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Interval International Extends Multi-Year Affiliation Agreement To Dubai Resort August 24, 2014

Posted by Steve Luba in : Interval International, News & Events , add a comment

Interval International, a prominent worldwide provider of vacation services and an operating business of Interval Leisure Group (Nasdaq: IILG), Arabian Falcon Holidays and Royal Club Dubai recently announced a multi-year extension of the affiliation agreement for Royal Club at Palm Jumeirah.

“This renewal offers a win-win situation for Interval International and Arabian Falcon Holidays,” said Darren Ettridge, Interval’s senior vice president resort sales and business development Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. “For our part, we have two of the best resorts in the United Arab Emirates affiliated with our worldwide network. On the part of Arabian

Royal Club at Palm Jumeirah

Royal Club at Palm Jumeirah

Falcon Holidays it can offer members at Royal Club at Palm Jumeirah an Interval membership as an additional benefit.”

”Royal Club members at the Palm Jumeirah will continue to be enrolled into the exchange network, giving them quality alternatives when they go on vacation,” said Mohannad Sharafuddin, CEO and president, Arabian Falcon Holidays, the marketing company of Royal Club Dubai.

”We are very pleased that the affiliation of Royal Club at the Palm Jumeirah with Interval International has been extended,” added Nozmul Islam, CEO of Royal Club Dubai. ”Our partnership is good for our companies, and what is more it is good for Dubai.”

Royal Club at Palm Jumeirah was the first timeshare resort in Dubai and has been successfully marketed by Arabian Falcon Holidays since 2004. Located on Dubai’s landmark Palm it was later joined by Royal Club at The Bonnington Tower, another Interval affiliated resort.

Festiva Adventure Club Selects RTX Premium Plus for Members August 21, 2014

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Resort Travel & Xchange (RTX) is proud to announce that Festiva Adventure Club (FAC) has chosen RTX as its preferred exchange provider, giving all FAC members a Premium Plus membership in RTX. Festiva Adventure Club (FAC) is committed to providing its members with flexible vacation options that suit the needs of a variety of vacation owners, and believes that RTX is the best exchange company to help it reach that goal.

RTX logo“Over the years, we have learned from our members as well as from our competition and peers in the vacation ownership industry,” said Rich Hartnett, senior vice president of sales for FAC. “We have taken our own experiences as well as feedback from our members to heart and have partnered with Resort Travel & Xchange (RTX), a company that we think offers the best options in the industry when it comes to vacation ownership exchange.”

RTX Premium Plus is the highest level of membership offered through RTX. Through RTX, FAC members will be able to enjoy a wide range of benefits and vacation opportunities including a plethora of exchange and other travel options that are unique and affordable.

How RTX Is Different from Other Exchange Companies

Traditionally, exchange companies allow timeshare or vacation interval owners to exchange their weeks of ownership with another timeshare owner to make their experience more flexible. But traditional exchange companies don’t recruit members; they recruit affiliated resorts. As a result, the system typically only allows members to trade within a directory of resorts that have affiliation agreements with the exchange company. Owners with weeks or points memberships at multiple resorts may be forced to use multiple exchange companies.

RTX is different. It revolves around its members. RTX members can place search requests anywhere, after which dedicated Travel Consultants search for availability in all resorts and hotels, rather than just within a directory. RTX members also have access to low exchange fees, the flexibility of split week reservations and the longest deposit period in the exchange industry. RTX Premium and Premium Plus members also enjoy a whole world of travel benefits beyond exchange. RTX getaways are offered exclusively to RTX members and are some of the best last minute deals for luxury resort rentals available anywhere. Our travel center allows members to book hotel, flight, rental car and more from one convenient location. And with a rebate reward program, members get $20 to $40 off of future RTX purchases for each exchange transaction.

A Sampling of RTX Benefits

Mexico Timeshare The Bliss Jungle Riviera Maya Joins Interval International August 17, 2014

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Interval International, a prominent worldwide provider of vacation services and an operating business of Interval Leisure Group (Nasdaq: IILG), announced the addition of The Bliss Jungle Riviera Maya in Mexico. This Mexico timeshare property joins Grupo Vidanta’s The Grand Bliss Riviera Maya, The Bliss Nuevo Vallarta, and Grand Luxxe Residence Club that are currently part of Interval’s global network. Grupo Vidanta is a leading development company known for its high-caliber hotels and resorts.

Interval International“It’s been a pleasure to work with this dynamic group for the last several years,” said Marcos Agostini, Interval’s senior vice president of resort sales and business development for Latin America. “We are delighted to add The Bliss Jungle Riviera Maya, yet another high-quality Grupo Vidanta property in a sought-after location, to our resort network. Our members will enjoy personalized attention and warm hospitality in an environment of casual elegance.”

