TATOC Affiliates Grand Holidays Club

Leading consumer organisation, The Timeshare Association (Timeshare Owners and Committees), widely known as TATOC, has announced the successful affiliation of Spanish hospitality brand, Grand Holidays Club.

Based in Tenerife, Canary Islands, and with more than 20 years’ experience in the holiday ownership industry, Grand Holidays Club’s mission is to provide unique and unforgettable vacation experiences in prime locations for the discerning traveller.

Today, the resort portfolio comprises three resorts located in Tenerife, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote: the Flamingo Club, Oasis Lanz and Atlantic Garden with over 6,000 members owning fixed weeks and points.

The business is constantly evolving to ensure that members’ expectations are always exceeded – with improved holiday flexibility and additional choice, comfort and service.

There are plans to extend the portfolio and exciting new products and improvements will be introduced in 2016.

Kim Smallwood, member services at Grand Holidays Club explained: “We fully support the mission of the Association and firmly believe that the link provided by TATOC between the consumer and the developer is vital.

“In this way, we may address the problems that the industry is facing and promote a more positive attitude towards the timeshare experience in general.  We are extremely pleased to have been accepted as a Platinum affiliate and will strive to offer our continual support to the association.”

Harry Taylor, TATOC’s executive chairman added: “In order to protect timeshare owners it is important we have a strong and legitimate industry providing the quality holidays consumers have purchased. TATOC’s affiliation programme recognises such companies, so I was delighted when Grand Holidays Club applied, and was subsequently approved, for affiliation. We look forward to working with them.”

The Timeshare Association (Timeshare Owners and Committees), known as TATOC, was formed over 25 years ago and is the only elected consumer association representing the interests of timeshare owners and their HOA/committees in Europe.

The mission of TATOC is to safeguard and enhance the timeshare holiday experience for existing and prospective users and to be the voice of owners.

In recent years, TATOC has worked hard to increase its membership base of timeshare resorts and individual members. It also works with legitimate timeshare business through its affiliation programme.

All TATOC affiliated businesses must comply with the Association’s strict Code of Conduct and are regularly monitored to ensure they provide the highest standards of customer service and comply with all legislation.

The not-for-profit Association is now an informed point of contact and authority on all timeshare matters and is a regular, unbiased contributor to the consumer press. The team works closely with the U.K.’s Trading Standards offices, law enforcement, Citizen’s Advice Bureau, the Competition and Markets Authority (formerly the OFT) and other authorities.

TATOC CEO and executive chairman, Harry Taylor, is regularly interviewed on national radio and features in the industry press.

For further information about TATOC, the Timeshare Association, and the TATOC Affiliation programme, please contact Mr Harry Taylor by email at: harry.taylor@tatoc.co.uk or by telephone on: +44 (0) 161 237 3518. Alternatively, visit the TATOC website here: www.tatoc.co.uk

Sharetime Winter 2015 Published By TATOC

The winter 2015 issue of Sharetime magazine has been published by the Timeshare Association (TATOC) for timeshare owners and the 90-plus resort committees the association represents.

Said Harry Taylor, TATOC CEO and executive chairman: “This is the last edition for 2015 and will be the issue distributed to delegates at the upcoming conference in March – so it had to be packed with news, information and advice. I believe we have achieved that.”

The 32-page magazine is available to view online at the Sharetime magazine website and printed copies will be sent to TATOC individual members, member resorts and affiliates.

This issue will also be available for TATOC member resorts and affiliates to embed directly into their own websites for their owners and guests to view and enjoy.

This issue includes:

  • A Q&A with committee chairman Derick Manning from Rhinefield Apartments in the New Forest;
  • How video marketing is the way forward for timeshare resort marketing;
  • Rachel Littleworth who believes resorts need to focus on the needs of their current owners and not just on new members;
  • The return of Aunty Betty;
  • The latest from timeshare lawyer Alex Radford;
  • How Brockwood Hall is using spa experiences to set themselves apart from the competition; and
  • The latest news from our resort members and affiliates

TATOC urges all affiliates and member resorts to encourage their owners, guests and clients to view the magazine from the Sharetime Magazine website or request a printed version.

