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Behzat Aksaray: ‘Condo-hotels Diane Clarkson: Robin Barrasford: ‘Fractional


and multi-use properties are ‘Customer intelligence ownership opens up the
becoming very popular in is only useful if it is target market for luxury
Turkey.’ PAGE 12 acted upon.’ PAGE 36 resorts.’ PAGE 27

VENTURES
Enterprising ideas for the vacation industry

SILVER SERVICE
November 2009

CLUB LA COSTA
RESORTS & HOTELS
CELEBRATES 25
GOLDEN YEARS

HOT PROPERTY
CROATIA IS A LAND
OF OPPORTUNITY

TURKEY
THE RISING STAR
A WEALTH OF ATTRACTIONS AND
GOVERNMENT SUPPORT MEANS
TURKEY IS FINALLY READY TO
REALISE ITS INTERNATIONAL
TOURISM POTENTIAL

CREDIT WORTHY
TIMESHARE ASSOCIATION HELPS
BUILD INDUSTRY’S REPUTATION

FRACTIONAL PHILOSOPHY
PROPERTY AGENT DEVELOPS
FIRST RESORT IN GREECE
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VENTURES MAGAZINE SERVING RCI’S MARKETS IN EUROPE,


NOVEMBER 2009 THE MIDDLE EAST, AFRICA AND INDIA

CONTENTS EDITORIAL

4 MARKET OUTLOOK: 2009 has been a year of achievement


A news and views round-up for RCI and its industry associates.
from Europe, and around the The last 12 months have left me
world feeling proud to be a part of an
industry that is consistently proactive
10 RDO NEWS: and enthusiastic in identifying
A year of change and positive opportunities to build a bright future.
action against rogue traders Our developers’ commitment to
for the Resort Development the long-term future of our industry is evident in the 35 new
Organisation properties we have signed to our exchange holiday networks in
the EMEAI region this year. We’re thrilled to welcome resorts
12 COVER STORY offering a great diversity of location and experiences, from
TURKEY – A RISING yacht clubs in the Mediterranean and spas in Turkey to
STAR: houseboats in Venice. A selection of these newly-affiliated
Turkey has all the attributes to become properties are showcased on page 8.
a major player in international vacation ownership The cover story on page 12 highlights the strengths of
Turkey as an increasingly important market for the shared-
16 ON COURSE FOR CHARITY: ownership product and for RCI, having affiliated six new
European executives and colleagues tee off at the Christel House Open Turkish resorts this year. Croatia is also tipped as a hot spot for
future resort development in our market report on page 22.
18 SIMPLY GIVING: Throughout 2009 I felt there has been a coming together of
Resort Properties’ latest development project will aid orphans in Kenya industry players across Europe and other regions, fostering a
genuine team spirit which can only serve to strengthen our
20 TURNING SILVER TO GOLD: business. There are updates on the important work of several
Club La Costa Resorts & Hotels Group goes from strength to strength of our associates in this issue – see pages 10-11 for a round-up
after 25 years in the business of the achievements of RDO and its enforcement programme
headed by Alberto Garcia, and page 30 for news of TATOC’s
24 A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE: achievements throughout this year.
How luxurious new resorts are changing the face of the Costa del Sol It has been a particularly good year for the fractional
product in Europe. The value proposition of fractional
27 PHILOSOPHY FOR SUCCESS: properties has made them an attractive leisure property
A UK-based property agent is going Greek to develop its first resort purchase for those with spending power during the credit
crunch and consequently we’ve seen an increase in market
30 A CREDIT TO THE INDUSTRY: activity. The Registry Collection affiliated six European
Chief executive Harry Taylor reflects on a busy year for The Timeshare properties in the last 12 months.
Association Increasingly property professionals from the wholly-owned
residential sector are entering the fractional arena –
32 LONG-TERM PROMISE: companies such as international property agents Barrasford &
Why Croatia is a market with real potential for property development Bird Worldwide whose new fractional property, Halcyon Hills in
Greece, is featured on page 27. The Registry Collection was
36 IN PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS: also invited to fill speaker slots at three prestigious property
How and why you should reap the rewards of customer satisfaction shows and won the Best Fractional Service Award at the 2009
Overseas Property Professional Industry Awards – see pages
38 FINAL CALL – TAKING CONTROL: 4, 6 and 7 for more details.
Survive tough economic times by making bold decisions, says LINDA We’ve certainly had much to celebrate in 2009 and I’d like to
FREER, managing director of Resort Solutions thank our affiliated developers and associates for their
continued loyalty to RCI. The RCI team greatly values those
relationships and we look forward to working with our
developers and business associates towards a shared goal of
VENTURES is published by RCI, a trading name of RCI Europe, Kettering Parkway, Kettering, Northants, NN15 growing all our businesses further in 2010.
6EY, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (0)1536 310101. Fax: +44 (0)1536 314682. Email: ventures@europe.rci.com EDITOR:
Helen Foster. CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Steve Adams. DESIGN: Richard Blaney. PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR:
Claire Williams. ADVERTISING SALES: Media Line Ltd. Tel: +44 (0)870 250 8701. Repro: JP Repro. PRINTING:
CKN Print Ltd. Original articles and contributions may be reproduced or transmitted only with written permission
Sincerely
from the publisher. No responsibility is accepted by RCI Europe for any losses or other consequences resulting Jonathan Back
from advertisements or other material appearing in this publication. RCI Europe reserves the right to accept or
refuse advertisements at its discretion without assigning any reason for doing so. © RCI Europe 2009. Managing director, RCI EMEAI

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Marketoutlook
A R O U ND - U P OF I ND U S T R Y N E W S , V I EW S , A ND P E O P L E T O W ATC H

NEW APPOINTMENT
THE REGISTRY COLLECTION WINS
STRENGTHENS PRESTIGIOUS OPP INDUSTRY AWARD
HUTCHINSON AND INDUSTRY: The Registry buyer and its growing
CITADEL TEAM Collection programme, specialist knowledge
the world’s largest luxury creates value for a wide
PEOPLE: Hutchinson & Co Trust Company exchange programme, variety of developers.”
and Citadel Trustees have appointed has been honoured with Nick Turner, head
Veranne Wilkinson, below, as managing the 2009 Overseas and VP, business
director of both firms as well as all their Property Professional development, The
other European Group companies. (OPP) Industry Award in Registry Collection,
Wilkinson, the Best Fractional Europe, said: “We’re
who has been Service category. delighted to have our
with the firm The Registry efforts in helping
since 1996, Collection pioneered the developers to grow their
was born and luxury leisure property businesses, and the
educated in exchange concept when it fractional industry as a
France where launched in the US eight whole, recognised by an
she graduated years ago and now has organisation of OPP’s
from the more than 130 affiliates standing. We’d like to
Université de and 160 associated thank the OPP team for its
Franche- properties across five contribution to the
Comté with a continents in its portfolio. fractional industry by
Masters During the last 12 months embracing and supporting
Degree in its European business it so well across all its
Modern Languages and Business. development team has media channels.
Chairman Peter Hutchinson said: affiliated six new resorts Nick Turner “I’d also like to thank
“Veranne’s vast experience in providing our in Italy, France, Spain, Realtors were among the our affiliates and industry
ever extending services to the timeshare Greece and Tunisia. judges, who said of The associates who are all
industry and beyond will stand her in good Representatives from Registry Collection: “The very much a part of the
stead to move the Group forward with ICREA, AIPP, NAEA size, scale and expertise team that made winning
greater emphasis on financial products, International and the of this international this prestigious award
including Unregulated Collective Florida Association of company protects the possible.”
Investment Schemes, which Citadel has
recently been authorised to operate by the
Financial Services Authority.”
GUESTS HAPPIER WITH EUROPEAN HOTELS
In a separate development, Paul INDUSTRY: Overall hotel guest satisfaction in Europe reached a five-year high in 2009,
Smythe will be reducing his activities as increasing dramatically over 2008 with improvements in all ranked hospitality brands
he moves towards semi-retirement, but and across all segments, according to the JD Power and Associates 2009 European
will remain involved in the Group’s Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study.
expansion in the Far East, in his role as The study examined the overall satisfaction of European hotel guests based on
managing director, Asia. The Board will seven measures – costs and fees, guest room, hotel facilities, food and beverage,
be further strengthened by the addition check-in/check-out, hotel services and reservations. Forty-two hotel brands were
of Anna Rickard as legal services measured and ranked in four segments: upper upscale, upscale, mid-scale full service
director, Raquel Gonzalez as operations and economy.
director and Chris Allen as sales & The study found that hotel guest satisfaction had improved on 2008 by 16 index
marketing director. points or more (on a 1,000-point scale) in all four segments, with the greatest rises in
upper upscale and upscale, which increased by 24 and 25 points respectively over 2008.
■ To read an exclusive interview with Michael Drago, director of the global hospitality and travel practice at JD Power and
Veranne Wilkinson, visit Associates, said: “Hotels throughout Europe have not lost their customer focus despite
www.rciventures.com an economic climate that has reduced demand and forced hotel brands to stringently
contain costs.”

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FAMILIAR FACE RETURNS TO PESTANA


PEOPLE: José Rodrigues has experience, working for several international hospitality
been appointed group sales Marriott Vacation Club in brands.
director of Pestana Vacation Marbella, and Starwood “After 12 years away he’s
Club, with responsibility for the Vacation Club in Cancun, returning to us with much
company’s resorts in Madeira Mexico, where he was a senior international experience and
and the Algarve. manager with responsibility for fresh thinking to bring to each
The move signals the start sales and marketing. part of our business. 2010 is
of the Madeira national’s Peter Booth, Pestana Group our 25th anniversary year and a
second spell with the Pestana managing director, said: “We’re good time to fine tune our
Group, having been a sales delighted to have José back. He business.”
consultant with the company worked for Pestana up to 1996, Pestana Vacation Club
from 1988 to 1996. During his when he left his native Madeira operates 16 resorts in Madeira,
time away he has developed a to take up the challenge of Portugal and Brazil, and is
José Rodrigues wealth of hospitality industry going overseas to work for affiliated to RCI.

RSL TO MANAGE MONTE CARVOEIRO


RESORT: UK-based resort management company Resort Solutions Limited (RSL) has
signed a new management contract with Monte Carvoeiro in Lagoa in the Algarve.
The RCI-affiliated development, which comprises a mix of apartments and villas on
a hill above the bay of Carvoeiro, joins the 13 other resorts managed by RSL, one of the
largest independent management companies specialising in timeshare resorts. The
company, headed by managing director Linda Freer, is working with Monte Carvoeiro’s
owners’ committee to implement a number of operational changes to boost the
resort’s efficiency, with ongoing plans to upgrade its units and facilities.
The refurbishment of a two-bedroom show apartment was completed in
October 2009.
Ms Freer said: “We have already put a number of changes in place and are
The sales team at Monte Carvoeiro, from left, Murray
working closely with the new owners’ committee who are committed to restoring the
and Jocelyn Nichol with Lisa and Paul Salih.
resort to its former glory through an extensive programme of refurbishment.”
A newly-formed sales company, Vacations For You, headed by Murray and Jocelyn Nichol and Paul and Lisa Salih, joined RSL in October
and will be actively selling the resort.
■ To read Linda Freer’s views on taking control in a tough economic climate see Final Call on Page 38.

GOTIMESHARE.ORG MAKES GOOGLE NEWS


INDUSTRY: The Resort worldwide source list. Tim increased by 90 per cent. will be syndicated but if the
Development Organisation Kirby, the search engine Articles published on the site content is original and topical
(RDO) is succeeding in its optimisation (SEO) specialist are supplied by site sponsors they have a good chance of
strategy to counter negative managing the site said: and will now be considered for Google selection for syndication,
information on the internet by “When people do a search, the Google News feed, giving sponsors the benefit of
getting its consumer website, Google gives some added meaning they could be having a much better online
www.gotimeshare.org, weight to sites that are listed syndicated to thousands of exposure worldwide.”
accredited as a source site by in Google News which boosts news gathering agencies Any RDO members
Google for inclusion into our rankings on internet worldwide, driving traffic both interested in discussing
Google News. searches about timeshare and to the site and associated links. sponsorship opportunities on
Google’s strict selection related terms.” “This is a great opportunity www.gotimeshare.org should
criteria is reported to admit Shortly after inclusion in for sponsors,” added Kirby. contact Sue McNicol at
only 4,500 websites to its Google News, visits to the site “Not all the articles submitted smcnicol@btinternet.com.

