I've just completed my first TATOC (http://www.tatoc.com) conference near Manchester. Lots of great people, lots of information, terrific sessions. And after all of this, I'm convinced that most, if not all of the issues facing both timeshare owners and timeshare resorts could be solved with more consumer education.
Look at the current problem caused by the scam resale companies and now the increasing number of scam "legal assistance" companies. SOLVED if there was more comprehensive consumer education.
This would in turn, put a huge dent in the financial issues that too many resorts are facing with the unpayment of the annual fees. If timeshares weren't turned over to scam companies that aren't paying fees, the fees would be paid.
And continuing education might just stop the issue of an aging owner base being unable to pass on their timeshare to their children and grandchildren. I've always said that there is no reason why a child or grandchild would NOT want a timeshare for just the cost of the annual fees if they knew how to properly use the timeshare.
And education would just about solve the issue of people dumping their timeshare for $1.00 on eBay or other sites. Even the proverbial "blue week in Alabama" is worth more than $1.00.
Knowing how to properly use a timeshare would lead to happier owners, better stories in the media and maybe, just maybe more referral purchasers.
And of course, better education would lead to people who quite honestly shouldn't even be thinking of buying a timeshare, for any number of reasons, from doing so.
I know that there are issues ahead of all of us and we need to have an honest discussion of just who is going to be responsible for this education. It is not something that can be fixed instantly.
But it's crystal clear to myself and everyone who attended and participated in this year's TATOC Conference that the time for hiding heads in the sand is over.
Education will solve most of the issues that the timeshare industry faces. Who is going to take the first step?