Part 1-The Truly Wonderful
The first annual ITAD was held on November 1st and I was blown away by the positive response. We had nearly 800 people share their positive stories on the Facebook page...which will remain operational and monitored.
This endeavor would not have been possible without the hard work and efforts of the following: DAE Live, Confused About Timeshare, Lake Forest Resort and Club, TATOC, Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket, Azure Resorts, LiveShare Travel and RCI Ventures.
The terrific responses from owners were sincere, unscripted, honest and unedited-in marked contrast to other sites which claim to want to hear from owners but edit anything that doesn't fit into the doctorine that's being preached. Many of these owners have owned for 15, 20 and even 30 years; flying squarely in the face of the oft-repeated stories that timeshare owners want out. They don't. These are savvy, educated owners who know how to get the most out of their purchase.
Part 2-The Less So Wonderful
One very sad note-it was incredibly disheartening to see the almost non-existant participation from US timeshare owners. There are several possible reasons for this-the easiest explanation is that US based timeshare organizations have proved themselves yet again to be more interested in internal politics, afraid of doing anything that they didn't "invent"...or perhaps they just have something to hide.
What possible reason would a timeshare organization have for NOT putting the word out to their owners/members that there was a platform for sharing great timeshare owners? In a word...FEAR. The same reason that they dance and dance around the resale issue...they're scared that if they educate their owners there will be a flood of people wanting to sell. You know what...if you don't believe enough in your own product, shame on you.
So while I'm incredible disappointed by the lack of participation from companies that had everything to gain by jumping onboard ITAD...some of whom made false promises to me and then mysteriously dropped out without so much as an "explanation", I remain convinced that there are many happy timeshare owners in the US-and we have almost a year to get
the word out to them!
Part 3-Lessons Learned
---I've learned who to trust and who blows smoke.
---I've learned who provides great customer service in timeshare and who only claims to.
---I've learned that the US based industry will NEVER embrace what I'm trying to do and that's OK.
---I've learned that certain organizations "get it" and others don't. Guess who will survive?
Overall, the first annual International Timeshare Appreciation Day can only be classified as a success. Whether I am around next year to spearhead this initiative or not, I know that it will continue and get bigger and better. Onwards!