RCI Ventures, November 2009 5 |


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Marketoutlook: Events
A R O U ND - U P OF I ND U S T R Y N E W S , V I EW S , A ND P E O P L E T O W ATC H

FRACTIONAL SPOTLIGHT AT MAJOR PROPERTY SHOW


For the first time, fractional products became a major feature at The
Property Investor Show & OPPLive event in London. HELEN FOSTER
reports.

ractionals were definitely on the agenda


F at The Property Investor Show &
OPPLive event held at the Excel Centre in
London in October. A number of exhibitors
were real estate developers who had recently
introduced fractionals to their portfolios, and
the event featured a dedicated fractional
theatre in which panel sessions and
workshops were held.
The Registry Collection was a headline
sponsor of the event and was represented
with both a stand presence and in three
theatre sessions in which Nick Turner and
Paul Mac Sherry of The Registry Collection,
Europe, participated. Turner, head and VP of
the The Registry Collection, Europe, said:
“The fact that mainstream property
The Registry Collection stand at the OPPLive Show. From left, Kelly Render and
professionals such as the Overseas Property Paul Mac Sherry of The Registry Collection with a visitor and Nick Turner.
Professional (OPP) group are bringing
fractionals into their publications and events concept, it needs a route to market and the sell 12th shares and people can see what
is a testament to the viability and strength of session identified property sales agents as you’re loading onto the price by doing the
the product in the leisure property market.” being essential in reaching the wider mid- maths. I think no more than a 20 per cent
market consumer base. uplift as a maximum.”
MASS MARKET OPORTUNITIES Paul Anderson of model providers Anderson explained that agents will not
‘Is fractional a mass-market product?’ was Fractions Abroad said: “A good agent will be want to sell fractions if they’re too small: “They
one of the liveliest of the show’s fractional able to qualify a client and understand what do not have the desire to sell high multiple
panel sessions. they need. But this industry is very bad at shares because the income is too small for the
Robin Barrasford of international property matching products to buyers. If a customer work involved. If you expect your agents to
agents Barrasford & Bird Worldwide, who doesn’t match your price range or is work 12 times as hard to sell 12 fractions
has just entered the fractional market with a mortgage-dependent and you can’t help instead of one whole ownership property, you
mid-priced development (£20,000) in Greece them, they could walk out the door. You’ve have to compensate them sufficiently.”
which is affiliated to The Registry Collection, got a motivated buyer so you’ve got to meet US property lawyer Andy Sirkin said
said: “Fractional is another weapon in my their needs.” industry education was fundamental but
armoury. It opens up the overseas property The value add of an agent’s services was “educating brokers is a long-term process
market to a vast number of people who not disputed, but the fee level was. Anderson involving intensive training”. He added that in
couldn’t afford it. said agents must be compensated and most cases agents were better as introducers.
“That man can now afford a luxury villa thought developers should make an “Getting fractional ownership to market
on the beach with an infinity pool and that’s allocation out of profit to pay agent fees, “as through the mainstream broker community
what it’s about. The Registry Collection is a the client needs to buy at value”. is a huge step,” he said. “Local agents can
very sexy product – it makes my product look Delegates heard some agents were work well as a referral network. They don’t
sexier. It’s all about living the dream, not reported to be loading the selling price by complete the sale but pass the leads on to
calculators. I build properties and I sell more than 40 per cent to cover costs and your in-house sales team. The leads they
dreams.” make profit. “This is what is going to kill this pass on can be tracked so the local agent
No matter how great the property or industry. It’s just greed”, said Barrasford. “I doesn’t feel his sales are being hijacked.”

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HELEN FOSTER
reports on the third
Fractional Life Expo.

FRACTIONAL
SHOWCASE
espite the autumn showers,
D hundreds of visitors made
their way to the Fractional Life
Expo 2009 held at London’s
Broadgate Event Venues in
September to learn more about
the fractional product.
Piers Brown, founder of
Fractional Life and event
The three-day Fractional Life Expo attracted about 8,000 visitors.
organiser, said it was difficult to
give an accurate figure on foot discussions with to talk players under one roof. fractional products, which have
fall to the event but somewhere through ideas in a relaxed and The Registry Collection will, featured in both The Property
in the region of 8,000 show informal setting.” for the third consecutive year, Investor Show & OPPLive event
guides had been given out Nat Alexander of supercar be headline sponsors of the and A Place In The Sun and we
during the three-day event. club Marque II noticed a Summit, giving visitors the were invited to participate in
The show featured car clubs change in the attitude of opportunity to meet with its forum and panel discussions at
and fine wines, though property visitors to the Expo. He said: representatives at its stand and both, while our company and
was its main focus. “Last year there was a definite to hear their views on the affiliated developer projects
Promotional investment on air of caution and hesitancy in industry during several panel have been the subject of much
behalf of its 16 exhibitors – the market. This year people debates in which they will be positive media coverage,
including the leading brands of are a little bit more confident. participating. including featuring in leading
47 Park Street, Yoo Phuket, They’re setting themselves Nick Turner, head and VP of UK newspapers The
K Club, Oceanico and The budgets to invest and to have a The Registry Collection, Independent on Sunday, The
Registry Collection – was bit of fun with.” Europe, who will be presenting Daily Mail, The Sunday Express
significant to attract the right during the Summit sessions, and Country Life International
profile of visitor. Brown said: FRACTIONAL SUMMIT said: “Like us, Fractional Life magazine.”
“We spent double on London RETURNS IN 2010 was one of the pioneers in the The 2010 Summit theme
Underground advertising this The Fractional Summit 2010, fractional market and has now Changing Times, Changing
year and feedback from Europe’s largest B2B fractional become a pivotal part of this Markets is designed to help
exhibitors indicates that it was property conference, will take rapidly growing market by new developers and
effective.” place on 18-19 February 2010 providing many industry professionals enter the
Though ostensibly a at the prestigious Marriott associates with a virtual industry, as well as explore the
consumer show, the Expo London, Grosvenor Square. marketplace in which to challenges and opportunities
attracted a high level of Building on the success of present products and services presented by the growth of the
developer interest. Paul 2009’s event which attracted to a very relevant audience. fractional market in Europe.
Mac Sherry of The Registry over 210 delegates from 23 “This has been a good year
Collection, Europe, said: “A lot countries, and the raised level for fractionals in Europe with ■ For sponsorship and speaker
of industry visitors came to our of interest in fractional high levels of developer interest opportunities visit
table resulting in half a dozen properties in Europe, the and activity – we have signed info@fractionallife.com or call
strong leads. It was a valuable Fractional Summit 2010 will six new European affiliates in +44 (0)20 8340 7989 for more
opportunity to sit down with offer a unique opportunity to the last 12 months. There has details. To book tickets visit
several developers we’re in meet key fractional industry been much media focus on www.fractionalsummit.com

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RCInside
I N F O R M AT I O N E X C LU S I V E LY F O R R C I A F F I L I AT E S

NEW HORIZONS
FOR RCI MEMBERS
2009 has seen the
addition of a number of
exciting new resorts to
the RCI and The Registry
Collection exchange
programmes.

LISTENING to members and monitoring


member satisfaction levels is a priority for
RCI’s operations and customer service
teams. Topping the members’ wish list is C VENICE ON WATER offers a unique holiday experience, allowing guests to visit the waterways
the desire for an ever greater variety of of the iconic Italian city staying in luxury two-bedroom houseboats only five kilometres from the
destinations and holiday experiences. centre of Venice. The water-borne resort is affiliated to The Registry Collection and is the first of
RCI’s business development team has a planned fleet of 10 vessels to be developed by MAP Destinations, the largest timeshare
succeeded in introducing 35 new properties marketer in Malta.
to the company’s exchange network across
the EMEAI region including six to
The Registry Collection luxury
exchange programme. Broken
down by region, 20 of the new
affiliations are in Europe, 11 are in
India and four in South Africa.
Brett Archibald, SVP business
development, RCI, EMEAI, said: “In
a year of huge trading challenges
I’m happy to be able to report RCI in
Europe has affiliated a significant
number of exciting new properties.
We have expanded our portfolio with
new properties in fresh destinations
such as Venice, Turkey, Finland and
Greece – also increasing the reach
of consumer source markets. We
are confident that we have proven
RCI is the right choice for existing
and new affiliates.
“As the year draws to a close
our message to our developers and
associates is that we’ll make sure
we continue to deliver the best
business opportunities to them,
great holidays to our members and
an excellent service to both.” C KARTAS THERMAL & SPA RESORT was developed by Kartas Turizm and is due to open in 2009.
■ Visit www.rciventures.com to view Built to meet the growing demand for spa resorts in Turkey, the property in the Cavlak area of
the latest RCI affiliation news. Bogazliyan, Yozgat is affiliated to RCI’s holiday exchange network.

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C CLUB MAHINDRA BACKWATER RETREAT is one of four new RCI


affiliations this year from major hospitality brand, Club Mahindra. The
C SITHONIA BEACH CLUB @ Porto Carras is an property is located on the peaceful banks of Ashtamudi Lake in India.
RCI-affiliated mixed-use resort in Halkidiki, Greece. Historic Kollam is the gateway to Ashtamudi and is just 15 kilometres
The property is on a beach with access to many water from the resort by road or 10 minutes by speedboat. The resort has
sports and activities such as tennis, a health club and 25 rooms spread across five chalets, each with a view of the gardens
horse riding. and lake.

A CASTLEBURN, part of Legacy Private


Residencies and affiliated to The Registry
Collection, sits in the foothills of the
southern Drakensberg in the KwaZulu-Natal
region of South Africa. The four-bedroom
architect-designed cottages are built of
local stone and positioned on the edge of
Lake Madingofani.

C ARCOS GARDENS GOLF CLUB & COUNTRY ESTATE is one of the most recent signings to The Registry Collection from Novaterra Resorts. The
luxury residential golf resort is built in Spain’s traditional heartland close to Cadiz and will be a development of 470 properties of different types.
Ownership offers discounted golf memberships, complimentary golf clubs and the use of an Audi A4 car during the stay.

RCI Ventures, November 2009 9|


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RDOnews
L AT E S T N E W S F R O M T H E R E S O R T D E V E LO P M E N T O R GA N I S AT I O N

CHANGE AND CHALLENGE

The past year has been a achieved notable successes and improve search engine
hugely significant one for the with the police and media in rankings. Supporting
Resort Development Spain and elsewhere in National Chapters through
Organisation (RDO) as well as closing down rogue operators the implementation of the EU
the European timeshare and protecting consumers Timeshare Directive in
industry in general. In a from loss. member states will also be a
landmark development the Our new website key initiative and it’s
new Timeshare Directive has www.Gotimeshare.org went anticipated that funding for
been passed into EU law and live at the beginning of the the Chapters can be
member state implementation year, being recognised by enhanced. There are plans to
set for 2010/11. Google as an approved news establish new Chapters in
In spring we changed our site in the summer, with member states where an
name from OTE to RDO to www.Gofractional.org RDO presence can be
reflect the changing nature of following suit. Both sites justified.
the industry and its products. continue to grow in The continued support
RDO chief The name change enabled popularity, helping spread and expansion of the
executive PAUL the organisation to broaden positive news about shared- Enforcement Programme
its representation to ownership property. remains a key objective as
GARDNER- fractional and private We were disappointed to members place great faith in
BOUGAARD looks residence clubs in Europe. have to cancel this year’s the work being done by
Since then, the Fractional & RDO conference, though Alberto Garcia and his team
back at a year of Shared Ownership Trade pleased to say we’re looking (see opposite page).
change for the Association (FSOTA) has at 2010 options. We will, This work is not only
joined the RDO to become the however, support the 2009 recognised by RDO members,
industry’s trade trade association to represent Forum event being organised but also acknowledged by
body and considers the fractional industry. by Generator and Perspective consumer organisations, the
While 2009 saw the world Magazine in London in police and the media across
the challenges of in recession, the RDO report December. Europe. Enforcement has
the future. on timeshare in Europe, become one of RDO’s key
published in May, painted a LOOKING AHEAD activities and something for
picture of a strong, vibrant So where does RDO want to which it continues to gain
industry enjoying occupancy go in 2010? The recession has recognition and positive
rates of 72 per cent for the inevitably put our focus on publicity.
year in Europe’s 1,312 resorts cost base and increasing Our ultimate goal is that
– which is 67 million bed efficiencies in the coming every organisation operating
nights – with a consumer year. This will be coupled with in the European industry
satisfaction rating of more a continued drive to create can’t afford not to be a
than 86 per cent. value for money for our member of RDO.
Unfortunately, the members – for which we The fact that non-
challenging economic times welcome any input. members reap the benefits of
have brought more scams to A Membership Fee our work without contributing
the market – particularly in Working Group is looking at to its funding continues to be
the UK and Spain – to prey on fees, levies and ways to a serious issue. We’re trying
unsuspecting purchasers and finance RDO in the future and to rectify this situation over
timeshare owners. This has will be reporting later this the coming year by adding
kept RDO’s Enforcement year. value to RDO membership to
Team exceptionally busy. The RDO will continue to encourage all the non-RDO
good news is that it has strengthen its new websites members to get on board.

