Started by vernon, April 02, 2010, 09:56:37

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TATOC CONFERENCE, 26th-28th March 2010 at the Belfry Hotel, Nottingham
                                                                   WORKING TOGETHER

This conference under the title of WORKING TOGETHER, was a success from beginning to end, a conference put together to highlight the many problems facing the Timeshare Industry, a conference to highlight how each individual section must work together in combating scams, that dreaded "cold-call" of...we've sold your Timeshare, we have people interested in saving you money with management fees etc etc.

Below is a condensed synopsis of what the speakers delivered to a very attentive audience.

Jennie Thompson, a TATOC Director welcomed everybody to the conference and sincerely hoped that by the time the last speaker had delivered his or her presentation, everybody in the hall would be appreciative of the work that TATOC was doing, all within the framework of this years conference, working together.

David Eastburn, Chairman of TATOC, officially opened the conference and asked everybody for a moment's silence in remembering absent friends, friends who had done so much in helping the organisation.
Mr Eastburn then explained the many challenges that lay ahead, all these were being met with a positive attitude and also emphasized that we faced "exciting times" within the organisation.
He expressed his gratitude to the sponsors of TATOC, saying that without them, the organisation would not be able to deliver the help to individuals and organisations as it was doing at present on the TATOC  "HELP-LINE".
TATOC fully recognised the problems that it faced and was putting in place measures to rectify these, but now was the time for action! for  all of us to work together. With membership increasing during the year, the accreditation programme was in force. Resorts realising that a new demanding standard had been set and if the Resort was able to show that its standards met the demanding ones set by TATOC, this would be recognised within the Industry, all this set against a background of a poor economic climate and recession.
His closing statement reiterated his commitment as chairman of TATOC to tackle resale scams and for an exit strategy to be in place that would be of benefit to both developers and consumers.  

Harry Taylor, CEO of TATOC informed the audience that TATOC was working very closely with the Timeshare Industry, they were reaching their goals that had been set and in some instances these were being surpassed beyond all expectations.
Mr Taylor remarked that the only way forward was working together, realising the value of a "brand name", the value of integrity and that TATOC were working very closely with colleagues in the UK and Europe concerning the improvement of Timeshare legislation. He then mentioned their achievements for 2009...10 accredited Resorts and another 17 awaiting for accreditation in May of this year and was convinced that when consumers realised the standards of accredited Resorts, this would become the standard benchmark for the Industry!  A new website had been set-up namely TCA, their magazine Sharetime going beyond all expectations but still required more funding to enable it to go to higher levels.
Harry was very specific about what TATOC was able to deliver all within a very tight budget, however, well-informed unbiased advice coupled with a speedy service enabled customers to save themselves many thousands of pounds, unfortunately this costs money which stretched the budget of the organisation and reiterated that we all must work together.

Janice Anderson-Pearne, Interval International Vice President, Client Services of Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia spoke about what their organisation had to offer, the holidays that consumers want, when they want these holidays and the choice of holiday.
Ms Anderson-Pearne went into great detail on how Interval International worked together on the principles of "living-up" to peoples expectations, the myth versus reality scenario of them being able to provide these holidays at any time through the exchange system and comparing what was on offer in the USA against the rest of the world.
Mention was made of the future of Timeshare, ways on how to make it more attractive for the next generation, Timeshare re-sales, exit strategies, the flexibility of holiday planning, Interval International was showing a success rate of 70% on exchanges, of having 10 million weeks in the system for holiday exchange.
Understanding consumers holiday needs, communication, a sense of realism on what you can exchange, "Red weeks against the rest of available weeks", of keeping consumers informed of changes, consumers should be looking at the website for Interval International up-dates and finally of offering "value-for-money" to the consumers.

Stephen J Cloobeck, Chairman and CEO of Diamond Resorts International provided the audience with information of the company, which he bought, of the problems that needed cleaning-up before the acquisition of no hospitality standards, no comfort standards and no understanding of what the members expected.
Mr Cloobeck then went on to explain on what he was about, and went to great lengths to explain the standards he now expected. He went on to say that by giving out his personal e-mail to members enabled them to communicate with him on matters good or bad.
Awareness of scammers, the re-sale frauds that go on each day, these were no good for the Industry. A point was made on improving standards at DRI Resorts but still keeping a "local theme of the area", of cost-savings that had been made, unannounced visits to Resorts, his commitment to a fair exit policy, which could be achieved with the help of TATOC.
Stephen then went on to explain his commitment for enjoyable holidays for the disabled and informed the audience of his awareness of the many problems facing the Industry.
Many questions from the floor were asked and answers given about embracing change and how Diamond Resorts International could work with others, MacDonald Resorts Ltd offered to help in an effort to look for and provide a fair exit policy for all, but again it was shown that we must work together.