“We strive to make every vacation an extraordinary experience for our members and guests. Through our membership program, visitors can stay in spacious world-class accommodations, and create lasting memories with their families,” said Michel Beuffe, CEO of Grupo Vidanta. “Our affiliation with Interval serves to further enhance their enjoyment through the many exchange opportunities and year-round benefits the company offers.”

The Bliss Jungle Riviera Maya is close to the town of Playa del Carmen, well known for its pedestrian walkway, sidewalk cafes, and bustling nightlife. The property has 60 units that feature living rooms, kitchens and dining areas, premium bedding, ceiling fans, 40-inch LCD TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi, and daily turndown service.

Guests at the resort have access to upscale amenities and services available on-site and at the adjacent Grupo Vidanta resorts. These include a variety of eateries, from fine dining to casual buffets, several bars and lounges, sprawling pool areas, kid’s club, a full-service spa and fitness center, and a par-54, Jack Nicklaus-designed 18-hole golf course and pro shop.

Westgate Las Vegas Property Displays Elvis Presley Memorabilia For Public Viewing August 16, 2014

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On Saturday, August 16, 2014, Elvis fans across the world will be celebrating the memory of “The King,” Elvis Presley, on the 37th anniversary of his death. At the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, where he performed 837 consecutive sold-out shows, is a collection of authentic Elvis Presley memorabilia for guests to visit and admire including clothing, jewelry, costumes and the last car he owned.

westgate-las-vegas-resort-and-casino-formerly-lvh-las-vegas-hotel-and-casinoPresley performed thousands of shows at the Westgate property, originally The International Hotel, later the Las Vegas Hilton and most recently the LVH- Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, after it first opened in 1969. Throughout his epic seven-year stint, more people saw Presley perform at the property than anywhere else in the world.

While at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, Presley fans can view the many artifacts on display throughout the property from The King’s Ransom Museum*. The current list of artifacts includes:

- The Last Car Elvis Presley Purchased – 1976 Lincoln Mark IV
- Elvis Presley’s 1973 Aloha from Hawaii Full Stage Cape
- “E.P.” Coveralls from 1972 documentary Elvis On Tour
- 1954 Elvis’ earliest known concert poster
- Elvis Presley’s 1953 Martin 00-21 Stage Guitar
- Elvis Presley’s From Elvis in Memphis Leather Jacket
- Elvis Presley’s two-piece “Indian Suit”
- Elvis Presley Show Tour Trunk
Elvis In Concert Tour member’s jacket
- Elvis Presley’s custom paisley stage costume shirt
- Elvis Presley’s “On Tour” gold Nautic prescription sunglasses
- Elvis Presley’s personal trademark “EP” Aviator prescription sunglasses
- Elvis Presley’s Aloha from Hawaii squash blossom necklace
- Elvis Presley’s 14kt gold star ruby & diamond ring
- Elvis Presley’s custom-made two-piece Indian suit
- Elvis Presley’s mermaid stage costume
- Elvis Presley’s personal Walther PPK Semi-Automatic Pistol
- Elvis Presley’s emerald tourmaline and diamond cross necklace
- Elvis Presley’s zodiac stage belt
- James Burton’s (Presley’s favorite guitar player) personal Fender Malibu Studio Guitar

The property also houses the legendary 5,000-square-foot penthouse “Elvis suite” located on the 30th floor. Fans are welcome to pay tribute to Presley at the life-size bronze statue located in the Westgate lobby.

RCI Adds 70 Affiliated Properties During First Half of 2014 August 14, 2014

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RCI, the global leader in vacation exchange and part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands (NYSE: WYN), added 70 new properties to its affiliate network during the first and second quarters of 2014. The newly affiliated properties include resorts in Asia, Europe, India, Latin America and North America.

RCI timeshare exchange“We are excited to welcome these 70 new properties to the RCI portfolio of affiliated resorts and to offer our members even more fantastic vacation options,” said Gordon Gurnik, president, RCI. “We’re also proud to work with some of the most respected names in the hospitality business and to promote the vacation ownership industry worldwide.”

One of the latest additions is Astoria Boracay in the Philippines. This coveted island retreat is located on a stretch of beautiful white sand beach on Boracay Island, frequently cited as one of the world’s best islands for vacationing. Astoria Boracay is just minutes from the island’s shopping center, delicious restaurants and popular bars. Offering white sand beaches, watersport activities and close proximity to a championship golf course, the resort is a fantastic destination for many travelers.

