Vacation ownership was founded to create better ways for the public to enjoy their leisure time – “but as resorts, recreational amenities and owners age, we have fallen behind in delivering on that promise.”
So said Jon Zwickel, president of the Canadian Resort Development Association (CRDA), at the organisation’s recent conference.
He argued that industry leaders couldn’t be content with simply staying the course and following trends: They needed to step up their game by setting the course.
Listing the broad and diverse range of industry stakeholders including HOAs, re-sellers, developers, suppliers and exchange, rental and management companies, Zwickel acknowledged that everyone’s interests “are not always aligned.”
This must change to an atmosphere of co-operation, Zwickel told delegates
“If we do, the opportunity will exist to pool our collective resources and adopt vibrant, inspired, responsive programmes.”
Opportunities to consider included:
- Defining standards for resorts and committing to maintenance programmes that support higher standards;
- Renewing resorts with capital expenditure that is responsive to markets;
- Exploring ways to provide unique, authentic, fun vacation experiences;
- Creating products that appeal to the diversity of the market;
- Refreshing sales methods to encourage the next generation of vacation owners;
- Establishing exchange opportunities that promote owner engagement; and
- Respecting the environment along with the local community.
“I am constantly reminded,” he said, ”that even though the scope of our industry is global, the challenges we face and the solutions we find can be shared. I believe that if we reset our compass and re-focus on the early vision of our industry founders, we will keep owners engaged, support re-sale values and attract new buyers.”
CRDA works with both TATOC in Europe and the National Timeshare Owners Association in the U.S.A. and shares a commitment to working with both developers and owners to improve the industry.