our owners. We are looking into
building this formally into our constitution.
We are trying to identify suitable exit
strategies and one such plan was launched last
year. Owners who meet certain age and length
of membership criteria can exit the club while
retaining the right to re-visit at owners’ rates
as long as they wish to.
Club Las Calas was the first resort
to receive TATOC accreditation. What
have been the benefits of this to the
resort and why did you choose to
become accredited?
Our management company, Resort Solutions,
has always been a great supporter of TATOC
and they suggested that Las Calas put itself
forward for the accreditation programme.
An upgraded bedroom at Las Calas
We undertook a survey last year asking
owners what they would like to see in
the refurbishment. We then made critical
decisions on what we could afford to do and
what may need to wait for a second phase.
With so much focus on perpetuity
contracts and exit strategies at the
moment, what are your plans for the
next five years?
Our plans for the next five years are in the
development stage and will evolve as we agree
new and varied opportunities.
An upgraded kitchen at Las Calas
The committee has been planning the
refurbishment for some time and setting
aside funds to ensure we have sufficient to
undertake the necessary work without having
to approach the owners for more.
activities, as are the management company
and resort management team. It works
because all parties work together.
Our contract with our current business
partner also offers some form of exit strategy
to our owners should they wish to take that
We post an annual newsletter with the
maintenance invoices and communicate by post
before and after the annual general meeting to
highlight key issues and to inform owners of
proposals and outcomes from the AGM.
You are planning a refurbishment
programme next year. What is your
approach to this, how is it being
funded and how do you keep your
owners happy and informed?
The upgraded reception at Las Calas
You have a relatively new owners’
committee at the resort. How
important is this group to your
business activities? How involved are
they in the daily resort operation?
Our committee is elected to represent our
owners’ interests, to ensure that their voice is
heard and to ensure the financial wellbeing of
the club.
The committee works alongside the
management company and resort
management team and is very aware of the
resort’s daily operations. The resort manager
attends committee meetings with a key
member of the management team.
Full and frank discussions takes place between
all parties and the committee is responsible
for establishing and monitoring the strategic
direction of the resort.
The committee is critical to the business
We believe that our association with TATOC
enhances our credibility with owners and
guests. While the accreditation programme
gives us reassurance that we are operating to
the highest standards, both in terms of quality
of the product we offer and the ethics with
which we conduct our business.
Their industry experience is also invaluable to
the committee.
What do you think the future is for
timeshare in general?
Timeshare in its traditional form is perhaps no
longer suitable for the younger market and the
way people choose to take holidays these days.
We have to adapt and identify new ways to
attract people to resorts: shorter membership
lengths, different product offerings (maybe
some form of all-inclusive deal as an example)
and consider whether our resorts have the
facilities people are looking for.
We all need to evolve and not think the way
we currently do and it will remain good for
the future.
Help to make business
more accessible
Hadrian’s Wall, near Housesteads
©VisitBritain / Rod Edwards
new £45,000 on-line training
programme is set to help Scotland’s
hotels, visitor attractions, pubs and
restaurants better cater for the requirements
of people with access needs including those
with disabilities, elderly visitors and parents
with small children.
Available free of charge, the initiative
from the Scottish Tourism Alliance will be
available to all Scottish businesses.
As well as promoting good practice, the
training, which is split into four categories
(accommodation, visitor attractions,
restaurants/catering, and pubs and bars), will
provide users with a better understanding of
the requirements of this growing market.
Scottish tourism employment
levels up 16 per cent
mployment in tourism has increased
by a sixth in the space of a year,
according to official figures. The
number of jobs in the tourism sector
increased by 29,700 between 2012 and
This represents an increase of 16.4 per cent
from 181,500 to 211,200.
Within the sector, the largest rise in the
number of jobs is in the restaurant and mobile
food business, which has risen by 19,500.
Hotels and similar accommodation rose by
Tourism minister Fergus Ewing said: “Our
strong tourism sector provides over 210,000
jobs and is of significant value to the Scottish
economy, making up around five per cent of
our GDP.
“Tourism plays a vital role in promoting the
Scottish brand and it is important that we
continue to build on our success in this area.
“We are committed to supporting the tourism
industry and are working with the Scottish Tourism
Alliance to deliver Tourism Scotland 2020.
“This strategy seeks to make Scotland a
destination of first choice for a high-quality, valuefor-money and memorable customer experience,
delivered by skilled and passionate people.
“The Scottish Government is supporting,
through Skills Development Scotland, a
tourism skills investment plan.
“This plan will improve management,
leadership and enterprise in the sector, ensuring
staff have the skills to deliver a high-quality
visitor experience, raise the attractiveness of the
sector and provide high-quality training.”
Activities will spotlight, celebrate and promote
Scotland’s natural larder and quality produce,
promoting Scotland’s reputation as a land of
food and drink.
Surveys have shown that 49 per cent of people
visiting Scotland want to try local food and
two-thirds of Scotland’s visitors think that
quality food is an important factor when
deciding where to go on holiday.
Scotland’s celebrations are set to continue
in 2015 with the launch of its Year of Food
and Drink.
VisitScotland will deliver a comprehensive
marketing and PR campaign promoting the year
and Scotland as a Land of Food and Drink.
Food and drink is an important part of Scottish
cultural identity and heritage and is a key strength
in promoting Scotland as a holiday destination.
Note: TATOC would like to hear how our
Scottish member resorts are you going to
capitalise on this brilliant opportunity.
Scotland The Friendly
cotland has been voted one of
the friendliest countries in the
world by readers of on-line travel
magazine Rough Guides.