Another new affiliate, Island Residence Club at Golden Sands Resort in Malta, joined RCI in the first quarter. Comprising a collection of more than 180 residences in the prime setting of the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Golden Sands, guests at the resort enjoy luxurious appointments, Mediterranean styling and unparalleled views of either the coastline or the unspoiled beauty of Malta’s largest nature and history park. With nine on-site bars and restaurants, a state-of-the-art spa and leisure center, a private beach, 90-meter lagoon swimming pools and close proximity to transport links, it could be a traveler’s dream destination.

The Registry Collection®program, RCI’s luxury exchange program, added a fantastic new property, The Residence at Gwel an Mor. The Residence is a new development of eco-friendly lodges at the award-winning Gwel an Mor Luxury Resort, situated on a cliff top overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Located in Cornwall, England, the development’s contemporary two- and three-bedroom lodge ‘retreats’ are designed with luxurious styling and offer spacious, open-plan accommodation. The resort’s onsite wildlife center, Feadon Farm, offers guests amazing wildlife activities, such as meeting reindeer and birds of prey, and even hand feeding its rescued foxes. The resort’s Terrace Restaurant combines ocean views and a relaxing ambiance with delicious Spanish- and French-influenced dishes.

Westgate Children’s Learning & Development Center Awarded Accreditation August 10, 2014

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The National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs has just awarded accreditation to the Westgate Children’s Learning and Development Center. National accreditation is only awarded to child care facilities that are able to exhibit high quality child care through growth and developmental programs for children that exceed the expectations the commission requires and help nurture their emotional and physical well-being.

Westgate timeshare resortsThe accreditation process is a lengthy procedure, usually taking between six months and two years, requiring a “self-study” where an onsite observation of the facility and resident team members is conducted. The Westgate Children’s Learning and Development Center was evaluated on a number of different factors empirically shown to improve the health and wellness of children in their care. Furthermore, the Westgate Children’s Learning and Development Center was subjected to random “surprise” visits from Commission members before being granted accreditation.

“It is honor to receive this prestigious accreditation,” stated Billinda Boldt, Director of Early Childhood at the Westgate Children’s Learning and Development Center, “Our team is dedicated to ensure that our children get the very best out of this program and to get this distinction really puts an exclamation point on the work we’ve done here.”

Team members, with eligible children, may receive child care at the Westgate Children’s Learning and Development Center at a reduced cost. Enrolled children will receive a world-class education covering a variety of educational topics including: Social Studies, English, Mathematics, Science, the Arts, and much more.

The Westgate Children’s Learning and Development Center is one of only 1,500 child care centers in 38 states have been able to receive this accreditation. Going forward, the Westgate Children’s Learning and Development Center will provide the Commission with annual reports to demonstrate compliance with the Commission’s standards for three years following accreditation. The Westgate Children’s Learning and Development Center is located on the ground floor of the Sand Lake corporate offices on Sand Lake Commons Boulevard.

For further information about the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs, please visit www.earlylearningleaders.org.

BuyaTimeshare.com Becomes Newest Affiliate of TATOC August 6, 2014

Posted by Steve Luba in : News & Events, TATOC, Timeshare Resale , add a comment

The following is a statement released from TATOC, the Timeshare Association regarding our new affiliation with the UK-based timeshare consumer group:

The Timeshare Association (Timeshare Owners and Committees), TATOC, has announced the successful affiliation of U.S.-based organisation, BuyaTimeshare.com, an internet advertising and marketing company for owners who wish to sell or rent timeshare by-owner.

TATOC President Harry Taylor and BuyaTimeshare.com CEO Wes Kogelman

TATOC President Harry Taylor and BuyaTimeshare.com CEO Wes Kogelman

A privately held business created by current president and CEO, Wesley Kogelman, the company was launched in Tampa, Florida in 2000. Today, the business still has an office in Tampa in addition to its corporate headquarters in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

BuyaTimeshare.com has built its reputation on search engine optimisation, creating a website that appears on page 1 for various search terms on search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and other major outlets.

Its online marketing efforts are geared toward finding buyers by leveraging the power of online search for the benefit of customers.

Explaining their decision to affiliate with TATOC, Wesley Kogelman said: “We believe that there is a huge need for U.K. and European owners access to a global online marketplace such as ours. We maintain a substantial presence on the internet and because our global village is shrinking, we felt it was time to become more involved across the pond.

“With TATOC’s reputation as the leading timeshare owners association in Europe and the great work Harry Taylor and the TATOC team have done in educating owners, it was an obvious choice to become a TATOC affiliate. Opening discussions with TATOC was the first move we made when researching our options and we are very pleased that the TATOC board has accepted our application.”