Printed copies of the magazine will be distributed to TATOC individual members, member resorts and affiliates over the next few days. You can order a printed copy by contacting the TATOC head office on +44 (0) 161 237 3518. Links to embed the magazine into websites or email are available by contacting Emily Collins on emily@sharetimemagazine.com.

The Sharetime magazine and website are kindly sponsored and supported by companies affiliated to TATOC.

Go Social With RCI

If you are an RCI member, you now have even more to inspire your holiday planning. RCI has launched a new Facebook page – facebook.com/RCI – which showcases the fabulous range of destinations and holiday experiences available to its members.

The new Facebook page provides a community dedicated to RCI members across Europe and in the Middle East region, featuring favourite holiday hotspots, as well as many exciting new destination ideas.

“Many of our members want to share their enthusiasm and passion for wonderful holiday experiences,” said Lisa Theanne, E-Commerce and Social Media Strategy Manager for RCI Europe.

“Lots of their RCI exchange holiday stories and photographs are shared in our member magazine, Endless Vacation, but we know our members love to go online to research holidays and to find out what their friends are doing through Facebook. Giving our members their own RCI Facebook forum will bring our growing community of committed travellers together.”

Posts will include travel tips, engaging educational pieces to help owners get the best out of their timeshare and RCI membership, a showcase of the fabulous places and amazing experiences available through the RCI exchange holiday programme, plus regular inspirational features for Facebook fans to watch out for, such as Wanderlust Wednesday posts.

“We are thrilled to be bringing our members, friends and families, together to explore what they look for in their holidays, and to share the great things about getting away from it all they enjoy so much,” added Lisa.

And you don’t have to be an RCI member to ‘Like’ us, ‘Follow’ us – or to get a glimpse of the RCI holiday world enjoyed by our members. Anyone with a passion for travel and a desire to get away from the work-a-day world can join in the holiday chatter and share our members’ ideas, plans and stories, plus many great holiday recommendations from the RCI team themselves.

Visit facebook.com/RCI now to get inspired and ‘Like’ RCI!

Go-Ahead For London Southend Airport Extension

A proposed extension to the new terminal at London Southend Airport, which will create more than 300 new jobs, has been given the go-ahead by Rochford Council.

The first phase of the terminal became operational in February and phase two will boost capacity for the airport, which is expecting to handle two million passengers a year by 2020.

It will extend the terminal building by 90 metres, allowing for more check-in desks and baggage drop off points and more security screening channels.
The airport claims it currently takes no more than four minutes for departing passengers to pass through security while arriving passengers can make it from the plane to the train within 15 minutes of disembarking.

That’s in stark contrast to Heathrow, where passengers reportedly waited more than two hours to clear immigration earlier this month.

London Southend Airport managing director Alastair Welch said: “We are very pleased that Rochford Council has indicated they support this extension, which will ensure that we are able to maintain the high levels of customer service we intend to be the hallmark of London Southend Airport as our passenger numbers grow.

“This is also further evidence of the role the redeveloped airport is playing in supporting the regeneration of the wider economy.”

Construction work on the extension is planned to get underway later this year.

Source: Travel Mole

GNEX 2012 Sets Attendance Record

Perspective Magazine’s Second Annual Global Networking Expo, GNEX 2012 – The Global Meeting Of Minds, took centre stage at the Ritz Carlton Cancun in Cancun, Mexico as 177 delegates representing 91 companies gathered to seal business deals over January 31st – February 2nd, 2012.

Attendees from as far away as Australia, United Arab Emirates, Malta and Brazil converged for three days of outstanding panel discussions, informative presentations and clever social events to produce the most unique, globally-focused industry networking event on the 2012 calendar.
Participants such as Francisco Neto, Executive Director of Rio Quente Resorts in Brazil, Ashraf El Zarqa, COO of Emirates Vacation Club and Ramy Filo, CEO of Classic Holiday Group gave resounding reviews of the event, as the combination of audience-driven panel debate, business meetings, speed networking and nightly parties created an environment for delegates to build new and lasting relationships.

Numerous business deals were finalized throughout the event as the specially-designed networking lounge and extended networking time built into the conference agenda gave attendees the time and atmosphere to create strategic partnerships.

More information about GNEX 2012 will be available during the next few weeks on the conference website at http://perspectivemagazine.com/gnex.