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THE FIGHT BACK A vital element of the RDO’s work is its


Enforcement Programme, which is designed to combat the industry’s rogue
operators in Europe through liaison with police and government agencies.
The Programme is headed by Alberto Garcia, a former Spanish police
inspector who spent five years fighting organised crime in the Canary Islands
and who talks to STEVE ADAMS in an exclusive interview for RCI Ventures.

Ventures (V): How did you become V: What factors have contributed to the
involved with the timeshare industry? Programme’s success?
Alberto Garcia (AG): In 2003, shortly AG: Undoubtedly the combination of police
after TUI invested in Anfi del Mar, the investigation methodology and timeshare
company offered me a senior position on industry expertise. We also use competitive
its Executive Committee to help protect its intelligence analytical techniques and apply
business and public image. This gave me specific techniques to each challenge we face.
the opportunity to learn everything about
the timeshare industry. V: You obviously face a lot of challenges.
AG: We do – on a daily basis – and it’s
V: When did you start working for RDO Governments and tourism authorities in something I truly enjoy. Detecting,
and what was your first task? destinations such as Tenerife are working with understanding and neutralising new scams
RDO to fight fraudulent activity.
AG: I joined in 2007 when the industry’s brings home to me the challenges ahead. I’ve
image was being badly affected by bogus reference point for some Spanish, British seen a lot of fraud in my career and I’m still
discount travel membership clubs and and Scandinavian media. amazed by the imagination of the fraudsters
fraudulent resale companies operating in the timeshare field.
with almost complete impunity. The V: What have been the results so far?
majority of consumer associations, AG: I’m proud to say that after three years we V: There must be an element of personal
politicians and police forces thought these have helped improve the RDO’s image and, risk involved in your job – how do you protect
fraudulent activities were being committed consequently, the image of timeshare. The yourself?
by timeshare operators. It became clear number of bogus companies closed down in AG: I’m very aware of the risks I face and I
that before tackling the fraudulent Spain has increased year on year. In 2008, take many security precautions, including
activities, I first had to show the 25 companies had been closed down by the informing the Spanish police on a daily basis
establishment that the bogus operators police and 19 more had ceased operating by of every step I make. I also provide them with
were nothing to do with our industry. August this year. in-depth analyses of the activities that I’m
I think the best way to eradicate fraudulent engaged in.
V: How did you approach such a activities is through information. This is why
difficult task? we provide intelligence to the main Spanish V: Do you think you will achieve your goal?
AG: We had to build up a close relationship and European consumer associations and AG: Absolutely. We still have lots of things to
with European consumer associations and public bodies. The Enforcement Programme deal with but I foresee a timeshare industry in
the UK Office of Fair Trading. We has become the information centre about a couple of years’ time unhindered by
strengthened our relationship with bogus activities for the media, consumer fraudulent activities – or at least having no
politicians at local town hall levels, as well associations, politicians, police, timeshare more problems than other industries. This
as in Madrid. We nurtured our relationship companies and consumers. Everybody now may sound a bit naive but I strongly believe
with the Spanish police and became a trusts us, which is very important. almost everything is achievable in life.

‘‘
In 2008, 25 companies had been closed down by the police and
19 more had ceased operating by August this year Alberto Garcia

’’ |
RCI Ventures, November 2009 11
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COVER STORY
QUOTE: WE SPECIFICALLY CHOSE RCI BECAUSE IT’S THE LARGEST
COMPANY IN THIS FIELD AND IT GIVES US A POSITIVE RESPONSE
RATE TO EXCHANGE REQUESTS. BEHZAT AKSARAY

TURKEY:
A RISING STAR
Turkey’s varied attractions and wealth of
natural beauty puts it in a strong position
to go beyond a traditional reliance on
domestic business and fully exploit the
international vacation ownership market.
GEORGE SELL reports.
investment – Cesme,
Dalaman/Bodrum, Didim,
STRADDLING the divide Antalya and Manavgat.
between east and west, Turkey tourism sector. As well as these
is a vast country with a One strand of the strategy well-known resorts, the
tantalising mix of history, is to move away from what mountainous interior region
culture and scenery to tempt private investment in tourist the ministry describes as of Cappadocia and the city
tourists. facilities. “the fragmented and plot- of Istanbul also attract
Despite a background of The Turkish Ministry of based planning practices” significant numbers of
political uncertainty and Tourism has a long-term towards establishing overseas visitors, while the
fluctuating financial plan, the Tourism Strategy of “tourism cities with Black Sea Coast is popular
fortunes, the country’s Turkey 2023, which aims to remarkable global with domestic tourists.
government is determined mark the 100th anniversary competitive power” on the Although new resorts are
to increase overseas tourist of the founding of the Aegean and Mediterranean generally funded by
numbers by staging a modern state by coasts. developers, government
concerted marketing implementing a more To this end, five main assistance goes considerably
campaign and investing in efficient, profitable and areas have been identified to further than marketing
infrastructure to support environmentally-friendly attract international campaigns and infrastructure.

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12 RCI Ventures, November 2009
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Behzat Aksaray (above left) and


Vassilis Themelidis. The
Salutaris Thermal Resort is
one of several developments
built in Turkey this year to
meet demand for the spa
experience.

SALUTARIS THERMAL RESORT

and health resorts in


mainland Turkey which are starting to take off: “Istanbul
already very popular in the has become a very important
domestic market.” national and international
A good example of this is congress and conference
recent RCI affiliate Salutaris destination. In 2008 more
Thermal Resort which, upon than 70 international
purchases, reduced completion in 2010, is set to congress meetings took
corporate tax rates, subsidies become one of Europe’s place in the city, and in 2009
on the employer’s share of largest thermal holiday the World Water Forum and
social security and villages. It will consist of a the World Bank-IMF annual
employment tax, and hotel plus 204 two-bedroom meeting each attracted more
interest rate subsidies.” timeshare units of 60 square than 10,000 foreign
These fundamentals metres each. Set in the delegates. Both spa and
certainly make investment mountainous province of congress tourism definitely
attractive for the shared- Afyon, resort amenities will increase a resort’s occupancy
vacation ownership sector. include a hamam or Turkish rates and average daily rates.”
However, Turkish resort bath, saunas, indoor and As the global economic
operators have traditionally outdoor swimming pools, downturn continues to
relied on the domestic thermal pools, a fitness impact both the tourism and
market for business as most centre and spa. Timeshare real estate markets, there is
Turkish families holiday at prices are expected to range an increasing openness to
home due to the prohibitive from €6,000 to €10,000 moving to new
cost and visa requirements per week based on a 29-year accommodation models
of international travel. lease. such as condo-hotels and
Club Dedeman’s Aksaray fractional ownership
Behzat Aksaray is general NEW IDEAS says: “Turkey is a rich vacation properties.
manager of Club Dedeman, So how do Turkish country in terms of thermal Themelidis said: “The leisure
one of Turkey’s best-known developers go about sources and the majority of real estate business in Turkey
hospitality brands based in increasing the number of the new hotel developments has been booming over the
Bodrum and an RCI affiliate. overseas visitors? As well as have thermal and/or spa last three to four years but
He said: “There are certain concentrating on more centres in their facilities, now, due to the ongoing
government incentives when traditional beach resorts, especially in resort global economic crisis,
it comes to tourism forward thinking firms are destinations. These spa developers are seeking
investments in Turkey, such looking to new trends such centres are usually set on big alternative ways to offer
as land allocation to tourism as spa resorts and conference areas of the property, and are their unsold properties.
investors on a 49-year lease tourism to boost visitor an effective way to add value There is major potential for
basis, tax exemption on local numbers. to the bottom line of the fractional and condo-hotel
machinery and equipment, Vassilis Themelidis, an operation.” opportunities across Turkey.”
tax duties and charges RCI regional director, said: Aksaray adds that Aksaray shares this point
exemption on local “There’s a major trend of spa conference tourism is also of view. “Lately condo-hotels

|
RCI Ventures, November 2009 13
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COVER STORY
QUOTE: IN AN AVERAGE YEAR UP TO 30
PER CENT OF MY RESORT’S BUSINESS
COMES VIA RCI. TAYFUN SARMAN

Club Dedeman
Bodrum, right, on
the Bodrum
peninsula has
around 4,000
members and 147
rooms. Far right,
Antalya Dedeman
and, below far right,
Holiday and
Leisure Club –
Kusadasi resort.

ANTALYA DEDEMAN

HOLIDAY & LEISURE CLUB – KUSADASI

CLUB DEDEMAN

TURKEY BY THE NUMBERS


■ Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 by national hero
Mustafa Kemal, who was later honoured with the title Ataturk
(father of the Turks)
and multi-use properties are ■ Turkey’s population is 76 million
becoming very popular in ■ The country has a coastline of 7,200 kilometres
Turkey,” he explained. ■ Around 26 million foreigners visited Turkey in 2008. The
“Certain brands are very largest national group was Germans with 4.5 million visitors
interested in increasing their representing a 16.77 per cent market share, followed by
share of this market. On the Russians (10.93 per cent), British (8.2 per cent) Bulgarians
other hand some current (4.77 per cent) and Iranians (4.31 per cent)
property owners, including ■ RCI has 42 affiliated resorts in Turkey
high-class boutique hotel ■ Vacation property rental prices: three-bedroom villa in
owners, are planning to Bodrum – €400 to €800 per week; two-bedroom apartment in
convert their properties to Kusadasi – €175 to €350 per week; three-bedroom apartment
the condo-hotel concept – in Didim – €150 to €250 per week; one-bedroom city centre
Tayfun Sarman of Club
some have already done so.” apartment in Istanbul – €400 to €550 per week.
Armonia Bodrum Evleri in
Source: www.holidaylettings.co.uk
Bodrum highlights the
RCI ADVANTAGE economic benefits of
RCI is playing an increasing affiliation, saying that in an
role in developing the average year up to 30 per
shared-vacation ownership the affiliate’s product and the UK and Russia.” cent of his resort’s business
market sector in Turkey and RCI’s member services. Aksaray believes being comes via RCI. Club
has affiliated seven new “To support the an RCI affiliate has clear Armonia Bodrum Evleri was
resorts across the country in expansion of timeshare in advantages. He explained: completely refurbished in
the past 18 months, the Turkish market, RCI has “RCI has two major benefits 2008 to bring its
bringing the total to 42. also introduced a more for us. Firstly, it enables our accommodation and
Themelidis said: “RCI has flexible approach to fees, customers to go to different amenities up to the standard
introduced customised trial both on the B2B and the resorts and countries for RCI members expect.
packs specifically for the B2C sides of the business, to their holidays. The second is Aksaray is convinced the
Turkish market which are address the difficulties of in helping low season sales. timeshare model is ideal for
designed to meet the needs operating in a relatively Some customers are willing the Turkish market. “I believe
and requirements of the unstable economy. to buy low season in order that timeshare and shared
affiliate community in “RCI also facilitates the to use it for exchange. We vacation, in a country where
Turkey. These packs act as an introduction of international specifically chose RCI four seasons can be sold, is a
entry programme and a lead organisations to Turkish because it’s the largest very suitable and necessary
generation tool for Turkish affiliates in order for them to company in this field and it product,” he says.
affiliates, and provide the initiate sales to major source gives us a positive response “In Turkey people buy
ability for members to test markets such as Germany, rate to exchange requests.” summer houses, but only

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14 RCI Ventures, November 2009
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THE RCI PERSPECTIVE