In a year that has seen Scotland welcome the
world by hosting the Glasgow Commonwealth
Games, Homecoming and the 2014 Ryder
Cup at Gleneagles, the country is the only
European nation to appear in the top ten.
It was voted the ninth friendliest country
following votes made on the Rough Guides
website and via Twitter.
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said:
“We are famed for the warmth of our welcome
and this is a true testimony to that. 2014 has
taken Scotland’s profile and reputation to great
heights and we are determined to make the
most of this for the future”.
According to a VisitScotland Visitor survey,
80 per cent of visitors agreed that they were
made to feel welcome by locals.
The top-ten friendliest countries in the
world according to the Rough Guides are:
1. Cambodia
2. The Philippines
3. Laos
4. Nepal
5. Thailand
6. Myanmar (Burma)
7. Indonesia
8. Fiji
9. Scotland
10. Sri Lanka
ISSUE 20 • Winter 2014
2014 - Scotland’s year
The year just passed was billed as ‘The Year of the Homecoming’
and Scotland did not disappoint. An entire year of events and truly
spectacular international attention provided the opportunity for Scotland
to showcase all that’s great about Caledonia.
RCI’s Marj Anderson and Blair Grant
from QLodges at Cameron House and The
Carrick on Loch Lomond, look back at the
year and consider what the future has in
store for the Scottish timeshare industry.
They took great pleasure in telling us how
much they appreciated the proximity of
such globally renowned, family friendly and
memorable events taking place here and in the
surrounding areas.
Blair Grant looks back at 2014
The lodge rental business did phenomenally
well, too, as we welcomed guests from
Scotland and further afield.
I really can’t emphasise greatly enough how
big a year this has been for us.
First came The Commonwealth Games
spectacular, which was delivered by the city
of Glasgow and gave everyone involved the
chance to shine.
The resort team and guests were embroiled
in the buzz which the international sporting
phenomenon brought to the west of Scotland.
Here at Cameron House and The Carrick, we
saw owners and rental guests alike immersing
themselves in the coverage.
Some staff members even took the oncein-a-lifetime opportunity to volunteer as a
Clydesider Volunteer and make themselves
invaluable to the delivery of the Games.
And as if the Games weren’t enough, the
Ryder Cup soon followed.
This gave many of our owners the chance to
stay with us on the banks of Loch Lomond
and make the short trip to Gleneagles for the
event. In their downtime, they even enjoyed a
round or two of golf on the resort.
As the sun set on a magnificent summer,
November brought the internationally acclaimed
MTV European Music Awards to Scotland.
Both our younger and more mature guests
enjoyed the entertainment and excitement
that such a huge show brings to the area.
2014 has also been a tremendous year for
our owners had some of the most memorable
holidays they have enjoyed in years.
The benefits of all that has happened in
Scotland in 2014 have reverberated around
businesses in the country including us here at
QLodges (formerly De Vere). We anticipate
2015 with great excitement and hope to
deliver yet another year of great memories for
all who visit.
Marj Anderson looks to the future
View up to Edinburgh castle on Castle Rock.
©VisitBritain/ Simon Winnall
The team at Kilconquhar in Fife is diversifying
into new products and have managed to hold
their maintenance fees at the same rate for the
past three years. Auchrannie enjoys superb
scores from our exchange guests and Melfort
Village has just brought its restaurant back in
house under the management of the resort.
Of course, the perpetuity issue is a hot topic
and RCI is watching closely as companies
and their respective committees launch their
It is an exciting time for timeshare in
Scotland. Recent events in Scotland have
boosted the country’s profile and all owners
have benefited from this.
When timeshare was launched in Scotland
we all wanted the forever product and would
probably not have bought it otherwise.
Not only does Scotland have the highest
propensity of RCI Gold Crown resorts than
any other country in the world but some
of the U.K.s leading hospitality groups are
prominent players in the area.
Thirty years later things have changed and
owners do not want to pass their timeshare to
their children. By giving owners the opportunity
to exit, even it is only every couple of years,
means that they do not have this worry.
Twelve of RCI’s 15 resorts in the area have
achieved Gold Crown status while there
are seven resorts that have attained Interval
International’s Premier Resort status.
It might not be right for all owners at the
moment, but at least they know the option is
there should they need it.
Many of the resorts are mature but this does
not mean that the developers have lost interest
in them. Indeed, it is quite the opposite.
Hilton at Craigendarroch has enjoyed huge
investment recently and there is now an onsite sale team and Macdonald Resorts have
also invested heavily at Spey Valley Golf &
Country Club Forest Hills Lochside Resort &
Lochanhully Woodland Club.
And it is not just the large groups that are
investing and enjoying success.
I think in the coming years we will see more
resorts entering the market. There is great
opportunity in the West Coast of Scotland
for example. We will also see new products
and ways to sell off weeks by mature, sold-out
There is huge experience and knowledge
among the developers and committees at
our Scottish resorts and I am really proud of
the work they do. I have been the account
manager for the area since 1999 and many of
them have become good friends and we have a
great working relationship.
The Cairngorms national park.
©VisitBritain/ Joe Cornish
ISSUE 20 • Winter 2014
Resort reviews
Review of a resort:
Regular Sharetime reviewer and
timeshare owner Stephen Burton
shares his thoughts on Langdale,
a TATOC member resort, located in
the Lake District.
The lodges at Langdale
angdale was one of the earliest
timeshare resort developments in the
U.K and it’s my guess that, if there was
ever a vote to decide the best resort in the
country, Langdale would be voted best of all.