Harry Taylor, TATOC’s executive chairman added: “This is a great opportunity for timeshare owners to leverage the online marketing skills of a successful and fast growing company. BuyaTimeshare.com appears on page 1 for timeshare related search terms on Google, providing the platform buyers and renters will find when researching their options.”

As affiliates of TATOC, Buyatimeshare will adhere to the TATOC Code of Conduct issued in August 2011 and the association’s code of ethics. All companies wishing to affiliate to TATOC are thoroughly vetted beforehand and continually monitored. Further details of the code of conduct can be found on the Association’s website (www.tatoc.co.uk).

The Timeshare Association (Timeshare Owners and Committees), known as TATOC, was formed in 1989 and is the only elected consumer association representing the interests of timeshare owners in Europe.

Launched five years ago, TATOC affiliation was developed to provide a directory of suppliers of services such as marketing, exchange and re-sale to the timeshare industry in Europe.

TATOC member resorts looking to purchase such services for their own operations and to recommend to their members can work with these businesses safe in the knowledge they are regularly assessed to ensure the highest levels of customer service.

Today there are over 30 affiliated companies offering high quality, customer-focused products and services to the timeshare industry. TATOC affiliation has given these companies the edge when competing with other non-affiliated businesses.

Hilton Announces Specific Room Choice And Smartphone Keys August 3, 2014

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In a first for the hospitality industry, Hilton Worldwide has announced its guests will have unprecedented choice and control over their entire hotel stay with the ability to check-in and choose their exact room from digital floor plans, as well as customize their stay by purchasing upgrades and making special requests for items to be delivered to their room, on their mobile devices, tablets and computers.  Guests also will be able to check-out using these personal technology devices.  By the end of 2014, digital check-in and room selection will be available at more than 4,000 Hilton Worldwide properties across 11 brands in 80-plus countries via members’ Hilton HHonors accounts.

Hilton HHonors“For nearly a century, our guests have counted on us to consistently deliver exceptional experiences around the world, and in today’s digitally connected culture, that means providing them with more choice and control over their hotel stay through technology,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, president and chief executive officer, Hilton Worldwide. “The tremendous scale of our world-class operating platform enables us to quickly and nimbly introduce exciting enhancements for our guests at all of our hotels worldwide.”

The announcement represents the latest industry-first in Hilton’s rich history of innovation. The company piloted an initial version of digital check-in more than five years ago, and in 2012 it launched Conrad Concierge, the first hospitality software application that enables guests to customize their hotel experience through their tablets or smartphones. Going forward, Hilton anticipates delivering further digital advancements to guests every six to eight weeks.

“We analyzed data and feedback from more than 40 million HHonors members, as well as guest surveys, social media posts and review sites, and it’s clear that guests want greater choice and control,” said Geraldine Calpin, senior vice president and global head of digital at Hilton Worldwide. “In fact, in a recent study, 84 percent of business travelers surveyed said they wanted the ability to choose their own room.  We are giving our guests the ability to do just that by enabling them to select not just their room type, but the exact location in the hotel, all the way down to their room number.”

Simple and Streamlined Process

Once a room is booked, the process for guests to manage their stay is simple:

The Future of Room Keys at Hilton

As part of its digital strategy, Hilton has made a commitment to enable all of its hotel rooms worldwide with technology that will allow guests to use their smartphones as keys.

Said Nassetta, “Travelers can use their smartphones as boarding passes to get to their seats on an airplane, so it is only natural that they will want to use them as a way to enter their hotel rooms.  We have spent the past few years testing a number of different options to make this vision a reality, and we are developing proprietary technology that is safe and reliable for our guests to use, and cost-effective for our hotels to install.”

Rapid Roll Out Across Hilton Properties Globally

Hilton is rolling out these digital enhancements globally over the next several months:

In 2015, Hilton will introduce technology that enables smartphones to be used as room keys, and all U.S. hotels across four of its brands will have this capability by the end of that year. By the end of 2016, the majority of its rooms system-wide will be equipped with this functionality.

BuyaTimeshare.com Reports Higher Offer Numbers for Q2 July 31, 2014

Posted by Steve Luba in : Corporate News, News & Events, Timeshare Resale , add a comment

Offer figures released for the second quarter of 2014 by online timeshare resale advertiser BuyaTimeshare.com (http://buyatimeshare.com) show a substantial increase in the number of offers placed to buy or rent timeshare through the company website.