Vassilis Themelidis, an RCI
regional director, says Turkey
has established itself over the
last decade as one of the top
tourist destinations in the
operating between the buyer world, mainly due to the
and the seller. As a result, government’s strategic
even though Turkey is a very decision to attract tourism
popular holiday and second investment and consequently
home location with invest in infrastructure
Europeans, without a trust supporting private tourism
company system, investors.
international sales can be “The main advantage for
very tough,” says Aksaray. developers is the establishment
Other challenges facing of Turkey as a major tourist
which will be familiar to the industry, according to destination and the attraction of
timeshare operators RCI’s Themelidis, are “an tourists from various source
worldwide. unstable economic markets,” he says.
Cagatay Alacam, CEO of environment which affects “A Turkish developer has the
the Holiday and Leisure the exchange rate of the ability to market the product
Club, a timeshare resort in Turkish lira against main domestically, to Europeans who
Kusadasi, said: “There have currencies such as the euro, are travelling to Turkey, as well
been, and still are, problems dollar and pound”. as to visitors from Asian
with some operators The marketing of countries such as Iran who
incorrectly marketing their timeshare has been a thorny consider Turkey an ideal
product and there is no problem the world over, and vacation destination.
actual protection in Turkish it’s no simpler for Turkish “Labour costs are relatively
law.” operators. They use a variety low compared to the European
Aksaray agreed, saying: of methods but one-to-one average and, as a result,
“There are problems arising contact seems to be the Turkish developers are able to
from some sales methods favoured route. offer high levels of hospitality
use them for one, or in a few which lead to negative Alacam says his company services.”
cases, two months. For the coverage in the media and uses internet advertising but Nick Turner, head and vice
remaining 10 or 11 months on the internet. This can prefers to contact purchasers president of business
the house stays empty and cause developers difficulties directly, and it doesn’t use development for Europe at
gets damaged due to lack of during marketing and sales. other marketing channels. luxury exchange programme,
use and maintenance. As a Another big issue is the Sarman of Club Armonia The Registry Collection, adds:
result national wealth stays Turkish government’s takes another approach. He “The Turkish market has all of
unused at the beachside. By unfavourable timeshare tax explained: “We use print the key fundamentals to make it
putting this national wealth policy. The Turkish Timeshare media such as adverts in a very good market for shared
to use, timeshare not only Investors Association has newspapers, but our main ownership.
helps the country, but helps discussed this issue with the route to market is by “Turkey provides an
people enjoy less expensive Ministry of Finance several participating in exhibitions.” attractive consumer proposition
holiday home purchase and times but there was no Turkey has much to offer with a pleasant climate for up to
maintenance costs.” resolution which has not as a tourist destination – its 40 weeks of the year and
helped new timeshare resort size, variety, natural beauty, improving tourism
CHALLENGES AND development in Turkey.” long season and relatively infrastructure has made key
OPPORTUNITIES The legal situation is a low prices all make it destinations more desirable for
Having pointed out some of sticking point when attractive to overseas visitors. repeat visits.
the positive aspects of the marketing to overseas The Turkish government’s “Accessibility is always a key
Turkish timeshare market, it customers. “Timeshare determination to develop the consideration and both full-
needs to be acknowledged doesn’t have a legal tourist industry is evident in service and low-cost airlines
that there are some definition in Turkish law and its long-term 2023 strategy, now connect key Turkish
significant issues adversely so the country doesn’t have and timeshare is well placed destinations with several UK
affecting the sector, many of a trust company system to benefit. V airports year round.”

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RCI Ventures, November 2009 15
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CHRISTEL HOUSE
QUOTE: THROUGHOUT OUR 35-YEAR HISTORY WE HAVE
SUPPORTED MANY CAUSES, BUT NONE IS MORE SPECIAL
TO US THAN CHRISTEL HOUSE. GEOFF BALLOTTI

ON COURSE FOR CHARITY


European executives joined colleagues all over
the world to tee off for the annual fundraising
RCI Christel House Open charity golf event in
June. STEVE ADAMS reports.

TIMESHARE, hospitality and Team Vision’s winning line-up, featured Stephen Price,
industry suppliers strode out Tony Dangerfield, Bertie Edwards and Jimmy Kane.
again this summer on greens
the world over for the annual
RCI Christel House Open charity
golf event.
The unique international
tournament sponsored by RCI
and now in its seventh year,
saw nearly 2,000 golfers and
hundreds of volunteers gather at
Three Guys and a Birdie: Martin Anderson, Paul Runners-up, Fractional Life 1, from left, Nat Alexander,
19 sites on five continents. Most
Mac Sherry, Marj Anderson and Philip Morley. Piers Brown, Alex Foley and Pat Keene.
events took place in June, with
others later in the year. services benefiting more than
The European event took 3,000 children attending Christel
place on a wonderfully sunny day House learning centres in India,
at Ealing Golf Club in Middlesex, Mexico, South Africa, Venezuela
UK, with some 56 players and the US.
participating in 14 teams of four, “We are deeply grateful to
followed by a drinks reception, our sponsors, including our Title
dinner and prize presentation. Sponsor RCI, for their generous
Competition was fierce but support of this year’s
friendly, with ‘Team Vision’ tournament,” said DeHaan. Madison Mayfair (Signature Sponsors): Peter Malone, Guy Lean,
claiming the first prize of two “Likewise, our tournament site Clive Hillier and Billy Skelli-Cohen.
weeks’ accommodation in South hosts are the event’s heart and
Africa courtesy of Club Leisure soul – their collective efforts Peter Malone of Madison THANKS
Group. Runners-up were have built the tournament into Mayfair, Signature Sponsors of A special thanks to all those
‘Fractional Life 1’, with ‘Three an annual tradition that spans the European event at Ealing who attended and sponsored
Guys and a Birdie’ in third place. the globe.” Golf Club, said: “We decided to the 2009 European event –
The event raised more than Geoff Ballotti, president and get involved for some very Madison Mayfair, Fractional
£20,000 for Christel House, the CEO, RCI, said the company was simple reasons. RCI and the Life, FNTC UK Ltd, Samsung,
charity set up by RCI co-founder proud to be the event’s Title Wyndham Group are valued Nexus Leisure Group, GRM
Christel DeHaan to help children Sponsor. clients of Madison Mayfair and Corporate, RDO, Active PS,
around the world break the cycle “Throughout our 35-year we have helped them in Perspective International,
of poverty and become self- history we have supported many recruiting and building their Crown Golf, Vision,
sufficient, contributing members causes, but none is more teams around the world. Generator Systems,
of their societies. special to us than Christel “We have supported a Ice Europe Ltd, RCI and
The money was raised House,” he said. “The number of charities, but this Holiday Cottages Group.
through entry fees, sponsorship organisation’s incredible work year, we were so taken with
and auction prizes kindly transforms the lives of Christel House we put all our The 2010 European event is
donated by several companies. impoverished children around charitable efforts into it.” planned for Monday 7 June. For
Worldwide proceeds for this year the world and we are thrilled to more information on taking part
are anticipated to be in excess of once again have had the For more information about and sponsorship opportunities
$650,000. All proceeds will go opportunity to sponsor the Christel House, visit please contact Amanda White
directly into programmes and tournament.” www.christelhouse.org V amanda.white@rci.com

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16 RCI Ventures, November 2009
VenNov Registry Ad:Layout 1 18/11/09 17:09 Page 1

“Winner of the Best Fractional Service


Award – 2009 Overseas Property
Professional Industry Awards”

Contact Amanda Worsley on tel: +44 (0) 208 762 6635


email: amanda.worsley@rci.com to arrange an
appointment or for further information
visit www.theregistrycollection.com
workV-CharityRes-sa-rb-jp:Layout 1 15/11/09 13:56 Page 2

CHARITY INCENTIVES
QUOTE: PART OF THIS PROCESS IS TO CELEBRATE OUR SUCCESS
AND TO CONTRIBUTE IN A WAY THAT HELPS THOSE WHO ARE NOT
AS FORTUNATE AS WE ARE. MARK CUSHWAY

SIMPLY GIVING Resort Properties’ latest


development project isn’t for holidaymakers
seeking fun in the sun. Instead it will benefit
impoverished orphans in Kenya. Managing director
MARK CUSHWAY explains how and why one of
timeshare’s most successful companies is helping
those far less fortunate.

FOR many years the timeshare industry


has been synonymous with exotic BEYOND EDUCATION
locations, glitzy lifestyles and big In addition to traditional academic
business. However, during a holiday visit subjects, the school encourages pupils
to Mombasa, Resort Properties’ sales to engage in a wide range of
team advisor, Anthony Yateman, caught extracurricular activities including MOUNTAINS TO CLIMB
a glimpse of a very different world. This music, drama and sports. It also The majority of local children face
insight led to the company supporting a provides counselling on issues such as extreme challenges in their daily lives –
valuable social project by building an drug use, HIV/AIDS, spiritual growth drugs, poverty and abuse – while there
accommodation block for 60 orphans at and reproductive health. are also many who have lost both
a school in the region. Above all, the Academy provides a parents to the ravages of the HIV virus.
Mombasa is a place of startling haven – a place where young people can With HIV infection rates in the poorer
contrasts. A thriving tourist industry find a calm loving community, united in areas sometimes running as high as
exists alongside the sad realities of its mission to educate and nurture. The 10 per cent, the disease has had a very
the developing world – poverty, Academy’s ultimate purpose is to help real and tragic impact on the lives of a
malnutrition, violence and the woefully its young pupils to build a better life by significant number of children at the
inadequate provision of healthcare and gaining independence and confidence Academy.
education. to enable them to be able to look after Orphans often find themselves in
It was in response to these serious themselves and their families. the care of friends or relatives who
social problems that a local cannot afford another hungry mouth to
couple, Freddy Kinyanjui Gachao feed. In many cases their presence is
and Mary Njoki, founded the too much for the guardians to handle
Marianna Glorious Academy in and the children find themselves
2002. With a fundamental goal to homeless, exposed to the associated
provide primary education and dangers and hardships of a life on the
care to children living below the streets.
poverty line, the school opened its This grave situation presented a big
doors to just 15 local boys and challenge for the Marianna Glorious
girls. Academy. With so many children
Despite a lack of resources, already drawing on the school’s limited
and the fact that many pupils resources, it had proven virtually
remain unable to pay the fees of impossible to provide shelter for these
£14 per term, the academy has vulnerable young people.
gained such momentum that it
currently educates over 430
“THE ACADEMY HAS GAINED SUCH
children and remains true to its
MOMENTUM THAT IT CURRENTLY
original mission that ‘no local
child is turned away’.
EDUCATES OVER 430 CHILDREN AND
REMAINS TRUE TO ITS ORIGINAL
MISSION THAT NO LOCAL CHILD IS
TURNED AWAY.”