I have stayed once at Elterwater Hall at
Langdale. There are several apartments located
in a large converted property just a couple of
minute’ walk from the main development.
It comprises four resorts that are affiliated
with RCI. They include Langdale, Chapel
Stile Apartments at Langdale, Elterwater Hall
at Langdale and Aroma at Langdale.
The apartment I stayed in was superb and
had a sunken ‘Roman-style’ bath. It rates
as possibly the finest timeshare apartment
that I have stayed in during my 34 years of
timeshare ownership.
I have stayed on five separate occasions at
this resort: four times at the main Langdale
development and once at Elterwater Hall at
Unlike others that have a significant number
of units for re-sale, often at almost give away
prices, Landgale has only a limited number of
weeks available.
Indeed, many owners often enjoy a profit
from the re-sale of their weeks - which is far
from a common occurrence in other timeshare
A principal reason for this situation is the
location of the resort. Many of the lodges
overlook a tarn (small lake) or are located by
the side of a fast running beck (stream).
The other reasons are the high standard of the
lodges and apartments and the superb on-site
swimming pool and spa.
While I have not stayed at Chapel Stile
Apartments, I am familiar with its location,
just a few hundred yards from the main resort.
It is in the same building as Wainwrights Pub,
named after famous fell walker and guidebook
author, the late Alfred Wainwright.
The local Co-op convenience store is located
just a few yards from these apartments,
making it a very convenient location for
shopping for groceries.
There are ten apartments at Chapel Stile
and my understanding is that they are of the
same high standard as the lodges at the main
Langdale development.
Langdale is located in Cumbria, in the Lake
District - the wettest part of England. Average
annual rainfall is over seventy inches. In fact
there are around two hundred days each year
when rain falls for part of the day.
The lodges overlooking the beck
On average there are 145 dry days and 20
days when it will snow.
Many people come here for the
walking opportunities. If, like
myself, you prefer a fairly flat
walk, then a walk by the river
to Chesters tearoom is to be
If you like hill walking then those to Scafell
Pike, Helvellyn, Skiddaw and Langdale
Pikes are popular. I particularly like the walk
around Tarn Howes, which is scenic and not
too difficult in terms of hill walking.
There are two pubs located close to Langdale.
The Brittania Inn is just yards from the rear
entrance to the resort. This pub serves great
fish and chips. The other pub is Wainwrights.
I guess it’s a matter of personal choice as to
which of the nearby towns and villages are
best to visit.
My personal favourite is Grasmere, a
charming village right in the heart of the Lake
District National Park.
The Langdale spa
It was once the home of the world famous
poet William Wordsworth, and it’s possible to
visit two of his former homes - Dove Cottage
and Rydal Mount.
Other places of interest worth a visit are
Ambleside, Windermere, Hawkshead,
Bowness, Coniston, and Keswick. The last
three are located by Lakes Windermere,
Coniston and Derwent Water.
The famous author Beatrix Potter lived in the
Lake District for a lengthy period of her life.
Much of her estate is now run by the National
Trust, which worked hard to keep the Lake
District as a National Park.
One last point I should mention is that this
resort is in high demand from RCI members
all year round.
If you plan to visit, it’s important you put in
an on-going search as early as possible to give
yourself a reasonable chance of an exchange
confirmation for this highly sought-after
timeshare resort.
Ron Haylock appeal
raises over £60,000
ARDA survey
identifies today’s
new timeshare
ccording 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 crosssection 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 ‘Generation Xers’ (born between 19651980) 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 —
ollowing an outstanding response from
friends and colleagues of the late Ron
Haylock, more than £60,000 has been
raised to create the Ron Haylock Music Room
at the Christel House School, South Africa.
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.
In terms of financial commitment, the new
timeshare owner values the long-term vacation
savings and flexibility timeshare provides:
thirty-six per cent purchased timeshare to save
money on future vacations and thirty-one per
cent bought for the flexibility the product offers.
The new owners are also savvy consumers,
with seventy-five per cent having had some
form of interaction with a timeshare resort
before purchasing.
Forty-four per cent initially stayed at the
resort where they bought as a guest of another
owner and forty-two per cent experienced
timeshare vacations through renting first.
Thirty-five per cent attended multiple sales
presentations before buying.
Overall ownership has increased: U.S.
households that own a timeshare rose from 7.2
per cent in 2012 to 7.9 per cent today, with
the purchase price having risen to an average
of nearly $20,000.
Among overall timeshare owners, timeshare
vacations are fairly evenly spread between
summer, autumn and spring and forty per cent
are as likely to travel under 500 miles as they
are to travel 1,000 miles or more (43 per cent).
Seventy-five per cent of owners vacationed at a
timeshare resort while sixteen per cent converted
their timeshare to a different type of vacation or
vacation-related purchase (cruises, airline tickets,
car rentals, hotel stays and so on).
Fitzpatrick affiliates to
Interval International
itzpatrick Castle has affiliated nine
of its holiday homes to Interval
The resort is set in the Irish village of Killiney,
20 minutes south of Dublin. Built on a hillside
within the grounds of the 18th century
Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, the luxury apartment
guests have full access to the hotel’s facilities.
These include two restaurants, an indoor
swimming pool, a gym, sauna, steam room,
whirlpool and a full-service beauty salon.
Eight of the Fitzpatrick Castle Holiday Homes
have a private balcony or large terrace, spacious
living and dining area, fully equipped kitchen
and separate utility room. En-suite amenities
include two flat screen TVs, a DVD player,
telephone, Wi-Fi and intercom.
Existing owners will become Club Interval
Gold members, entitling them to trade their
week or convert it to points for maximum
exchange flexibility.