A "breakout session" followed comprising of up-to-date news from Diamond Resorts International, Macdonald Resorts Ltd, Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket, Dial An Exchange, Interval International. Debit Finance Collection Plc, Travel & Leisure Interval International.
Each person could chose a maximum of 3 and each session lasted approximately 20 minutes, all were well attended and extremely informative.

Starting the afternoon programme was Miles Kirkwood, Managing Director, EuroHygiene Ltd. His talk revolved around health and safety, of working together with people throughout Europe in explaining legislation, best practice, of fire safety and basic controls, fire risk assessment, training and documentation, pool and water safety, the hazards that are around every pool.
Mr Kirkwood placed great emphasis on the control of Legionnaires Disease, the implication of controlling Legionella Pheumophila and risk assessment; of looking for danger points were this disease could be found.
With good hygiene standards, Legionella can be controlled and was emphatic bringing all this under the banner of training of incident management and the principles of safety.
In closing his presentation, his final thoughts and remarks centred on..."if you think safety is expensive, you've never had an accident!"

Mark Cushway, Managing Director, {banned word/phrase} Malta and Tenerife and Board Member of RDO centred his presentation on developing different ideas within the ever-changing consumer landscape, of building value through teamwork and was extremely proud of being involved and working in the Timeshare Industry.
He went on to say that he sincerely believed in adding "value" to Timeshare, whether it is through re-sales, of the ever need to provide a genuine exit system for people who for whatever reason the product was not fulfilling there needs.
Mark fervently believed that we all must work together, that we all must accept change and then made several remarks "it's not the Industry that will change, it's the people within the Industry who will create that change", "of the opportunity being missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like a lot of hard work" and what better way than starting all this off with the help of TATOC!
Mention was made of the damage to the Industry through the website Crimeshare, this is now defunct, of good advice that was always needed for the consumer and emphasising the good that TATOC was doing in promoting all this through HELPLINE, the help and ideas that they provided, against the general lack of trust that lingered within Timeshare.
In continuing his presentation Mark gave his views of...Resorts that were facing difficulty with fees, of how to improve the public image of Timeshare, of re-sales value, of a balanced media focus and coverage, of aiming for a high quality within the sales teams, of a need to spread the word "positive" and the need for easy feedback, all this can be done through working together.

Ramy Filo, President Australian and Holiday Ownership Council, Chairman of Global Alliance of Holiday Excellence, CEO of Classic Group and Chairman of Dial An Exchange International. He described how Timeshare revolved in Australia, the challenging issues that Timeshare was facing in Australia, the aging population owner base, the aging Resort facilities, increased operating costs, competition from new build accommodation, all this within a complex legal environment.
His belief of a simple business philosophy and understanding the customer's needs was of paramount importance, the value of subscribing to an online information service and also to understand how Timeshare has evolved, again he also mentioned of working together in promoting the positive things of Timeshare.
We all had the opportunity of watching a short AAT Kings video of Australia and New Zealand which was most impressive, it was well put together and certainly gave the inspiration on how we could also present our own Resorts. Something that shows what the Resort has to offer for our holiday experience into... this is a "place-to-visit".

A forum followed being moderated by Jennie Thompson.
On the forum were....Patrick Duffy of DRI, Mark Cushway, Phil Watson of Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket, Harry Taylor, Ramy Filo and Simon Jackson from Macdonald Resorts Ltd.
Patrick used the basic theme of "working together." It was soon clear that a firm commitment was "on the cards" from all forum members towards TATOC...Mark mentioned the extremely positive moves within the exchange companies and that a resale timeshare should not be worthless Simon Jackson offered his commitment to TATOC, Phil Watson highlighted the effects of perpetuity timeshare ownership. A mention was made of the 200,000 weeks of timeshare that was for sale.
Ramy said solutions were available to timeshare problems but whichever solution one took; there were always consequences to that problem.
Harry mentioned the rigorous principles that TATOC adhered to, that TATOC needs support from outside funding and that ways were being looked at to apply for this funding.
Phil considered this to be the best TATOC Conference he had ever attended.
Ms Jennie Thompson said there was a need for a positive website.
She then closed the forum by thanking the above members for making themselves available for this forum of "working together."