Support from GNEX 2012 event sponsors and supporters was crucial to the success of the event:

Blue Strawberry Resorts, Holiday Systems International, Sunset World Resorts, Dial an Exchange, Resort Television, Travel To Go, Interval International, Lloydshare, RCI, BuyaTimeshare.com, Customer Count, Emirates Vacation Club, First American Title Insurance Company, Hop-On, Merlin Software, Sell My Timeshare NOW, Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific, Track Results Software, Travel Guard, YachtsE, Circle One BlueBay Resort, El Cid Vacation Club, Grand Velas, Mayakoba Residences, Royal Resorts, Unlimited Vacation Club, Alternative Ownership Conference Asia Pacific (AOCAP), Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council (ATHOC), Cooperative Association of Resort Exchangers (CARE), Canadian Resort Development Association (CRDA), The Pacific Institute, Ragatz Associates Fractional Interest Conference, Resort Development Organisation (RDO), The Association for Timeshare Owners Committees (TATOC), Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa (VOASA), Women in the Industry (WIN) and Christel House International as Charity of Choice.

Next year’s event is already on the 2013 calendar as GNEX 2013 – The Global Meeting Of Minds makes its first foray into the United States at the world famous Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California during February 4-6, 2013. More information will be available in the coming weeks on the conference website at http://perspectivemagazine.com/gnex.

Mirror Warns Consumers About Gary Leigh After High Court Decision

The Mirror newspaper has reported that “cronies of Costa conman Gary Leigh have been ordered to stop scamming holidaymakers by the High Court.”

The Mirror has for some time warned readers about Leigh and his Spanish-based holiday club empire. Leigh died last summer before the OFT began legal action against three of his companies and seven of his closest business associates and staff. The OFT believes timeshare owners went to sales presentation “on the promise of being able to dispose of their timeshares, with their maintenance charges, when in fact they were subjected to lengthy and high pressure sales pitches to be sold expensive holiday club memberships costing large sums, in some cases up to £12,000”.

They were promised up to 95% of their money back under a a “reclaim” scheme but weren’t told “the restrictions that applied”. Leigh’s reps also “often played on their fears that their children would otherwise be liable for timeshare maintenance fees” and buyers were denied the right to cancel if they changed their mind.

The High Court has issued enforcement orders which, among other things, “prohibit the companies and the individuals from engaging in misleading sales practices when dealing with people who want to dispose of their timeshares, and require consumers to be given cancellation rights in certain circumstances”.

Interim orders were obtained against two firms, Personal Travel Group Limited and Geo Demographic Market Research Limited, and against the directors Keith Barker (below) and Kimberley Bambroffe (above, with Leigh). These will last until the outcome of HIgh Court proceedings brought against the firms and bosses over alleged breaches of consumer law.

Final orders were obtained against five senior staff – Martin White, Jonathan Daniels, Mark Gales, Robert Knight and Lily Alderson. If breached, they could face jail, a fine or seizure of their assets.

Jason Freeman, Director in the OFT’s Goods and Consumer Group, said: “The enforcement orders put a stop to activities that we consider to be unlawful, and which we believe were causing serious harm to consumers.

“It is important that traders do not mislead consumers or exploit their fears in order to make a hard sell. In particular, these are contracts where we believe consumers should have been given cancellation rights and we are pleased that the traders have accepted that they have to give notice of such rights in accordance with the law.”

“The content of the orders was agreed by the companies, the individuals and the OFT, and approved by the Court.”

Source: The Mirror

Merlin Software For HOA Resorts Installed At US Resort

Merlin Software for Vacation Ownership, TATOC affiliate and the leading provider of cloud-based software for the timeshare industry, has completed the installation of its Merlin Software for HOA Resorts at 4 Seasons at Desert Breezes in Palm Desert, California.

The mature 21-unit resort, which is managed on behalf of the owners by Gold Coast Enterprises, had been operating without timeshare-specific software in place, making it difficult for the management company to handle owner and guest reservations. Continue reading “Merlin Software For HOA Resorts Installed At US Resort”

BuyaTimeshare.Com Donates Food For Thanksgiving

Employees from timeshare re-sale advertising company and TATOC affiliate BuyaTimeshare.com donated over 400 pounds of food to the holiday food bank for Tampa-based Metropolitan Ministries.