The school has a huge demand for access to music
and the success of the appeal means that every child
in school years seven to 11 – some 325 students
– will now have the chance to take up a musical
instrument, receive expert tuition and potentially
play in the newly-formed school brass band.
This memorial to Ron Haylock will ensure that
future generations of students, teachers and visitors
to Christel House in Cape Town will be able to
appreciate the legacy of a man who opened so
many doors for young people during his lifetime.
The Music Room
will display a
memorial plaque
with a tribute to
Ron and a list of
the names of all
donors, irrespective
of the contribution
amount. Around 150 donors from 13 different
countries have already contributed to the appeal.
For anyone who has not yet donated,
but wishes to be included, there is a final
opportunity to be part of this tribute.
1. At the JustGiving webpage http://www. and
donate via credit or debit card (recommended
for U.K. taxpayers as HMRC will contribute
Gift Aid at 25 per cent gross).
2. Sending a cheque to (or make a bank
transfer to) First National Trustee Company
who agreed to act as escrow agents free of charge
(recommended for corporate donations in nonsterling denominations). Contact Karen
Ainley on +44 (0) 1624 630630 or email
[email protected] for account details.
3. Contacting Elizabeth Taylor administration manager, Christel House
Europe, on +44 (0) 7974 671373 or
email [email protected]
Founder Christel DeHaan said: “Ron Haylock
loved music and he had a keen interest in
helping young people achieve success. We are
grateful to his many friends around the world
who have helped create this Music Room to
celebrate his life and accomplishments. May
everyone—young and old—be inspired by his
example of living a meaningful life.”
Christel House seeks to transform the lives of
impoverished children around the world —
breaking the cycle of poverty and building selfsufficient, contributing members of society.
Robust education for students between the
ages of five and 18 and a strong character
development programme are complemented with
regular health care, nutritious meals, guidance
counselling, career planning, family assistance
and post-matriculation support.
ISSUE 20 • Winter 2014
RDO 2014 report - stronger together
Nikkie De Waal, director of operations and finance for the industry body
Resort Development Organisation, outlines her highlights of the recent
RDO5 conference held in London.
Jules Murray, director from Spider on the Wall
Ltd., and Peter Hales, managing director of
Michels and Taylor’s managed hotel division,
looked at how service levels in the timeshare
industry compared with those in the hotel
Delegates were advised on how to create a
great guest experience by training staff to truly
engage with customers.
Michael Levie, founding partner of CitizenM
Hotels, argued that the personalised customer
service offered by some organisations is often
scripted and feels fake; he encouraged delegates
to ‘humanise’ their customer service and be
genuine and friendly.
Dean van Leeuwen, co-founder and partner of
TomorrowToday Global, presented a session
titled ‘Mind the Gap. He highlighted the
necessity to understand how each generation’s
value systems are developed.
He stressed how these influence attitudes and
behaviours and how understanding the impact
of different generations can improve customer
relationships, communications, recruitment and
team dynamics.
Brockwood Hall joins
TATOC membership
rockwood Hall near the U.K.’s
Lake District has become a
TATOC resort member and
achieved TATOC resort accreditation.
Brand consultant BJ Cunningham,
Robin Mills, Paul Gardner Bougaard, Howard Nusbaum, Harry
visiting professor at Brighton
Taylor and Eugene Miskelly
University, kick-started the
conference with a highly entertaining
and engaging session about ‘the
Louse Pentland, fashion and beauty internet
power of telling the truth’. A brand is not a
communicator, talked about the YouTube
logo, he said. It is a promise and the key is to
generation and her own ‘Sprinkle of Glitter’
be who you really are.
brand, sharing an insight into ‘bloggers’. She
explained how to engage with the
This year’s moderator Geoff
different generations and her highly
Grout, a business consultant
amusing and frank assessment
specialising in leadership, team
demonstrated how much has
building and peak performance,
changed in social media and how
led a session on success and
the current 20/30 ‘somethings’ are
told delegates that success was a
thinking about products.
decision, reached by setting goals,
planning and commitment.
Gerd Leonhard
Futurist and global influencer, Gerd
Leonhard closed the conference
Keys to success were providing
sessions with a thought-provoking
direction, teamwork,
look at digital transformation and
communication and the ability
how it will shape the hospitality,
to change: the difficulty was not
travel, and timeshare industries in
Michael Levie
developing new ideas but escaping
the next five years.
old ones.
Delegates were told that good, consistent and
genuine customer service would result in guest
satisfaction and drive positive on-line reviews.
his 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.
Digital is the norm, he said, and everything
that can become software is being ‘digitised’.
Added values become an important reason
to buy; trust is the only currency that really
The conference also tackled key issues affecting
the industry. The risks posed by claims
companies and the new regulations for credit
lending in the U.K. imposed by the Financial
Conduct Authority (FCA), were the focus of a
breakout session.
The final panel discussion at RDO5 brought
the conference theme ‘Stronger Together’ to
life as representatives from RDO, TATOC and
ARDA discussed how to find common ground
even if they sometimes have different opinions.
“Just like an old married couple,” said TATOC
executive chairman Harry Taylor.
Robin Mills, head of the RDO conference
working group, said: “Feedback from those
attending RDO5 has been extremely positive,
and I believe that we delivered a diverse range
of speakers, who gave delegates plenty to think
Added Harry Taylor of TATOC: “For me the
take-away from RDO5 was that the industry is
rapidly changing. We are realising that we need
to be in partnership and recognise the needs of
consumers much more.”