I feel this is the right time to mention that during the evening dinner period, announcements were made of pledges of donations, commitments of donations to TATOC in helping to "close-the-shortfall" so that the HELPLINE could continue with the end result of help and advice for all and to be able to have the benefit of professional expertise from organisations and individuals within the Timeshare Industry. This to me showed that their was a clear understanding of the need to work together in combating the negativity and the many scams that are holding back the positive work that is being done within the Industry.
The "After Dinner" Speaker was Ted Robbins, a comedian and actor, a man used to appearing in theatre and television, a man generally recognised as one of the top TV warm-up studio hosts in the country, he kept everybody smiling or laughing with his many jokes and impersonations. I think we all could have listened to him all night.

Jennie Thompson interviewed Dimitris Manikis, Vice President, Business Development and Resort Sales of RCI on his views on where the Industry was going regarding a possible exit strategy for consumers, his reply was finding ways that consumers should not want to leave Timeshare, on ways of bringing in more people and ways for families to raise their children in a Timeshare environment rather than that of a hotel.
Dimitris then mentioned that RCI had changed, was offering flexibility and value-for-money to exchange holidays, all in an effort to communicate more with young families.
Ms Thompson asked a question regarding the Rental market, Dimitris was emphatic with his remarks that not enough space existed within RCI inventory to satisfy current demand if RCI changed to became a rental company instead of an exchange company, - they would be in "real trouble" if this change was made. He mentioned that working together was of benefit to both consumer and his company.
In reply to another of Ms Thompson's questions he said that the best advertising was "word-of-mouth", that a Timeshare holiday should be something to be proud of and the product should not be sold on the open market for less than the maintenance fee.

Geoff Chapman, Director of Flexiclub, Director of TATOC spoke about legislation, that Timeshare started some 45 years ago with good and bad ethics at "point-of-sale".
Geoff highlighted the legislation to a new Timeshare directive in Europe and for us all to prepare for the new directive in February of 2011, he said that all information must be made available to the purchaser of timeshare.
Its principle targets being holiday clubs, scams, and scam resale companies. Mention was made about driving motivation to all levels. Working together with the consumer on the TATOC HELPLINE, it was found that the complaints from August to January about half these related to resale and with the new legislation coming in force this should considerable reduce the nature of complaint.

Diana Aitchison, Group Managing Director, Nexus Leisure Group spoke about how one can make savings at all Resorts within the present economic climate, of looking at annual fees, the use of Skype, on staff, housekeeping, maintenance, manning of Reception day and night, making a provision for liquidation, security on the Resort, staff life insurance, of running the Resort, looking at all detail and always get quotes for any jobs.
Ms Aitchison mentioned on working together at Resort to implement the smooth running of the above changes and often it was easier to go back to basics for cost savings.

Adam Johnson, Chairman of Club Las Calas, Lanzarote had the privilege of giving the last presentation. With many slides he was able to show how working together at Resort could pinpoint each and every persons responsibility, on showing how each segment fitted in with the next, the circle of delivery, the relationship of one with the other, delegating the overall responsibility, identifying that responsibility with all concerned

Jenny Thompson thanked everyone who was present in the conference hall, on how she enjoyed working together with everybody.

David Eastburn in giving the Conference Summary thanked everybody for their support whether it be the Trade Bodies, Resort Members or Individual Members and mentioned that the theme of the Conference, Working Together had made this conference a huge success.

Afterwards followed the TATOC AGM, which was for members only. One can find details of help on the under mentioned websites

In conclusion, I would like to make a comment...it is easy to participate with attendance at a conference, it is easy to give thanks to all the people who gave their time in making their presentation, it is easy to talk to fellow colleagues in agreeing or disagreeing with their comments and it is easy to leave the conference and head back home to carry on with our own lives, however, the hard bit comes when we need to spread the good work that TATOC does, of mentioning to our timeshare friends whilst on holiday about the much-needed advice that TATOC has given free to us the consumers, but when we do have time to relax, soaking in the sun by the pool on holiday, perhaps we could play our little part of saying,...we've joined TATOC, we use the TATOC website, of noting if our favourite Resort is flying the TATOC flag, if not, why not, of giving the "cold-callers" a firm NO to their unwanted scam and then mention that you are a member of TATOC!
Come on, the balls in our court; let's make this conference theme a reality by working together!

John Woodward.




Vernon  (John Woodward?)

Thank you very much for your detailed report!!!


Boss Man

Yes, second that. Always good to hear what has been happening

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