Each year, company employees organise their annual food drive to support the work of the non-profit group, whose outreach efforts helped over 17,000 families in 2014 during the holidays. Continue reading “BuyaTimeshare.Com Donates Food For Thanksgiving”

RCI Platinum Shines

The new RCI Platinum membership has been launched and brings more benefits than ever to RCI members.

The programme is a higher tier of RCI membership that brings many lifestyle enhancements to members which can be enjoyed at home and abroad.

Among the new ways RCI members can now get greater value from their timeshare ownership through RCI Platinum membership are the ability to upgrade units and request a resort change in the destination area up to three days before check-in; Continue reading “RCI Platinum Shines”

Timeshare Scammer Ordered To Repay £30,000

The Exeter Express and Echo has reported that a timeshare salesman has been ordered to repay £30,000 under the proceeds of crime act.

Neil Mendoza and his colleague Michael Girvin targeted customers by claiming to be freeing timeshare owners of huge financial obligations.

They both received suspended sentences at Exeter Crown Court last year and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid community work after being found guilty of three offences of unfair trading. Over the past 20 months their finances have been examined by police financial investigators. Continue reading “Timeshare Scammer Ordered To Repay £30,000”

Disney Vacation Club Announces New Development Project

Disney Vacation Club has unveiled plans for a new project at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, located on Bay Lake at Walt Disney World Resort.

The project at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, when completed, will be the 14th Disney Vacation Club development and the second at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Current plans call for the resort to feature deluxe accommodations, including waterfront cabins. Continue reading “Disney Vacation Club Announces New Development Project”

ASA Adjudicates Timeshare Solutions Ltd Case

KwikChex, as part of the Timeshare Task Force initiative, recently challenged two testimonials on the Timeshare Solutions Ltd website, questioning whether they were genuine as they also appeared on another website for a different claims company (although under different customer names).

Although Timeshare Solutions Ltd initially said the similarities were down to the fact that the two companies operated in the same timeshare relinquishment industry, they later stated that they were not sure if they still held the testimonials because they were provided in 2014. Continue reading “ASA Adjudicates Timeshare Solutions Ltd Case”

RCI Adds Five Affiliated Properties In Japan

Holiday exchange provider, RCI, recently welcomed five new properties in Japan to its exchange network through an affiliation with developer Tokyu Corporation.

“This is a very exciting affiliation for RCI, and we are thrilled to offer our members five high-quality resorts located in some of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan,” said Jonathan Mills, managing director of RCI Asia Pacific. Continue reading “RCI Adds Five Affiliated Properties In Japan”

Teenage Medal Winner Relaxes At CLC World Resort

World champion swimmer James Guy packed his swimming shorts and newly won medals for a sunshine holiday with his parents, CLC World members since 2007, on the Costa del Sol.

James, aged 19, became the first Briton to win the World 200m freestyle gold medal at the World Championships in Russia held in August. He also set a new UK record and collected a silver medal for the 400m freestyle, as well as anchoring the British 800m freestyle relay team which also won gold. Continue reading “Teenage Medal Winner Relaxes At CLC World Resort”

RCI Adds 26 Resorts In Second Quarter 2015

RCI added 26 new properties to its affiliate exchange network during the second quarter of 2015, raising its newly-affiliated property number to 58 through the first half of the year. The additions join a network of approximately 4,500 resorts across more than 100 countries.

“We continue to deliver on our promise to provide greater flexibility and choice to our 3.8 million RCI subscribing members by offering more travel options than any other exchange company in the world,” said Gordon Gurnik, president, RCI. Continue reading “RCI Adds 26 Resorts In Second Quarter 2015”

Kwikchex Joins Chartered Trading Standards Institute

KwikChex has become a corporate affiliate member of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

Established in 2010, Kwikchex is dedicated to verifying critical information about businesses including their standards. This information collected is then used to reassure consumers and to promote businesses.

The organisation has been successfully working for some time with Trading Standards Officers in support of identifying and taking action against rogue businesses. Continue reading “Kwikchex Joins Chartered Trading Standards Institute”

Go Social With RCI

If you are an RCI member, you now have even more to inspire your holiday planning. RCI has launched a new Facebook page – facebook.com/RCI – which showcases the fabulous range of destinations and holiday experiences available to its members.