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18 RCI Ventures, November 2009
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THE DRIVING FORCE


For a number of years Resort Properties has been involved in several
charitable causes around the globe. As well as regularly donating to
Christel House, the company is also the official corporate sponsor for
the Malta Hospice Movement and supports several mainstream
charities.
So what motivates this team of professional and hardworking
salespeople to give up their free time to help those less fortunate than
themselves?
As part of our ongoing life-coaching programme, we explore all
aspects of our lives – family, financial, physical, emotional, professional
and spiritual – and try to bring a balance of all those elements to the way
we live. Part of this process is to
A HELPING HAND celebrate our success and to
Fortunately, the contribute in a way that helps those
accommodation predicament who are not as fortunate as we are.
the Academy faced was When I heard about the situation
brought to the attention of the at the school, and especially the
team at Resort Properties. plight of the AIDS-orphaned children,
While holidaying in Kenya last I spoke to my team and asked them if
year, sales team advisor, they were prepared to raise the funds
Anthony Yateman, visited the for the new dormitory block. The
Academy and was profoundly response was phenomenal and
touched by the community’s before I knew it the team was coming
efforts to better itself in the up with lots of ideas to raise the
face of such hardship and money needed for this project.
adversity. “THROUGH OUR LIFE-COACHING PROGRAMME WE And raise money they did – in one
Being genuinely moved day alone they collected over £11,500.
HAVE LEARNT TO GIVE SOMETHING BACK AND
by what he saw, Anthony Fundraising took the form of an
THIS OUTLOOK AND ACTION HAS HELPED MANY
decided to devote auction of donated items ranging
considerable time to OF US BECOME MORE COMPLETE from DVD players and furniture to
helping the Academy create AND MUCH HAPPIER PEOPLE.” wakeboarding lessons and boat trips.
a programme to provide Another popular idea was the sale of ‘Duvet Days’,
clean water and books for the where individuals were able to purchase a day off
children. As time went by he work to be used at any time in the future with no
realised the scope of the explanation needed. Many agreed that these days
project was such that he alone were a bargain and they sold out in minutes.
couldn’t hope to put all the The company also donated a number of timeshare
vital plans in place and meet all weeks at its resorts into a prize draw.
the community’s needs. That’s With the funds safely in the bank, the Academy
when he turned to Resort was able to begin work on the two-storey
Properties for support. accommodation which, when complete, will house
Anthony came to me and explained he’d got to the up to 60 orphans and their care providers. It is
point where there was just too much for him to do. estimated that the whole project will be completed before the end
He explained the plight of the children, especially the of 2009 with the foundations and initial building work already well
orphans, and I understood why he was reluctant to under way.
leave the job unfinished. It’s great to see that our help is making a real difference in
Together we soon got things moving and within Kenya. For many years we at Resort Properties have enjoyed
weeks had the money in place to start work on the new exceptional success and prosperity. Through our life-coaching
accommodation block. Our company has also pledged programme we have learnt to give something back and this
ongoing support to the Academy and promised to outlook and action has helped many of us become more complete
donate some of our old computer equipment to create and much happier people.
a network so the children can learn IT skills.
We’ll also be sourcing text books and other To learn more about Resort Properties’ charity work or to
materials so they can start to build a library and make a donation to the Academy visit: www.resortproperties-
resource centre to help with their studies. charities.org V

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RCI Ventures, November 2009 19
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BUSINESS PROFILE
QUOTE: TIMESHARE WILL REMAIN OUR CORE BUSINESS.
THE ADVANTAGE OF BUYING WITH CLC IS THAT
PURCHASERS ARE NOT LEFT TO COPE ALONE. ROY PEIRES

TURNING SILVER TO

GOLD
The growth of the Club La Costa
Resorts & Hotels group, currently
celebrating its silver jubilee year, is
gaining momentum as it develops
new resorts at a faster rate than
ever. JUDI EVERITT looks at the
company with the Midas touch.

THROUGHOUT its beyond its traditional


25 years, Club La Costa European holiday
Resorts & Hotels (CLC) has destinations into several
continually evolved and new locations which are
refined its product under consideration in
offering. True to the Eastern Europe and the
company’s innovative Caribbean.
spirit, today its new resorts The recent opening of
are an efficient symbiosis the 350-unit Apollonium
of leased back real estate Club La Costa Spa &
units which fuel its Beach Resort marks the
high-powered timeshare company’s first foray into
marketing programmes. the Turkish market. It will
It’s a model that has also be CLC’s 18th resort
enabled the company, even affiliation to RCI’s holiday
in world recession, to exchange network,
move forward with new following the recent
developments. addition of the CLC Yacht
Club destinations in the
NEW HORIZONS Red Sea and the
Further announcements Mediterranean.
are expected from CLC A second Turkish
next year as the company venture is under way
expands its resort base which will be based on >

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20 RCI Ventures, November 2009
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CLUB LA COSTA –
THE MILESTONES
■ 1984 – CLC was
founded with the purchase
of 10 apartments at Las
Farolas, Costa del Sol
■ 1986 – Marina del Sol
developed on same site
and sold to British,
Spanish, French, German
and Russian markets
■ 1992 – CLC
membership reaches
15,000
■ 1997 – Roy Peires
enters RCI’s Hall of Fame
■ 1997 – Destinations
Club, a multi-destination
floating time club, is CLC’s first venture into the Turkish market and
introduced 18th resort affiliation to RCI is Apollonium Club
■ 1998 – CLC’s points- La Costa Spa & Beach resort. Different aspects
of the development are pictured on these
based Vacation Club is pages.
launched. Membership
hits 31,000. The company
embarks on acquiring
and developing its own
resorts in England,
Scotland, Spain, Austria
and Tenerife
■ 1999 – Official opening
of CLC flagship California
Beach Resort in Spain
■ 2003 – CLC’s highly
CLC – SECRETS “Given that timeshare sales successful Trial
AND STRENGTHS regulations are changing and Membership programme
the nature of the current begins
marketplace, we are ■ 2005 – CLC forms its CLC – SECRETS “We are continually working on
focussing our marketing own real estate sales and AND STRENGTHS improving both the holiday
programmes on SIVs and development company choice and the quality of
fly-buys. Recession has made ■ 2006 – Launch of Club services we offer our
people review travel and La Costa Yacht Club members. Efficient use of the
holiday choices and now they search rigorously ■ 2008 – CLC embarks on exchange area is one key tool
for providers that offer great value. So we’ve its first Turkish venture in this and to help achieve our
adapted our offers and how we present them, ■ 2009 – CLC announces goals we’re working closely
having launched several new online campaigns second Turkish resort with RCI, with particular importance given to the
which are showing excellent early returns. We while research into new improved use of IT systems. Our company’s IT
plan to roll these out to a much wider audience. destinations continues departments are jointly developing a new
“Consumers are discovering our excellent ■ Club La Costa has interactive two-way data link to allow the efficient
promotional holiday offers and contacting us! sales operations in UK, flow of information and improved booking use by
The whole marketing dynamic is changing Spain, Tenerife, Turkey, our members. Recently we also welcomed RCI
from us having to get clients in – they are now Russia and Portugal TV on resort to promote CLC to the RCI member
actively seeking out a CLC holiday experience serving its Vacation Club base, and there are further discussions on future
and agreeing to the sales presentation as an and real estate marketing promotions to address Vacation Club
acceptable trade-off for their heavily businesses. It conducts members’ use of the RCI exchange system.”
discounted holiday.” close to 100,000 sales Guy Mantel, CLC director,
Huw Jones, CLC creative director presentations annually. club operations & travel

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BUSINESS PROFILE
QUOTE: THE WHOLE MARKETING DYNAMIC IS CHANGING FROM US
HAVING TO GET CLIENTS IN – THEY ARE NOW ACTIVELY SEEKING
OUT A CLC HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE. HUW JONES

> the business model that Club La Costa services at as Peires makes it clear that
Club La Costa aims to all our resorts, among his company will continue
establish worldwide which are 24-hour to develop its traditional
featuring luxury mixed- reception and on-site favourites. He cites the
use properties having security, full resort ongoing development at
outstanding facilities, maintenance, a CLC’s multi-resort site
which at this resort will professionally between Marbella and
include both a spa and an administered lettings Fuengirola in southern
18-hole golf course. service and more. This is Spain as an example. It
CLC chairman Roy an attractive proposition was here, at what became
Peires explained: “We for both our real estate a CLC flagship property,
have branched out into and timeshare owners.” that the company created
whole ownership paired In some of the its unique fusion of a
with timeshare. By selling emerging markets these California-style resort of
the bulk of units on advantages are seen as outstanding architectural
leaseback we are able to crucially important by design with luxury
run even more successful purchasers because boutique hotel-styled
fly-buy marketing standards relating to interiors.
programmes. This, build, and provision of CLC’s growth and
coupled with our utilities and services are direction is masterminded
successful freehold sales something of an unknown by a very ‘hands on’
in Club La Costa’s quantity to those used to Peires who sets the pace
carefully-planned buying in mainstream for his team of directors.
communities, allows us to European markets. The A key ingredient of
increase the pace at which Club La Costa brand success has been the
we develop resorts.” represents an assurance fearless and fast way the
CLC’s more than that the end product will company reacts to the
50,000 members and more than meet the market environment.
hundreds of freehold purchasers’ expectations Innovation and flexibility
owners all benefit from and aspirations, giving are hallmarks of this
the new destinations and them a sense of security. developer company, while
properties which typify its leadership ensures CLC
the very best of the THE DYNAMICS strategies, policies and
company’s product Apollonium Club La Costa plans are communicated
offering. The CLC focus is Spa & Beach Resort is rapidly and dynamically
on securing excellent off-the-beaten track in a throughout its CLC – SECRETS “We’re all about diversity
locations, providing tranquil location. The organisation, which has AND STRENGTHS and staying fresh and
luxurious interiors, early interest in this 2,500 employees, the enticing. For instance, our
attractive exteriors, a wide development shown by majority based in Spain first resort in Turkey has
range of on-site facilities consumers and its and the UK. all the comforts our
and services – together consequent sales success Peires believes it is members expect and
with the assurance of a has convinced Peires that CLC’s flexibility and more, while the CLC Yacht
strong and trusted unspoilt locations of freshness, along with its Club appeals to the
hospitality brand in CLC, natural stunning beauty mantra of making luxury adventurer who wants to wake to a sunrise
one of Europe’s premier are going to be winners holidays affordable, in a new place every day. Our search for new
timeshare companies and, for CLC. This is something which has seen the holiday destinations never stops. As well as
says Peires, the largest in of a departure from the company not only Eastern Europe and the Caribbean, we’re
terms of sales. company’s tried and weather both the financial looking closer to home in Mallorca, Portugal
He added: “Timeshare tested successful formula downturns and legislative and France. Our Vacation Club (VC) and CLC
will remain our core centred on developing in storms which have Travel continue to grow, while members can
business. The advantage of the popular hot spots of threatened the European book hotels and cruises across the world
buying with CLC is that Spain and the Canary timeshare business over with their points. Coming soon is our first
purchasers are not left to Islands. its history, but to emerge World of Escorted Tours expedition, offering
cope alone. Diversity of experience on the other side in a new holiday experiences.”
“Our owners benefit offered is clearly at the stronger position than Lucien Le Moing, CLC director of product
from the full range of heart of the new formula, ever before. V and business development

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ABOUT ROY PEIRES


■ Roy Peires
was born on 12
December 1951
in Cape Town,
South Africa
■ Following his
academic studies
and obligatory military service, Roy
entered the restaurant and
hospitality industry and quickly
graduated to running his own
restaurant franchise
■ He moved to Israel and continued
running his own restaurants
■ Having sought further business
interests in the US, Roy was
granted a Häagen Dazs licence –
but he was soon turning his
attention to the real estate market
■ A commercial opportunity
CLC – SECRETS “CLC is one of the most
AND STRENGTHS pro-active and innovative brought Roy to the UK in the 1980s
and he founded Club La Costa in
developers in Europe right now
1984
and we’re pleased to be able to
■ From 1984, Roy has successfully
help the CLC operations team in
built and expanded Club La Costa
its drive for further
Resorts & Hotels, increasingly
enhancements to its membership
moving towards a mixed-use
offering. We greatly look forward
concept incorporating freehold
to continuing to support CLC in its future plans to
holiday homes
expand its resort base in both the UK and emerging
■ Married with three children, Roy
markets, which have so much growth potential.”
has main residences in London and
Susan Duncombe, regional director UK,
Marbella, where the two
Malta & Ireland, RCI
managerial hubs of Club La Costa’s
business operations are located
CLC – SECRETS “We continue to develop resort ■ Roy is a British national with a
AND STRENGTHS management in new areas, servicing not love of fast cars and boats. He
only the needs of members but also ‘collects’ Ferraris but has a
those specific to our property owners, ‘hardwearing Mercedes’ for
many of whom are also members, via day-to-day use
our property management division. ■ Through the Peires Family
Services included in such enhancements Foundation and The Smile
are, for example, arranging bank Foundation (which CLC founded in
accounts, utility bill payments, legal advice and unit rental 1999) Roy supports numerous
services. In fact, we aim to provide the complete turnkey charities and major charitable
solution to carefree ownership of a property abroad. projects
“Our resorts are also helping recession-hit clients by ■ An avid reader of biographies,
putting out excellent value-for-money offers on food, Roy admires business luminaries
beverage and in their on-site retail outlets. such as Richard Branson, Rupert
“Club La Costa is also now in its sixth year of the Murdoch and Warren Buffet
British Standards Institute ISO 9001:2008 Quality ■ Roy’s continuing ambition is to
Systems Management accreditation, demonstrating its build CLC into a leading inter-
commitment to the best UK standards which are national leisure company and brand
internationally recognised.” San Diego Suites, main picture, was the first resort ■ Roy says the secret of his
to launch the Californian Beach brand for CLC.
Richard Fletcher, CLC director, Pictured above is one of the catamarans of the CLC success is a combination of gut
resort management Yacht Club. instinct and experience.

