Attending the sales and marketing breakout session yesterday at VOIC (Vacation Ownership Investment Conference), I kept expecting to hear the "Evil Empire" music from the Star Wars saga films everytime someone on the panel used the word "Internet."
People, it is 2010. The Internet has been around for quite some time now and it has been widely in use in homes and businesses throughout the country experts agree since 1998. In fact, many timeshare developers get their clients from marketing companies touting the "3 day/2 night stay for $99" (just Google "timeshare presentations" to prove my point) on the Internet.
So, although the timeshare industry continues to enthusiastically use the Internet, it is not so fond of the attributes that consumers have embrased the Internet for; availability of information and transparancy. Ah ha...and now you understand why I kept expecting Lord Vader himself to show up on the dais.
The industry can not have it both ways; it can't use the power, reach and frequency of the Internet while running away from the leveling power that it holds. If it continues to do so, I'm confident that their sales centers will continue to be packed with people there for the hooks-who then promptly buy their product on the secondary market for 60%-70% less.
May The Force Be With You!