The new Facebook page provides a community dedicated to RCI members across Europe and in the Middle East region, featuring favourite holiday hotspots, as well as many exciting new destination ideas.

“Many of our members want to share their enthusiasm and passion for wonderful holiday experiences,” said Lisa Theanne, E-Commerce and Social Media Strategy Manager for RCI Europe. Continue reading “Go Social With RCI”

Lawsuit Dropped Against Silverpoint & CEO Mark Cushway

A criminal lawsuit filed in 2011 by various clients who had been counselled previously by Reclaim GC has been closed by the Instruction Court no 3 of Arona.  The court, after a thorough investigation, found there to be “no indications of the alleged perpetration of a fraud offence”.

Attempts have been made by Reclaim GC to infer to readers of blogs and articles that this allegation against Silverpoint and its CEO, Mark Cushway – which was brought by a third party and not by the authorities themselves – was more than it actually was. However this allegation has now been formally dismissed by the court.

Speaking from Silverpoint’s head office in Tenerife Mark Cushway, Silverpoint CEO, said:  “I am both delighted and relieved that I am able to put this stressful period behind me.  For some time I have been living under a cloud created by a business dedicated to destroying my professional reputation. Continue reading “Lawsuit Dropped Against Silverpoint & CEO Mark Cushway”

RCI Adds To China Portfolio With New Affiliates

RCI has welcomed three new affiliated resorts in China to its vacation exchange network.
The properties are Shangshanqi Villa Resort and Taoyuan Hot Spring International Hotel in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, and Bo’ao Holliyard Seaview Resort in Hainan Island. The signing of these agreements expands RCI’s portfolio of resorts in China to more than 55 properties. Continue reading “RCI Adds To China Portfolio With New Affiliates”

Ryanair World’s Largest International Airline

Delta is the world’s largest airline in terms of passenger numbers, but Ryanair carries more passengers on international routes than any other.

Latest data released by IATA revealed that Ryanair carried 86.3 million international passengers last year, making it the world’s largest international airline, well ahead of easyJet in second place with 56.3 million. British Airways lagged well behind in fifth place with 35.3 million, after Lufthansa with 48.2m and Emirates with 47.2m. Continue reading “Ryanair World’s Largest International Airline”

Avente Stops Trading

A message on the Avante website has confirmed that the Avante Group of companies has ceased trading despite their “very best efforts and recent restructuring.”

This means they are no longer in a position to operate the holiday ownerships. As a result all inbound holidays are cancelled. Any exchanges already booked and weeks banked should be honoured, but speak to the relevant exchange company beforehand. Continue reading “Avente Stops Trading”

Update: Police Confirm John Palmer Murdered

A week after his death, police have confirmed that notorious criminal John Palmer was murdered. The week-long delay in realising this has left police with a “challenging” crime scene, a senior detective said.

Paramedics were called to John “Goldfinger” Palmer’s home in South Weald, Essex to reports he was in cardiac arrest on 24 June.

But a post-mortem examination on 30 June revealed the 64-year-old convicted conman had been shot in the chest.

Essex Police refused to comment on claims the case had been “bungled”.

Det. Ch. Insp. Simon Werrett, who is leading the murder investigation, said his priority was to find whoever was responsible and he would not respond to allegations made by a former Metropolitan Police chief that the force had been “utterly incompetent”.

John O’Connor told The Sun: “It’s one of the most terrible mistakes in policing I’ve ever heard of.”

When asked if the crime scene had been compromised because of the delay in starting the murder investigation,  Werrett said it was “challenging”.

“However, we do have a crime scene and we’re deploying our specialist forensic and search officers around that crime scene,” he said.

The East of England Ambulance Service, whose crews went to Palmer’s house in Sandpit Lane, said his death was not initially raised as suspicious.

Palmer had pre-existing injuries from recent surgery, and it was only once the post-mortem examination had been carried out that police realised he had been murdered.

Essex Police is appealing for anyone who was in Sandpit Lane on the afternoon of 24 June to come forward.

Palmer was jailed for eight years in 2001 for masterminding a timeshare fraud targeting people across the U.K.

He was cleared of handling proceeds from the 1983 Brinks Mat bullion raid at Heathrow Airport, but his alleged involvement earned him the nickname “Goldfinger”.

Source: BBC News