Timeshare owners seeking to sell or rent their vacation ownership interval on the resale market advertise on the BuyaTimeshare.com website in order to promote their interest online, with the company’s industry-leading marketing efforts resulting in top placements on key search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Wesley Kogelman, BuyaTimeshare.com

BuyaTimeshare.com CEO Wesley Kogelman

These strategies led to an increase of 68 percent in the number of offers placed onto ads from prospective buyers during the second quarter compared to the same timeframe in 2013, totaling 5,200 offers. Renters seeking deals placed 2,086 offers on advertised rental properties, an increase of 41 percent from last year.

The increased activity shows that buyers and renters are still looking for quality vacation products in the midst of the summer holiday season according to BuyaTimeshare.com CEO Wesley Kogelman.

“Our activity has been very robust and continues to demonstrate that consumers are actively seeking vacation ownership products,” said Kogelman. “For years, all we heard from the industry was that timeshare was not a sought product, but our numbers contradict that thinking.”

“The increased offer numbers are also tracking well with the overall industry, which just reported an 11 percent increase in sales volume for 2013 according to ARDA. We’ve always believed that the better the new sales volume is, the better we’ll be since those owners will eventually look to resell their products.”

Consumers are visiting the BuyaTimeshare.com website in significant numbers, with just over 23,000 unique visitors per week coming to the site looking for information. With such a considerable amount of online traffic, plans are in the works to revamp the website and introduce new features to make it even easier to buy and rent online.

“We have some very exciting initiatives in the works that we will be announcing in the coming weeks which will have a profound impact on our business,” added Kogelman.

To discover more about BuyaTimeshare.com, please visit http://buyatimeshare.com.

RCI Signs Premium Vacation Club, Pioneer of Tourism in Turkey, To Multi-Year Affiliation Agreement July 27, 2014

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RCI, the global leader in vacation exchange and one of the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands, announced a new multi-year affiliation agreement with Premium Vacation Club, part of Gezenay Tourism Inc’s Premium Group, a pioneer of the tourism industry in Turkey

Through the group’s affiliation with RCI, its Premium Vacation Club 5* Hotel in Istanbul has joined the exchange network. Close to the city centre, the luxurious RCI Gold Crown resort comprises 305 elegant hotel rooms – 50 of which will be vacation ownership units. All rooms benefit from views over Istanbul or the sea, and feature spacious living arrangements as well as modern appliances and amenities.

RCI timeshare exchangeThe hotel’s wellness and spa centre has an indoor swimming pool with 11 massage rooms, offering an extensive selection of treatments, including two saunas, two Turkish baths, two steam rooms, snow fountains, relaxation rooms and the largest Jacuzzi in Istanbul. Guests can dine in one of three on-resort restaurant/lounges and have use of a range of sports facilities.

Cenk Kinay, president at Premium Vacation Club, said: “Hotel proprietors and investors need new sales channels in Turkey and the Premium Vacation Club is an innovative programme that will fill the sales and timeshare gap we have identified in the country. Based on our group’s 25 years of experience in Turkey’s tourism industry, we see a gap in the luxury resort sector of the country’s timeshare market. We aim to provide a unique experience exclusively for upscale travellers.

“The Club’s model is an easy-to-use, flexible weeks based approach to vacation ownership to generate new sales in our luxury resort for the discerning traveller. We have a similar mission to RCI in wanting to provide holidaymakers with the greatest flexibility and choice. We look forward to working with RCI to deliver on this with our first signing, the five-star Hotel Istanbul, ensuring RCI and our club members receive the quality holidays they deserve.”

Through this affiliation, Premium Vacation Club can offer its members access to RCI’s exchange holiday programme, comprising nearly 4,500 resort properties in more than 100 countries. Under the new agreement, buyers at Premium Vacation Club receive a complimentary two-year RCI membership. The timeshare accommodation is in deluxe rooms with the option of one extra guest staying for free. There is also a dedicated check-in and check-out for Club members and discounts on additional services.

“We warmly welcome Premium Vacation Club 5* Hotel in Istanbul into the RCI network,” said Sean Lowe, managing director, RCI Europe, Middle East, Africa & India. “This being our first resort affiliation in this iconic Turkish city, it is exciting for us to be able to offer our members such a different holiday experience. Istanbul is a new entrant to the timeshare market and we are pleased to be working with Premium Vacation Club in breaking new ground.”

A thriving city, Istanbul attracted over 10 million visitors in 2013 according to the Culture & Tourism Istanbul Regional Directorate. Voted the number one choice for travellers in the TripAdvisor’s sixth annual Traveler’s Choice Awards, Istanbul is famed for its culture, architecture and shopping opportunities.