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Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club Expands to Mexico August 31, 2014

Posted by Steve Luba in : Mexico timeshare, News & Events , add a comment

Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club (Lifestyle), located on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic on Cofresi Beach, has announced its expansion into Mexico with the new Sea Adventure by Lifestyle Resort, located on 1,300 feet of white sandy beaches on the North side of Cancun at the tip of Puerto Juarez, the gateway to Isla Mujeres. On-site sales, member reservations and stays are already underway this month at Lifestyle’s newest vacation club destination.

Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club Sea Adventure Cancun

Sea Adventure by Lifestyle Resort

Members and guests will enjoy a full-service kids club for ages 4 to 10, a thrilling water park with water slides, waterfalls and other fun rides, three restaurants, four bars, fitness center, a large ocean-front swimming pool with three inset Jacuzzis, shaded palapas and sun bed, a 13-hole mini-golf course, and a ballroom-theater for dinner shows. The on-site activities team arranges a wide variety of activities for the entire family, such as beach volleyball, soccer, water polo and ping-pong. Paddleboats and kayaks are also available.

The newest Lifestyle vacation destination features Lifestyle’s signature V.I.P Beach and V.I.P services. “We are thrilled to add Sea Adventure by Lifestyle to our growing portfolio of vacation properties and bring our signature Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club Member experience into Mexico,” commented Markus Wischenbart, President of Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club. “We plan to continue our expansion into Mexico and the Cancun area by next year, and will have more exciting news to share soon.”

The distinct developments and vacation experiences of Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club in the Dominican Republic include: The Tropical, The Crown Suites, The Crown Villas, The Royal Suites, The Royal Villas, The Residence Suites, The Presidential Suites – Puerto Plata, The Presidential Suites – Punta Cana, Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort, as well as the new Costa Esmeralda by Lifestyle, and Villa Park Villas & Suites under construction and scheduled to open by fourth quarter 2014.

Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club Members, guests and their families have a wide variety of activities available in the Dominican Republic. In the North Coast, adjacent to its properties in Puerto Plata is the Ocean World Adventure Park with its daily animal and aquatic shows and a casino. Other activities in the area include a cable car ride to the peak of Mount Isabel de Torres, white water rafting, horseback riding, deep sea fishing, boating, snorkeling, monster truck safaris and city tours of Puerto Plata.


Labor Day Travel Expected Near 35 Million According To AAA August 28, 2014

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 AAA Travel projects 34.7 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Labor Day holiday weekend, the highest volume for the holiday since 2008 and a 1.3 percent increase over 2013. Nearly 86 percent of travelers (29.7 million) will celebrate the holiday with a final road trip before summer comes to a close and children head back to school. The Labor Day travel period is defined as Thursday, August 28 to Monday, September 1.

Highlights from 2014 Labor Day Travel Forecast include:

AAA-logo“As the economy makes modest gains, more Americans are joining the labor force this year,” said AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall L. Doney. “With Labor Day symbolizing the American workers’ contributions to the strength and prosperity of our country, it’s only fitting that millions are choosing to celebrate this positive direction with an all-American road trip.”

Consumer spending is continuing to rise in spite of stagnant income growth. In the third quarter of this year spending is expected to increase 3.8 percent year-over-year, while disposable personal income is only expected to increase 1.4 percent. Reliance on credit cards, rather than increasing income, is fueling holiday travel spending this year. While economic growth is slow, consumers are feeling more comfortable taking on debt.

“This year, Americans are more optimistic about their financial situation,” continued Doney.  “Consumer spending continues to outpace disposable income, indicating that Americans are comfortable using their credit cards to take one last summer vacation this year.”

Travelers likely to pay lower gas prices for Labor Day

Most U.S. consumers are paying the lowest gas prices for early August since 2010. AAA expects gas prices to have little impact on the number of people traveling for Labor Day, though lower prices could help make travel more affordable.  Barring a major development, such as a Gulf Coast hurricane, prices are likely to remain relatively low leading up to the holiday weekend compared to recent years, which will allow travelers to allocate more of their budgets towards travel expenses. The current price of gas is $3.44 compared to $3.59 on Labor Day last year. AAA provides the latest gas prices for the nation, states and metro areas at FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com.

Airfare and hotel costs rise, car rental fees flat

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase six percent from one year ago with travelers spending an average of $171 per night compared to $161 last year. The average hotel rate for AAA Two Diamond hotels has risen nine percent with an average cost of $125 per night.

Weekend daily car rental rates will average $51, the same as last year. Airfares have risen two percent with the average round-trip, discounted fare for the top 40 U.S. routes costing $219, up from $214 last year.

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

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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

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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.