Explaining the resort’s application for
membership, director Robin Mills said:
“I do not believe it is an option these days.
If you wish to be taken with any degree of
seriousness and credibility as a resort it is
a must.”
Built in 1884 in the scenic Whicham
Valley for the Brocklehurst family,
shipping magnates of Liverpool and close
to England’s picturesque Lake District,
Brockwood Hall now offers 32 selfcatering Scandinavian lodges, which are
dotted around the estate.
Overlooked by the Blackcombe and
Whitecombe hills, Brockwood Hall
provides members with a range of on-site
facilities and services including a leisure
centre, restaurant and bar and superb
walking on the doorstep.
The Lake District with its inspiring
landscapes, interesting towns and villages
and wealth of tourist attractions is just 40
minutes away.
The resort is also celebrating
achieving TATOC Resort
Accreditation, joining the ranks
of some of Europe’s leading
resorts that have undergone this
meaningful and robust process.
Robin Mills explained the importance
of TATOC accreditation for a resort:
“TATOC has developed an in depth
process of accreditation as a benchmark
for the industry based on many years of
experience, it is essential that we adopt
those principles as our minimum ‘KPI’s’
as a standard of operating within the
resort and build upwards from there.”
Harry Taylor, TATOC’s executive
chairman commented: “I have been
working with the Brockwood team for
some time and am delighted not only that
they have joined our membership, but
they have achieved accreditation status.
This is a great milestone for the club and
I wish them well in their future endeavours.
TATOC will support them as much as
ISSUE 20 • Winter 2014
A Concept That Evolved Out Of Change
The Club Leisure Group is proud to
announce that their latest product,
AROMA, will be made available to
interested parties in the field of sales.
Already masters in the realm of
timeshare and points club products, the
Club Leisure Group felt that although
timeshare was the best method of
pegging holiday costs over the past 30
years, flexibility has become limited,
even with the advent of the exchange
organisations. It was evident that a new
product presence was needed which had
all the positive attributes of timeshare
but none of the negatives. This led to the
formation of AROMA in December 2010.
AROMA falls within the sphere of the timeshare
industry but it is not timesharing in the true
sense. AROMA members receive certain rights
that enable them to holiday in many destinations
throughout the world. Members of the club
do not acquire individual timeshare weeks but
purchase holiday points. Although this may
seem very similar to other points schemes, the
four distinctive selling points of AROMA ensure
that the product practically sells itself:
• With AROMA, members enjoy more than
one free exchange.
• AROMA is EU compliant.
• All approved marketers have access to
credit card facilities and consumer finance.
• AROMA is the ideal exit point for timeshare
owners who have grown weary of their
timeshare product.
AROMA has a unique facility allowing
timeshare owners to trade in their timeshare in
40 Perspective Magazine Europe July-September 2012
the name of the club for points to the value of
the week - a useful option as needs change.
For example, a young, newly married couple
bought an out-of-season studio week at a
cost of possibly £5 000, while a family man
acquired a large, three bedroom unit in peak
season at a cost of £30 000. Ten years later,
the couple now has three children and the
other family’s children have all left home.
Ideally, the two families now need to swap
weeks with each other.
With AROMA, the family with a studio unit
would be allocated points amounting to the
current market value of their unit and they could
purchase additional points which would be
added to their trade-in, enabling them to holiday
during school holiday periods. The couple with
the three-bedroom unit would have a large
number of points, enabling them to take four or
five out-of-season holiday weeks. Alternatively,
they could cede points to their children or
surrender surplus points back to the club.
In February 2011, a new directive in respect
of timeshare and long term holiday products
came into force around Europe. This directive
has been welcomed by AROMA as it finally
allows for a level playing field within the industry.
Sales have slowed down considerably as many
entities struggle to adapt, however AROMA
believes that this legislation is exactly what was
needed in the industry and has always been
a firm supporter of considerable consumer
protection. Thus, AROMA finds itself in a
strong position to become the Club of our
time. The industry is moving more and more
towards the points system and the majority of
the sales within the timeshare industry are on
a points basis. Club Leisure Group, pioneer
of the points system, has shown phenomenal
growth over the last 25 years and introduced
many exceptionally well-received products.
The AROMA system is the most flexible holiday
option available and allows members to holiday
anywhere and anytime, in any size unit.
Each week of holiday accommodation is
valued on a points basis - from week 1 to
week 52 throughout the year, resort by resort.
The number of points required for each week
depends on the time of the year, the quality of
the resort and the number of bedrooms per
unit. No restriction is placed on the number
of points the member may acquire and the
member may purchase additional points
at any time. The asset made up of holiday
accommodation owned by the club represents
the total of the members’ points in the club.
Once the member has been allocated points he
can book a holiday. AROMA’s policy has been
to acquire holiday properties during sought
after holiday periods and a high percentage of
the points held are in peak periods.
The system can easily be compared with
that of a bank, where you deposit money
into an account and it continues to grow
until you withdraw it, as and when you
need to and however much you need.
Each year you are re-credited with the
number of points that you have acquired.
The points are held to the credit of the
member’s account and can be accumulated
for up to three years. At any time the member
can make a reservation and his account
will be debited with the number of points
required for the particular unit in the particular
resort of his choice.
For convenience and flexibility, AROMA has
no equal in the international market.
Tourism news
One in three
travellers busts
budgets on
ne-third of holidaymakers go
over budget early into their
holiday, a new survey reveals.
While 82 per cent of people set a budget,
three quarters of them went beyond that at
some time during their holiday.
More than one in five (21 per cent) admitted
to going over budget by up to £299.