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MARKETING
QUOTE: HOLIDAY WORLD IS A UNIQUE PRODUCT – IT’S RARE TO FIND A
RESORT WITH SUCH A LARGE NUMBER OF FACILITIES AND FIRST-RATE
ACCOMMODATION. OVIDIO ZAPICO

A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE
The resorts of the Costa del Sol have long been a draw for holidaymakers.
The latest Holiday World developments on the Costa, however, are
transforming traditional timeshare offerings with an array of first-class
facilities, reports SARAH LEE.

ON ARRIVAL at Holiday World you follow in 2010, joining Holiday Village Peñarroya, one of four sisters in the
realise there are few places like it. and the RCI-affiliated Holiday Palace, family-run business and Holiday
Turning off the Costa del Sol’s N340 – part of the Holiday World Vacation Club World’s managing director, said:
the road which takes visitors right into (HWVC). “Holiday World was born about 15
the centre of a holiday heartland – years ago when we bought 400,000
you’re greeted by a small herd of STRENGTH IN CRISIS square metres of land.
elephants, albeit made of stone. Grupo Peñarroya is a relatively new “Building regulations meant we
You’ve arrived at Holiday World, entrant to the industry and, despite the couldn’t develop residential properties
host to a world of surprises. The global economic crisis, it plans to place on the land so my father decided on
complex on the outskirts of a number of units at Holiday Polynesia hotels. People told him he was crazy to
Benalmadena offers many experiences – into timeshare. go into a whole new market but he
themed hotels with everything from Residential property developer wanted to diversify. I think it’s the best
Polynesian á la carte dining to Cristóbal Peñarroya launched Grupo thing he ever did.”
boutique-styled spa hotels on a site Peñarroya in the 1960s, building 200 In planning Holiday World, Cristóbal
which will eventually include 13 homes in the Costa del Sol. The travelled all over the world to see what
four-star hotels offering 6,928 beds. company has since developed around other developers were doing, resulting
In April developer Grupo Peñarroya 30,000 properties between Marbella in a unique development.
opened its third hotel Holiday Polynesia and Málaga. Marifrancis said: “The original plan
and the fourth, Holiday Hydros, will Cristóbal’s daughter Marifrancis was for 13 all-inclusive hotels but this

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AHoliday Village, which C The RCI-affiliated


offers self-catering and Holiday Palace, part of the
all-inclusive packages, has Holiday World Vacation
a lagoon-style pool and a Club, mixes hotel operation
variety of sports facilities with 148 timeshare units.

train station is completed, offering awards Holiday World has received,


connections to Málaga airport and the including TUI’s Best Hotel in the World.
national high-speed rail network. Praise indeed for a company relatively
The extent of the project – Holiday new to the business. So what’s the
World employs more than 1,000 staff – secret?
makes it easy to forget this is a family “When you do what your clients
business. want and produce quality you will be
Cristóbal and wife Mari Pepa have successful,” said Marifrancis. “The Costa
three other daughters – Pepa, the del Sol needed a refresh. We arrived
president of the group and the one who with new ideas and quality all-inclusive
drives the company; Ana, who manages resorts – fantasy hotels. No one else
the sales side of the company’s offers all-inclusive here as they don’t
residential developments; and Monica, have the space.
who trained as an interior designer in “It’s not just about eating and
Madrid and controls the use and drinking but facilities – you need a
purchase of high-quality materials in swimming pool, mini golf, a spa,
the properties’ inspired interiors. children’s club and evening
Marifrancis said: “There’s a lot of entertainment. Members of HWVC
passion involved in a family business don’t just buy a week here but
but my mother brings a level of reason everything on site – for 30 years.”
to events, which works well for the Her sentiments are echoed by Ovidio
business. Zapico, regional director, Spain and
“My husband Andres is also involved Italy, for RCI, HWVC’s exchange
proved difficult as my father wasn’t in the business as project director. He’s company. He said: “Holiday World is a
known in the hotel industry. responsible for liaising with architects, unique product – it’s rare to find a
“But someone from TUI travel group builders and engineers. We were resort with such a large number of
believed in him – like us they wanted delighted when he started working for facilities and first-rate accommodation.
good-quality accommodation in the the business – as a family dominated by We are proud to be partnering with
Costa del Sol, and so we embarked on a women we weren’t as interested in this Grupo Peñarroya, which is investing
10-year contract.” side of things.” heavily in the Costa del Sol and adding
The project is a truly ambitious one. Cristóbal now has time to plan to the quality resorts in the region.”
Holiday World Beach Club connects to future projects and travels to gain Marifrancis added: “In time we
the resorts by shuttle and an exclusive insight and inspiration from other intend to offer timeshare in all of our
footbridge over the N340. Its seaside tourism projects. He is now working on hotels. Diversified Resorts has been
houses share a water park with eight the group’s next hotel, Holiday World working with us for two years and we
different areas and entertainment for all Venetian, which will be based on ideas want them to sell into Holiday Polynesia
ages, including the Holiday Stadium gathered from a stay at The Venetian in when we have finished sales at Holiday
with a football pitch, tennis and Las Vegas. Palace.
basketball courts, all with seaviews. Though Grupo Peñarroya’s plans are “We also plan to work closely with
The whole complex will be never less than ambitious, there is a RCI as it is helping us bring this project
connected to the rest of Spain by train sense of confidence in all they do. A to fruition.
when the soon-to-be-built Peñarroya testament to this is the numerous “We have found RCI and Diversified

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MARKETING
QUOTE: WE HAVE FOUND RCI AND DIVERSIFIED RESORTS TO BE HONEST
AND WE VALUE THE TRUST THEY PUT IN US WHEN WE DECIDED TO ENTER
TIMESHARE. MARIFRANCIS PEÑARROYA

Peñarroyas were very keen everything


should be done properly and we were
able to support them.
“The Holiday World concept is very
good as it has something for everyone.
There is also a great three-way
relationship between us, the Peñarroya
family and RCI.
“There was a view that you couldn’t
combine a hotel with timeshare here in
Spain. But RCI was keen to develop new
business models and has been heavily
involved in the project.”
Diversified Resorts, which markets
six Crown Resorts properties and the
Sunset Beach Club, see challenging
times ahead for timeshare marketers.
Gibson added: “A lot of the tried and
tested methods – website offers, direct
C High-spec interiors mail, member referrals and lead
and quality furnishings generation on-site – don’t have the
complement the
holiday experience at
response levels they used to get and
Holiday Hydros. costs are increasing. Web marketing and
e-shots are still in their infancy and the
A Holiday Polynesia results are more difficult to quantify.
has become part of the
Holiday World Vacation
You have to send out a high volume of
Club and a number of information to generate results.
its units will be “Russia and some of the Eastern
allocated to the group’s
timeshare offering.
European countries were good source
markets for a while but like the Middle
East these are not as strong in today’s
economic climate.
“We were picking up a lot of people
from the second home market but not
anymore. Property prices have peaked
here and exchange rates with the UK –
our largest source market – have
Resorts to be honest and we value the prices at Holiday Palace start at £4,500 dropped.”
trust they put in us when we decided to (€5,000) for a week share in a one- Gibson said when times get tough
enter timeshare.” bedroom apartment. The offering has a there is a tendency for resorts to keep
seasonal market and as we’ll be their prices high, while at the same time
DIVERSIFIED TARGETS NEW MARKETS marketing to package tourists, we’re tour operators are dropping theirs, so
As HWVC’s marketing company of dealing with a very different client sales can struggle. He explained:
choice, Diversified Resorts has a huge profile to that of most timeshare. We “Holiday World is on the right track,
task on its hands, but with more than hope the quantity of leads will further and all-inclusive is the way forward in
18 years’ experience in the Costa del improve with the opening of the new this market.”
Sol, the company has good cause for hotels which will also attract a different He concluded: “I think the timeshare
optimism. profile of clientele. marketplace will shrink in years to
The opening of Holiday Polynesia “Our role is varied. At some sites we come – there will be fewer companies,
and Holiday Hydros resorts is hotly offer sales and marketing alone. But we but those that stay will have a good
anticipated by David Gibson of also use our expertise to help resorts product.
Diversified Resorts, as the marketers further. “It will be survival of the fittest, with
know the impressive facilities at the “At Holiday World for instance we an increasing number of larger chains
new hotels will have a huge impact on set the timeshare operation up from in evidence in Europe. And I believe
Holiday Palace’s sales decks. scratch, including getting involved in timeshare will become a product people
Business director Gibson said: “Entry the legalities of sales structures. The are really proud to own.” V

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FRACTIONAL
QUOTE: SAMOS HAS A BLOSSOMING TOURISM MARKET BUT IS IN NEED
OF A TRULY LUXURIOUS FIVE-STAR DEVELOPMENT TO SATISFY THE
DEMAND OF THE HIGH-END TRAVELLER. ROBIN BARRASFORD

Barrasford & Bird


Worldwide, a successful
UK-based international
property agent, is
expanding its business by
developing its own luxury
resort on the Greek island PHILOSOPHY
of Samos – a project that
will also include the
FOR SUCCESS
company’s first fractional
product offering.
STEVE ADAMS profiles
a business entering
unfamiliar waters.

AN ANCIENT Greek proverb says


‘Before you can score you must first
have a goal’, and it’s a maxim that could
easily be applied to Robin Barrasford,
managing director of Barrasford & Bird
Worldwide. Despite being talented and
driven, during his early career that
‘goal’ proved somewhat elusive. THE INSPIRATION
After obtaining a degree in A solution presented itself some eight
Computers and Information Systems, years ago. While buying a property
Barrasford became frustrated with abroad, it occurred to Barrasford that
academic life and dropped out of a he could provide a useful service in
post-graduate course in Mathematics introducing and guiding new and
and Education. He joined Sussex Police seasoned property buyers to the
Force, where he stayed for ten years, potential of overseas property
becoming one of its youngest-ever investment. He’d found his goal.
Robin Barrasford,
sergeants and ultimately reached the Barrasford & Bird Worldwide – managing director of
rank of inspector. During a year off he formed with director Alan Bird – initially property agents
moved to the southwest of England focused on sales and marketing properties Barrasford & Bird
Worldwide, has entered
where he converted a collection of in Bulgaria, taking minor shares in the world of resort
barns into a family home. This got him development companies to ensure development with
thinking about how he could combine exclusivity and then introducing the Halcyon Hills Luxury Spa
Resort & Marina
his love of property with a full-time properties to the UK market. The move (pictured top). Located on
entrepreneurial business. was so successful the company expanded the Greek island of
into the Caribbean and has never looked Samos, the resort will
initially include 15
back – it has now handed over more than fractional units and is due
2,000 completed properties. to complete in early 2012.

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FRACTIONAL
QUOTE: THE APPEAL OF PROPERTY OWNERSHIP FOR LITERALLY A FRACTION
OF THE NORMAL COST SEEMED LIKE A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO PASS VALUE
AND QUALITY ON TO OUR CUSTOMERS. ROBIN BARRASFORD

From day one, the company, which


now employs more than 30 staff
worldwide, made high-quality customer
service a priority, offering a lifetime
aftercare guarantee and employing more
customer support than sales staff.
When it became apparent that the
developer could be the weak link in the
process, Barrasford decided the only way
to ensure consistent quality of service
from reservation to full ownership was to
become the developer as well as the agent.
He then took the unusual step of
canvassing the company’s database of
more than 65,000 clients to find out
what they wanted from an overseas
property. Once the information was
collated, he sought out markets
with genuine exit strategies and Halcyon Hills Luxury Spa
Resort & Marina will be
strong government support for located in a sheltered bay on
tourism. The research pointed the south-eastern tip of Samos
him to an idyllic sheltered bay (main picture). Based around a
1,200m2 spa, the development
on the south-eastern tip of the will incorporate a private
Greek isle of Samos, which will beach, 35-berth marina and a
be home to the company’s first variety of apartments,
kampanas and villas, all built,
development project, Halcyon decorated and equipped to the
Hills Luxury Spa Resort & highest standards.
Marina.
He said: “The development
represents a unique and desirable superior villas and 15 three-bedroom and making it work among six to 12
property purchase. Samos has a premier villas. Whole-ownership prices separate owners – ensuring each had title
blossoming tourism market but is in range from £176,000 for a studio on the property they were investing in.
need of a truly luxurious five-star apartment to £735,000 for a three- He said: “As one of the most
development to satisfy the demand of bedroom premier villa with private pool established overseas property agents in
the high-end traveller.” and garden area. the UK and being founding members of
Halcyon Hills will certainly cater to the Association of International Property
this client. The resort – due to complete FRACTIONAL FIRST Professionals, customer security is one of
in early 2012 – has been carefully In addition to whole-ownership units, our main priorities.
designed to take full advantage of its the development will also include “Partnering with the Fractional
stunning location. All its proposed 209 Barrasford & Bird’s first foray into Ownership Consultancy in Guernsey we
properties will have panoramic sea views. fractional ownership, with an initial were able to ensure an exceptional
The resort will be centred around a 15 properties being sold in one-twelfth fractional product that was perfectly safe.”
1,200m2 spa and feature a private beach, fractional shares. Prices range from He believed the fractional product was
35-berth marina, concierge service and £21,000 for a studio to £72,000 for a also a good fit with the company’s client
the facilities of a five-star hotel. three-bedroom premier villa, and more base, and added: “With Barrasford & Bird
Accommodation will be made up of units will be released as others sell out. being investment-based, the fractional
42 studio apartments, 32 studio The move is something Barrasford had ownership concept appealed to our
kampanas, 30 one-bedroom kampanas, been considering since late 2007. customers, who are often looking for an
44 one-bedroom villas, 46 two-bedroom “The appeal of property ownership easy investment that doesn’t require 365
for literally a fraction of the normal cost days a year monitoring and maintenance.
seemed like a great opportunity to pass They benefit from the same capital
value and quality on to our customers appreciation and rental guarantees as full
at a time when the credit crunch was purchasers, but with a smaller investment
tightening purse strings,” he said. both in terms of financing and time.”
On paper a great idea, in practice he The capital appreciation and rental
had concerns about splitting ownership figures quoted by the company are

