I'm writing from the annual VOIC (Vacation Ownership Investment Conference) being held at the newly expanded Peabody Resort in Orlando.
I'll have a full recap of the conference on Friday, but I'm pleased to report that the industry leaders here seem to be fully focused on business, as opposed to fun and games, and for the first time, I see a hint of being open to...wait for it...new ideas. The economic downturn and the extension of that downturn has opened some ideas within the industry, which I feel is a good thing...there is a silver lining in all of those black clouds.
While I am here, I've been asked to be interviewed for a full-length profile (much nicer than pushing my own PR pieces!) as well as being asked to write an article about how (or if) salespeople at resorts are trained. This in response to a large number of consumer complaints about lies...sorry, misrepresentations...that they have encountered while at sales pitches...sorry, resort overviews. That article will be in the November/December issue of TimeSharing Today.
There has also been some interest shown in "Surviving A Timeshare Presentation...Confessions From The Sales Table," "Timeshare Vacations For Dummies" and "Timeshare Management-The Key Issues For Hospitality Managers." All good news as people in timeshare are talking more about educating consumers instead of ONLY trying to sell them something.
No news to report on the apparant demise of Holiday Group in Seattle unfortunately. Also, this conference is not designed to discuss the "post-card" companies...although I have overheard some rumblings that those horrid companies have finally upset the powers that be, We shall see.
Check back on Friday for a full recap.