When asked how they would continue to
spend on holiday, more than a quarter (26
per cent) said they would call home to ask for
money to be transferred into their account.
The study by pre-paid payments firm Kalixa
and Teletext Holidays showed that one in
five travellers take between £200 and £299
as spending money for a typical seven-night
North of England gets
multi-million pound
tourism boost
National tourist boards have
welcomed the news that the
government is to allocate £10
million to boost tourism in the
north of England.
he cash, which will come from the
government’s Regional Growth
Fund (RGF), will be used to develop
a new strategy for tourism in the north.
VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford
said: “This commitment from government
clearly demonstrates that tourism is being
increasingly recognised as a key driver of
the economy which creates important jobs
throughout the country.
“We will be working closely with our sponsors,
our local partners and the private sector
to devise and implement the strategy to be
launched next year.”
At present, London attracts 4.5 times more
international visitors than the north of England
as a whole, while Scotland attracts twice as
many tourists as Yorkshire and the whole of the
Announcing the award, deputy prime minister
Nick Clegg said: ‘It’s absurd that our great
North is missing out on visitors when it boasts
such stunning countryside, history and culture.
A spokesman for Kalixa Pay said: ‘’Our
research shows an overwhelming tendency
by Brits to embrace the holiday spirit while
away, which is great, so long as splashing the
cash doesn’t come at a cost to your personal
finances when you return home.
“Proper planning, budgeting and knowing
your finances are secure can help to ensure a
well-deserved break is enjoyed with that allimportant peace of mind.”
“Your resounding call is clear - a strong
Northern future relies on putting the North
back on the map as a top tourist destination.
From next year funding will be in place for
there to be a clear strategy for tourism in the
North, bringing harmony to the current offer
from 29 individual tourism boards into one
great offer.”
In 2012, VisitEngland received £19.8 million
from the RGF and implemented a three-year
project, ‘Growing Tourism Locally’.
The programme to date has generated a total of
£527 million in additional tourism spend and
created a record number of 9,800 additional jobs
for the sector, beating its target of 9,139 jobs.
VisitBritain said the £10 million allocated for
the north would enable tourist destinations in
the region to ‘build on their recent success’ and
encourage more international visitors to the
Sally Balcombe, chief executive at VisitBritain,
said visitors spent 16 per cent more in the north
of England in 2013 than in the previous year.
Social media:
Not just for big boys
A Teletext Holidays spokeswoman said: “We
all want to go on holiday to relax and have a
good time, but it’s important to keep in mind
how much you’re spending.
“It’s easy to spend too much
and find yourself out of pocket
and having to rely on a credit
card or having to call home,
which is what a lot of people
seem to be doing.”
the Northern
Futures project,
I asked people
what our
Northern cities
needed in order
to compete globally, and to grow.
f you thought that social media was
just for the big boys in the travel and
holiday industry, then a recent award
should be encouraging for smaller resorts
and companies.
The Cranleigh Boutique hotel, in the Lake
District, has won the top spot for the ‘Best use
of Facebook’ category at the 2014 U.K. social
media awards – beating organisations like
VisitEngland, Aldi and Evian.
The Cranleigh Boutique amassed almost
100,000 ‘likes’ in an 18-month period.
“We are still in disbelief at having won this
award, particularly against massive corporations
such as Aldi and Evian,” said Mr Stephen
Hargreaves, owner of the Cranleigh Boutique.
“At the end of the day, we are a small family
run hotel in the Lake District, so to be able to
compete and win at this level is fantastic.”
Judges from companies such as Google, Twitter
and McDonalds said: “We felt this was a
genuine Facebook campaign that had great
A spokeswoman for the hotel said it had attracted
followers by posting daily and being ‘proactive’.
The hotel now only sells through all other bookings come via its Facebook page.
“The Cranleigh Boutique took control of its
customer pipeline to generate leads, shifting
them to direct email channels and increasing
Cranleigh says on average 400 followers post
comments daily. The most comments received
on one post were 23,500 - which was an online
ISSUE 20 • Winter 2014
Committee chairman
goes for gold
David Francis
avid Francis,
chairman of
the Crown
Resorts’ committee, has
been making a name
for himself. Sharetime’s
reporter caught up with
him to find out more.
Sharetime: David you seem to be a very busy man.
David Francis: Yes, indeed. I was appointed
chairman of the Crown Resorts’ committee when
I retired from work some six years ago.
Since then I have often said that it was like
swapping ‘a full-time paid job’ for ‘a full-time
unpaid one’.
Sharetime: We’ve heard that you find time for
some competitive sporting activities.
David Francis: I have always been what you
might call ‘the sporty type’ and this hasn’t
changed. After I gave up competitive badminton
about ten years ago, I turned to table tennis and I play this competitively in my local league.
Sharetime: We’ve heard something about you
Committee news
David Francis: A few months after I retired I joined
my local ‘50 Plus’ group. During these four-hour
sessions, members can take part in a variety of
activities, including badminton, racket ball, short
tennis, table tennis, volleyball, bowls and swimming.
Before I joined I had never played short tennis
- but, helped by my previous two main sports
(tennis and badminton), I found that I took to
this newly found game quite well.
Every year all ‘50 Plus’ clubs in the region can take
part in the Southern England ‘React Games’, a oneday event which stages most of these activities and is
referred to as ‘the Olympic Games for older people’.
Anyway, in readiness for the October 2010 React
Games, I was selected to represent my club /
town in the short tennis tournament - and I
accepted the challenge.
My partner and I, somewhat apprehensively, went
along to the venue and we took on and surprisingly
beat all-comers and won the Gold Medal.