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especially impressive. As well as fractional purchasers, including one free customers’ property ownership,” he said.
guaranteeing an eight per cent rental week’s accommodation at another resort Somewhat surprisingly, Barrasford
return over the first two years of in the programme while they await claims those fractional customers are
ownership, the company claims buyers completion of their own property. “This mostly the same people who would make
can expect an appreciation in value of gives buyers a great indication of the a whole ownership purchase.
between 81 and 148 per cent by the time quality they’ll be getting with their
the project is complete. (See table below) purchase at Halcyon Hills, once THE MARKET
Barrasford explained: “Most people completed, and gives them something “In terms of income and target market,
are buying now to get the maximum to enjoy while their property is being while fractional ownership should in
benefit of the price difference from built,” said Barrasford. theory open up the resort to those with
off-plan prices to completion prices, “It was incredibly important to us less available funds, we’re actually finding
but having said that, the majority of that we partner with an exchange that the target market is similar if not
owners will be keeping their properties company that embodies the finer identical to whole ownership,” he
for at least five years to benefit from details of luxury property ownership explained.
the lifestyle advantages as well. and The Registry Collection parallels “Fractional purchase allows owners to
“It’s a two-fold property purchase the same elegance and opulence that spread their investment between varying
really, meaning it makes a great Halcyon Hills will offer.” property styles, so whereas a customer
investment but also offers a stunning The combination of a high-quality might have purchased a two-bedroom
five-star luxury property to enjoy product with real earning potential and a villa at £385,000, they can now purchase
post-completion.” luxury exchange option suggests the a fraction in the same property, plus
resort could be a marketer’s dream, but fractions in a studio apartment and a
THE REGISTRY COLLECTION BENEFITS Barrasford said the crucial factor is to three-bedroom villa, and enjoy a selection
The icing on the cake in terms of fully explain how the model works. of property styles during their holidays.”
enhancing the buyer’s benefits is the “Our sales and aftersales teams are all Barrasford said the company’s market
affiliation of Halcyon Hills to The fully trained on the nuances of fractional is generally made up of households with
Registry Collection luxury exchange ownership, enabling them to provide a incomes ranging between £60,000 to
programme. This enables the developer comprehensive service right from the £100,000. The majority of purchasers are
to offer further benefits to its off-plan very first enquiry and throughout the from the UK, though “dozens” of buyers
have also come from the US, Middle East
and Eastern Europe.
PRICES AND RETURNS ON FRACTIONAL OWNERSHIP PROPERTIES
Type Current Deposit Value upon Profit by Return on
“Fractional ownership opens up the
Price completion completion Investment target market for luxury resorts to a much
greater demographic and in a struggling
Apartment Suite (Penthouse) £21,000 £8,400 £27,768 £6,768 81%
market it allows purchasers the
One Bedroom Luxury Villa £30,000 £12,000 £47,749 £17,749 148% opportunity of investing abroad with
Two Bedroom Superior Villa £41,000 £16,400 £62,365 £21,365 130% minimal risk. It’s a great model, especially
with our great product.”
Three Bedroom Premier Villa £72,000 £28,800 £104,231 £32,231 112%
V

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TATOC
QUOTE: THERE IS NO SET STANDARD FOR TIMESHARE SALES STAFF HERE,
SO WE’RE LOOKING TO PUT TOGETHER A PROGRAMME – WITH THE
INDUSTRY – TO HAVE A PROCEDURE TO TRAIN SALES STAFF. HARRY TAYLOR

A CREDIT TO THE INDUSTRY


It’s been a busy 12 months for the Timeshare Association, with a
new consumer website, quality accreditation scheme for resorts,
expanded membership and more. STEVE ADAMS spoke with chief
executive Harry Taylor about an important year for an
increasingly important organisation.

THE 20TH anniversary year of The represents with increasing strength. The week as holiday packs under the timeshare
Timeshare Association (Timeshare Owners I spoke to him, three new resorts – Hollywood banner, which is also why TATOC has
and Committees), also known as TATOC, has Mirage, Palm Beach Club and Beverly Hills embarked on a campaign to raise awareness
certainly been one of its busiest. Formed in Club, all in Tenerife – had been recruited into about the industry, providing information and
1989 and still the only elected consumers’ membership, accounting for more than 50,000 facts to potential buyers through a new
association representing timeshare owners new members. TATOC now has more than 70 consumer-facing website (www.timeshare-
in Europe, in 2009 the organisation has: member resorts (spanning the UK, Portugal, consumer-advice.co.uk).
■ Launched a new consumer-facing website Malta, Spain, Tenerife and Lanzarote), and “Most of the industry’s problems aren’t
to provide independent information on the represents more than 250,000 individual coming from the timeshare product, they’re
timeshare product owners. The numbers are key to its credibility coming from people who are feeding off
■ Acknowledged and rewarded the first when dealing with government and other timeshare and trying to con consumers,”
resorts to complete its quality accreditation agencies, according to Taylor. says Taylor.
scheme “Our strength is from our membership, “The website offers free impartial help
■ Increased its membership by more than so that credence enables us to go to bodies and information on the industry and dispels a
25 per cent like the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) or lot of the myths about it. It’s essentially a
■ Expanded its membership criteria to European Union (EU) and they’ll listen to us,” good news site, and something we hope will
enable individuals (in addition to club he says. “They realise we work with the encourage potential buyers to find out more
committees) to join industry, and not for the industry.” about a product they may only know through
■ Published its own member magazine, Taylor says this credibility – and being negative media reports and sensational
Sharetime, and “the consumer equivalent of the Resort newspaper headlines.”
■ Played a key role in the development of the Development Organisation” – enabled TATOC
European Timeshare Directive. to have an input to the new European GUARDIANS OF QUALITY
“It’s been a busy year,” says chief executive Timeshare Directive. Taylor says TATOC is also working closely
Harry Taylor. “A busy year, but a good year. “We were concerned that it was going with Citizens’ Advice Bureaus, trading
We’ve achieved a lot of the things we set out to over the top in certain areas and needed standards offices and police forces to
do but there’s a lot more still to come.” strengthening in others,” he says. “We had a educate them about timeshare and help
few meetings with Arlene McCarthy, a protect the industry from the actions of
MAKING A DIFFERENCE Member of the European Parliament (MEP), unscrupulous operators. To back this up, the
Taylor is clearly a master of understatement. who listened to what we had to say, and organisation launched a resort accreditation
A concerted membership drive, tenth annual some changes were made. scheme at the end of 2008, to provide a ‘kite
conference, putting more resorts through the “Now the legislation’s come to the UK mark’ quality guarantee for consumers.
accreditation programme, increased presence we’re working with the BERR (the UK “It’s all very well for a resort to say it’s
on the internet and the development of a Department for Business, Enterprise & four-star quality or whatever else, but we
training scheme for sales staff are all on the Regulatory Reform, formerly the DTI) on how wanted to look at it through the eyes of the
agenda for 2010 – quite a task list for it should be implemented.” consumer. We weren’t interested in what was
someone who officially retired in 1998. It’s generally accepted that one of the acceptable to the trade, but to the consumer,”
But Taylor freely admits his role is partly a reasons the new Timeshare Directive was explains Taylor.
labour of love for an industry with which he is developed was to outlaw the activities of The scheme is only available to resorts
genuinely proud to be associated, and rogue operators mis-selling products such that are TATOC members as well as affiliates

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of RCI or II, and to achieve accreditation they


must meet a variety of criteria including
health and safety issues, whether a unit
really is big enough for the number of people
it claims to accommodate, and the
techniques used by sales staff. Accreditation,
which has been awarded to 11 resorts to
date, gives confidence to potential buyers and Harry Taylor, chief executive of the Timeshare Association (above left)
can be a huge booster for sales, resales and is encouraged by the response to its new consumer-facing website
www.timeshare-consumer-advice.co.uk, which is designed to raise
rentals – a fact not lost on Taylor.
awareness as well as dispel a few myths about the industry.
“We realise this is a good tool for
salespeople but we make sure it is policed,”
he says. “The accreditation is only valid for than 40 salespeople who would go into it buyers – are finding us through the internet,
three years, after which we have to do a new tomorrow if it was up and running” – but our helpline and other means, while realising
inspection. If there are any complaints within wants it to have UK government recognition, we’re a good and reliable source of
that time, each will be looked at and a reply so doesn’t expect it to be up and running information about the industry.
or explanation required from the resort. until at least 2011. “RCI was one of the first major players
If there are more complaints than is More immediate priorities include in the industry to associate themselves
acceptable, we will withdraw the expanding the organisation’s helpline for with TATOC as they saw us as a major
accreditation and publicise the fact.” members and the general public, planning its benefit for their members. We continue to
Taylor also wants to take the accreditation 2010 conference (scheduled to take place in work well with RCI on behalf of all
scheme a stage further, by developing a Nottingham from March 26-28 and likely to be timeshare owners.
training programme for sales staff. its biggest ever), developing micro websites to “We also provide a good support network
He explains: “At the moment anyone can improve the quality of information about the for resorts, can help or point them in the right
sell timeshare in the UK, but in America industry, and growing TATOC membership. A direction if they have legal problems, and the
you’ve got to be a real estate agent with a campaign to recruit more UK-based resorts is accreditation scheme gives them an
license. There is no set standard for about to get underway, with Taylor adamant additional boost in the eyes of the consumer.
timeshare sales staff here, so we’re looking that joining should be a no-brainer for resorts. They’ll gain credibility by association, and
to put together a programme – with the “There’s a huge benefit to being a being part of what is effectively a consumer
industry – to have a procedure to train sales member of a recognised organisation,” he club, and one that works very well.” V
staff and provide them with a diploma or says. “TATOC now has a lot of credence and
form of accreditation.” is acknowledged by many government ■ For more information about the
Taylor reports huge support from the bodies, while increasing numbers of Timeshare Association, visit
industry for the scheme – “there are more individuals – including potential timeshare www.timeshareassociation.org

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RCI Ventures, November 2009 31
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MARKET REPORT: CROATIA


QUOTE: ALL THE BARRIERS TURNED INTO POSITIVES AS THEY PREVENTED
THE MASSIVE OVERSUPPLY OF HOLIDAY HOMES AND DRAMATIC PRICE
FALLS, SOMETHING WE HAVE SEEN IN SPAIN. ANNA GRYBEL-KLOC

LONG-TERM
PROMISE
Natural beauty, popular coastal
resorts and flourishing cities
coupled with political and economic
stability make Croatia a market with
real property development potential.
return on your investment once you
KATHERINE STEINER-DICKS factor in seasonal demand, which is
reports. predominately driven by foreign, rather
than domestic interest. You must also
consider the relatively higher than
average house and rental prices for a
pre-succession EU market.
investors alike. Yet, according to Croatian coastal properties, although
property analysts, Property Secrets, a still comparatively inexpensive
key question to ask yourself, regardless compared to those in Italy or anywhere
IF CROATIA was human, she would of whether you’re a developer or else across the Adriatic, have already
be a brazen beauty with diverse independent investor, is: Will my accounted for some high growth equity
qualities that attract and inspire people investment serve as a pure investment opportunities.
from far and wide. Despite the or a combination of investment and Based on October 2008 figures,
country’s pending acceptance into the lifestyle? average prices for Adriatic coastal
European Union by the end of this year, properties were €2,300 per square
her core cultural values are not COASTAL OPPORTUNITIES metre (psm) and €2,000psm for
expected to change, nor is she expected So what are the implications of each? properties on the northern coast and
to get swamped with over development. Property investment analyst Alan €2,400psm for all other coastal areas.
Croatia’s political and macro- Forsyth of Property Secrets, says by all Dubrovnik, however, is in a league
economic stability, pro-business climate means invest in a coastal property, but of its own, with rates of between
and strong infrastructure planning are don’t regard it as a pure money maker, €4,000 to €8,000psm. All prices, even
all set to contribute to its long-term but rather as a lifestyle purchase. It’s accounting for the coastal property hot
investment prospects. unlikely to give you a guaranteed spots, are expected to remain static for
Visitors are spoilt for choice in
Croatia with its offering of stunning
coastlines, fresh Mediterranean seafood,
island getaways, lakes, forests and
cosmopolitan cities. Thorough research
is essential to ensure that, as an
investor, you have the right information
to determine which area of the country
will best suit your proposed source
market and business model.
For the developers of hotel,
mixed-use or residential resort Dubrovnik, pictured
projects, there are some promising left and right, is
opportunities, especially given the lack Croatia’s capital of
culture. Property
of high-quality hotel accommodation here sells at a
and modern housing stock, which are premium €4,000
in demand from locals and foreign to €8,000 psm.