Crown Resorts at Club Calahonda
our title and were again successful - so three gold
medals in succession.
Sharetime: What happened the following two years?
David Francis: Fortunately, despite a few
pulled muscles, I was able to defend my title in
both 2013 and 2014. I am very surprised that
on both occasions I again came away without
having lost a match - so that is now five Gold
Medals in five consecutive years.
Sharetime: Have you competed at these Games
Sharetime: Will a sixth gold medal be
beckoning in 2015?
David Francis: The following year I entered
David Francis: To be honest, I’ll be happy if
I’m fit enough to compete - but winning again
would certainly be ‘the icing on the cake’.
again since then?
with a different partner and, again surprisingly,
we came away undefeated. In 2012 we defended
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Europe – Asia & Far East – Africa & Middle East – US & Canada – Caribbean & Bahamas – UK & Eire
ISSUE 20 • Winter 2014
Visit a
Exchange news
wider world
DAE celebrates
Island Residence Club @ Golden Sands, in the prime beach setting of the Radisson Blu
Resort & Spa, Golden Sands on the island of Malta, is one of RCI’s new affiliations this year.
Since its introduction, DAE has established
itself as a major participant in the global
exchange industry.
CI had signed up 95 new affiliated
resorts by the close of Q3 2014
to its global exchange holiday
network, and there are many more in the
“Knowing the majority of our members want to
try something different and like to explore all
their holiday exchange options, giving them a
wider world of holiday choice remains a priority
for RCI,” said Sean Lowe, MD RCI Europe,
Middle East, Africa and India.
“Choice – having as much flexibility in holiday
planning as possible – lies at the heart of the real
value of timeshare ownership for RCI members.
This is why being able to offer our members 50 per
cent more affiliated resorts to choose from than
any other exchange provider is important to us.
“It’s not about being the biggest – our focus is
simply to invest in continued efforts to make
the exchange holiday world a wider one each
and every year for our members.”
This year so far, RCI has signed 11 new resorts
in Turkey and three in Greece, while other
holiday favourites, Tenerife, Malta, Finland and
Sicily each saw new exchange options.
Offering free membership and a simple
exchange process, DAE continues to enjoy
An apartment at Island Residence Club @ Golden Sands.
SEATIME offers two- and three-bedroom yachts
sailing from Kultaranta Resort marina in Naantali.
Outside Europe: India, the Philippines, China,
South Korea, Thailand, Mexico, Columbia,
Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, the
Turks and Caicos Islands, plus Orlando, Las
Vegas and other U.S. destinations all added
newly-affiliated resorts to the RCI exchange
A critical yet behind-the-scenes service, which RCI
provides, is its extensive Resort Operations support.
The RCI Health and Safety policy is claimed
to be among the best within the hospitality
industry and is highly valued and trusted by its
All RCI resort affiliates and accommodation
supplier partners are required to complete an
on-line self-assessment checklist and form.
This process is repeated on a three-year cycle to
deliver consistency and continuity across local
health and safety programmes.
Today it services 1.5 million holiday property
owners, including more than 500,000 direct
Meanwhile, its keen focus on service has
brought several awards for customer care.
Health & Safety First
oing beyond assuring the quality
of accommodation and guest areas,
the RCI resort team works closely
with management staff to ensure that the
resorts are compliant with the health and
safety policy requirements of each market,
and that regular reviews are carried out to
safeguard owners while on holiday.
Dial An Exchange (DAE) is celebrating
the fifteenth anniversary of the
company’s entrance into the European
holiday exchange market.
Marj Anderson
DAE managing director for Europe, Oliver
Green, said: “We have so many loyal
members who have been with us for the
whole 15-year journey. Getting to know
them and help make their holidays possible
and memorable has been one of the most
rewarding aspects of our business.
“We are nothing without our members and
our commitment to them is total. We look
forward to the next 15 years and beyond.”
As part of its 15th anniversary celebrations,
DAE is offering every European member a
£15-off bonus week voucher.
Interval recognises
outstanding employees
Like her RCI colleagues across
Europe, Marj Anderson, RCI
affiliate services manager for the
U.K., Ireland and Malta, has
developed strong relationships
with many resorts.
She said: “I visit resorts in my region regularly
to ensure the highest standards in every aspect
of a holiday, ensuring H&S compliance.
“These checks are crucial. Also important is the
scheduling of maintenance weeks, changes in
utility charges and other similar matters.
“As our affiliated resorts are quality rated on
our members’ welcome home comment card
feedback, it is always a pleasure to pass on all
the great things our members have to say and
let resorts know what they are doing right.”
Crystal Jade winners 2014
nterval Leisure Group has recognised
20 of its most outstanding employees
at a company-sponsored event at
the Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach.
They were honoured with Crystal Jade
awards, the highest recognition of ILG’s
Club Excellence programme.
Started in 1997, Club Excellence is a global
recognition programme that acknowledges employees
who have shown outstanding performance or
exceptional customer service and demonstrated the
ability to make a positive difference.
Fee Collection
Resort Recoveries, developed by CBC
International, is a specialist in the recovery
of overdue accounts in the timeshare sector,
and, in particular, the collection of outstanding
finance payments from owners.
Today, Resort Recoveries works with a
assisting with the collection of fees both in
the U.K. and Europe. Key to their success is
the understanding that resorts value their
owners and want to enjoy a long-standing
relationship. Tact, diplomacy and empathy
are key skills and crucial to the operation.
Resort Recoveries
Specialist Timeshare Fee Collection
So why choose
Resort Recoveries?
Roy Caligari, managing director, explains:
• We are TATOC affiliates so you are
guaranteed that owners will be
treated fairly and professionally while
ultimately recovering what is owed;
• We only charge when we are successful in collecting fees - if we are unsuccessful then the resort does not
pay for our service;
• We have experienced collectors who
understand your business & get results;
• We hold the internationally recognised Quality Assurance Accreditation
ISO 9001:2008;
• We are licensed by the Office of Fair
Trading and registered under the
Data Protection Act; and
• We offer online, telephone and traditional cheque payment options
making it easy for owners to pay
their outstanding fees
Developed by:
CONTACT US TODAY: | tel: +44(0) 151 515 3014 | fax:+44(0) 151 515 3015
[email protected] |
ISSUE 20 • Winter 2014
Future proof website
launched by Travel
and Leisure
ravel and Leisure Group, Europe’s
longest running timeshare and
fractional re-sale broker, has
updated its website.
The project to create a lightweight, sleek
and stylish website was headed up by
in-house technology ‘guru’ Jim Wilson
together with visual creation designer Soo
Smart, from Double S Design.
The new design incorporates the
latest platform that is responsive to all
technologies and can be viewed from
desktop computers and mobile devices.
It also incorporates future-proof
technological advancements.
Managing director Maria Farinas
commented: “Over recent years, with the
advancement of new technologies, the
demands and expectations of customers
has grown, particularly with regards to
mobile devices.
“With smartphones and tablets replacing
PCs as the default computing device for
many consumers, as a company we needed
to recognise this and react accordingly.
“We have also found that more and more
people find and use our website while on
holiday so catering for mobile devices is
now a top priority.”
Affiliate news
working for
a strong and united future
n times of financial austerity, keeping
customers happy can seem like one of
a company’s hardest challenges.
Silverpoint has risen to this challenge with
a series of customer-focused initiatives
designed to forge the strong relationships
needed for a secure and united future.
First, the company has invested in the
expansion of its travel agency.
The in house operation will benefit from a
range of new technologies and staffing to ensure
members get top class vacation experiences.
These include: Slaley Hall, Belton Woods,
Oulton Hall, Mottram Hall, Dunston Hall,
The Carrick and Cameron House.
QHotels is an award winning hotel operator
of 21 hotels, located across the U.K. They
have received many accolades including the
prestigious AA Hotel Group of the Year
2014/15 and have been voted number one
U.K. Hotel Group in the U.K. by Which?
“Working with QHotels, our first priority
is business as usual for our owners’
club members, ensuring we fulfil our
commitments,” added Allan Reich, resort
general manager based at Cameron House.
This strategy meant a major movement of
members into different units.
Not all members were happy with these
efforts but Silverpoint stood by the
committees’ decisions that this course of
action was best for the good of the general
membership and supported the transition by
providing staff to help facilitate the changes.
Silverpoint chief operating officer Diana
Aitchison, said of the changes: “We’ve invested
close to a million euros in real additional costs
to help committees make this move.
This investment comes at a time when many
companies are cutting back and features a
ground-breaking concierge service at the
Tenerife South airport.
“This was ultimately money that the clubs –
and consequently the members – would have
had to find. We are glad we were able to play
our part and we are excited to see the clubs
moving forward.
This provides Silverpoint members with a
range of luxury travel benefits - including a
fast track service from plane to private taxi removing much of the hassle of airport travel.
“It is fantastic to see so many owners who are
committed and happy with their ownership.
It is also good that we have been able to help
those owners wishing to exit the system.
Other significant changes have taken place in
the restructuring of the resorts.
After being approached by the committees,
Silverpoint helped form a strategy that would
align the resorts with membership size as well
as creating a programme to help those who
wished to exit from their membership.
“Inevitably, we have had some negative
comments, despite this being a club initiative,
but we are now sure that the right thing has
been done and we look to a happy future.”
For more information about Silverpoint, or
if you have any questions about this article,
please contact Silverpoint Customer
Service: [email protected]
BSI audited
quality management
New name for
leading resorts
e Vere Luxury Lodges and six De
Vere Hotels have become part of
the QHotels portfolio.
or over a decade, parts of the CLC
World resorts management on the
Costa del Sol and for the past eight
years resorts on the island of Tenerife have displayed BSI certification for quality
management system ISO 9001:2008.
It is management of these resorts, a total of
1060 units, that VRI Europe took over and
for which the annual BSI audit has continued.
“It demonstrates VRI Europe’s commitment to
continual improvement at an international level,
audited by the most stringent standards body
in the world,” said José Luis Mella, VRI Europe
resort operations director.
Close attention to member and guest
comments, which are collated each week,
are used at VRI Europe managed resorts to
improve the holiday experience.
Mary Jo Dwyer, assistant reception manager
at CLC Monterey resort in Tenerife, says the
protocols required have become “a normal
part of our day to day responsibilities. It’s
great to have a certificate on the wall and
see clients recognise and appreciate the BSI
standard, because it represents how hard the
team has worked to achieve it.”
Mr Mella says that going the route of
ISO 9001:2008 involves initial process
costs and a stiff audit requirement - which
entails continued commitment in search of
service excellence; the rewards, however, are
experienced in a greater degree of customer
loyalty and enhancement of brand reputation.
The TATOC 2015
conference and
joint RDO seminar:
TATOC Conference 2015
Date: March 6 - 8
Place: Park Royal Hotel, Stretton, near Warrington
Bringing timeshare owners,
committees and the industry
For more information and to book your places
visit the TATOC Conference 2014 Info Hub at