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32 RCI Ventures, November 2009
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place. It’s the country’s economic


centre, has a solid rental market driven
predominately by locals, and falling
property prices in Zagreb are creating
selected buying opportunities.
Given the current market conditions,
I don’t think there are any prospects for
short-term returns. In the past, such
opportunities could be found on the
An Istrian village, left,
typifies the natural coast, where prices were increasing
beauty of Croatia, while fast as Croatia became more popular
Porec, above, borders SHARED SECRETS among foreign buyers.
Italy and has much of the
charm of that country. While luxury private
accommodation exceeds V: Established holiday home markets,
demand in Croatia, there such as Spain, have long catered to
some time, according to Property is certainly scope for foreign buyers. How has Croatia catered
Secrets’ research. improvement when it to a foreign buyer and tourist market?
Although some analysts are less than comes to high-quality AGK: Croatia wasn’t friendly for
optimistic about turning a lifestyle hotel resorts. In an non-resident property buyers in the
investment into a money-making exclusive interview with RCI Ventures, past. The process used to be time-
opportunity, Ross Elder, managing Anna Grybel-Kloc, a property investment consuming and bureaucratic, with many
director of online lettings business analyst at Property Secrets, offers the title deeds being uncertain.
holidaylettings.co.uk thinks otherwise. latest insights into Croatia’s hot spots. But, in my opinion, all the barriers
“Dalmatia and Dubrovnik are turned into positives as they prevented
particularly in demand with RCI Ventures (V): Which coastal cities the massive oversupply of holiday
holidaymakers and could support and villages draw the most visitors? homes and dramatic price falls,
further supply of holiday homes if Anna Grybel-Kloc (AGK): The most something we have seen in Spain.
demand is sustained,” says Elder. “The popular coastal region is Istria, mainly As for the tourist market, Croatia is
main driver for new property listings is because it’s better developed than other emerging as a popular tourist
second home owners realising that coastal areas. It’s also close to Italy and destination, but lacks the high-quality
their additional property could be easily accessible for overseas visitors. accommodation demanded by tourists.
earning them some extra money, or at Other popular coastal areas include On the other hand, private
the very least paying its own way.” Primorje-Gorski Kotar County and Split- accommodation exceeds demand.
But as more new builds come on Dalmatia County. Coastal cities such as
stream, investors’ potential exit strategies Pula, Rijeka, Split, Zadar and Dubrovnik V: What type of infrastructure is being
become more and more limited. Anyone are the main areas of interest for foreign put in place for coastal and urban
currently looking to invest in coastal visitors. cities?
areas would be advised to consider AGK: The Croatian network of roads
buying coastal land, as demand – and V: Which areas of Croatia are the hidden and railway systems is fairly well-
prices – are being driven by developer gems and why? developed. There are also seven
demand for AAA plots. Although, in AGK: From the tourist’s point of view, the international airports and six
practical terms, this move is best suited hidden gems are the islands of the international seaports.
to the seasoned land buyer who knows Adriatic. From the property investor’s One of the main infrastructure
the language and can get through the perspective, I’d say Zagreb. As overseas projects in Croatia is the railroad
legislation, planning permission and red property buyers in Croatia focus mainly between Zagreb and Rijeka, which will
tape with relative ease. > on buying holiday properties on the coast, drastically reduce the journey time
the capital city remains fairly between the cities from four hours and
undiscovered. 45 minutes to just one hour.

V: Hypothetically, if you had €45,000 to ■ For more information about Property


invest in a Croatian property, which Secrets visit www.propertysecrets.net
locations would be most suitable in the or call 0115 985 3963.
long and short-term?
AGK: I think in the long-term only Zagreb
stacks up from an investment point of
view as it has all the fundamentals in

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RCI Ventures, November 2009 33
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MARKET REPORT: CROATIA


QUOTE: DALMATIA AND DUBROVNIK ARE PARTICULARLY IN DEMAND
WITH HOLIDAYMAKERS AND COULD SUPPORT FURTHER SUPPLY OF
HOLIDAY HOMES IF DEMAND IS SUSTAINED. ROSS ELDER

> Hotel and resort developers PROPERTY PRICES IN KEY CITIES – CROATIA 2008
would be wise to keep tabs on
City Av. Price Highest Price Lowest Price
an expected rise in coastal land
€/SQM €/SQM €/SQM
coming up for sale as the
Zagreb 2049 6555 920
government seeks to pay off its
Osijek 1130 1653 616
$45 billion external debt bill,
Split 2621 6296 730
which accounts for 66 per cent
Rijeka 1788 3516 900
of the country’s GDP.
Pula 1652 3554 752
Dubrovnik 3649 6505 1220
CITY SLICKERS
Zadar 1879 3157 1000
For pure investment, cities such
Source: Centar Nekretina and Visium Group Limited
as Zagreb are where the
genuine opportunities lie, due
to local demand for modern rental that they offer more value for money
properties, according to Property than cities such as Prague, Budapest and
Secrets. Demand for modern apartments Warsaw.
is increasing from a local, young, It is also worth noting that Zagreb’s
growing middle class looking for city rental prices were on a par with
coastal properties. There hasn’t been a Warsaw’s just a year ago, which
building spree since 1989 and there suggests that there has been a slight
is a deficit of apartments of at least correction in prices in line with global
50,000 units. inflation and credit restraints.
Prices in Zagreb are likely to go Financial products are becoming
down about 10 per cent over the next more popular with mortgage
year, creating a good opportunity for penetration to GDP currently sitting at
long-term equity investors. However, 15 per cent, which leaves a lot of room
according to Swiss-based property for growth. High loan-to-asset value
consultants, Henley & Partners, ratios in recent years have spurred local
property prices in Croatia are likely to buyers to take advantage of low interest
rise between 100 and 150 per cent over rates of 4.5 per cent CHF on domestic Top, Venice is only a 30-minute boat trip from
the next three to five years. mortgages and 5.5 per cent on euro Porec and makes for a memorable day-trip
Buy-to-let investors will be loans. from the Istrian town, pictured right and
below. Dubrovnik, above, sits at the Greek end
encouraged to discover that prices for But don’t think that Croatia has been of Croatia and is in high demand by tourists
city apartments range between unaffected by the global credit crisis. and could sustain an increase in holiday
€1,660psm in the less expensive areas Inflation has doubled from 3 per cent accommodation.
(for example Dubrava and Novi in 2007 to 6 per cent in 2008.
Zagreb) to €2,578psm in the exclusive However, lowering commodity prices WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY
areas of the city centre, which shows are bringing down inflation which is a Croatia is a market to watch, especially
welcome sign. for developers of hotel, shared-
ownership, residential resort and
CROATIA’S PROPERTY PRICE INDEX apartment properties looking to create
MAY 2006 - DEC 2008 a new market opportunity with
long-term revenue generation
125
opportunities. The diverse choice of
holiday destinations within Croatia are
120
ideally suited to developers in the
115
timeshare and fractional markets.
The index grew by 21.5 per Croatia is undoubtedly a market
110
cent from May 2006 to that has grown quicker than most.
December 2008. In 2008 the
Importantly, it has the potential to be a
index grew overall by a mere
105 2.2 per cent, with a price long-term winner if infrastructure
decline towards the year end. developments are kept on schedule and
This is attributed to difficulties
100 developers work in harmony with not
in accessing finance and an
increase in the cost of only the government and tourist
May 06 Nov 06 May 07 Nov 07 May 08 Nov 08 borrowing and mortgages. authorities, but crucially, in sympathy
Source: Centar Nekretina and Visium Group Limited with the country’s natural beauty. V

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V: What are your expectations for rental


prices in Croatia for 2010 should
Croatia join the EU?
RE: If they adopt the euro there may be
some inflationary pricing as a result,
but Croatia is already very popular and
quite pricey because there’s a good
level of competition for accommodation,
the over development of holiday homes
is being restricted, so a change in rental
values is unlikely.

RENTAL POTENTIAL V: Would you say that customers


Katherine Steiner-Dicks looking for a holiday home in Croatia
speaks to Ross Elder, are more or less discerning than in
managing director of more established markets such as
online rental agents Spain?
holidaylettings.co.uk to RE: They are either more discerning or
gauge the health and have larger budgets.
wealth of the Croatian rental market.
V: Do you think you’ll have more
RCI Ventures (V): What makes Croatia Croatian properties listed on your site
unique compared to other markets in the this year? If so, what is driving supply
Mediterranean? and demand?
Ross Elder (RE): Croatia’s huge selling RE: So far in 2009, a similar number of
point in the current economic climate is new properties have been added to the
that it’s outside of the Eurozone. It is site as in the same period 2008.
quite a cosmopolitan area of Eastern Dalmatia and Dubrovnik are particularly
Europe and benefits from appealing to a in demand with holidaymakers and
wide range of visitors – family holidays, could support further supply of holiday
city breaks and rural retreats. Its homes if demand is sustained.
coastline is mostly rugged and rocky, The main driver for new property
generally meaning pebble beaches rather listings is second home owners
than golden sands. realising that their additional property
could be earning them some extra
V: What are the average rental rates for a money, or at the very least paying its
coastal holiday house in Croatia? own way. Providing a solution for
RE: A three-bedroom villa on the coast in second homeowners is proving a
August will set holidaymakers back at particularly beneficial message in the
least €1,000 per week, but anywhere up current climate, but one which has
to €3,500 per week. If they’re travelling long-term effectiveness.
off-peak (May) they can expect to pay
between €650 and €2,700 per week.

V: And for an average apartment rental


in Zagreb?
RE: €420 per week / from €70 per night
(for a minimum two-night stay).

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RCI Ventures, November 2009 35
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CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
QUOTE: THE COMMUNITY CONCEPT SHOULD BE
EXTENDED FAR BEYOND THE HOLIDAY ITSELF, INTO
FORUMS ON YOUR WEBSITE. SALLIE BURNETT

FORGET fancy direct mail packs,


IN PURSUIT OF
Your happy
owner
members are
worth their
weight in gold.
HAPPINESS expensive inspection visits and prize
draws. The most successful catalyst for
sales efficiency in the holiday ownership
industry is customer satisfaction.
Customer delight is the number one
driver of loyalty, referrals and
recommendations – and it should be
the beating heart of your business.
But are you doing enough to
As the costs harness the potency of your product to
for marketing inspire existing members to upgrade
and evangelise about it?
to each new To surpass your owners’ needs and
client continue expectations you need to know what
they want. You should know how they
to rise, it pays feel, and what their hobbies, passions
to keep your and influences are. Such intelligence,
combined with the hard facts and
customers transactional data you possess, is a
smiling. DAVE priceless asset to your sales and
marketing strategy.
THACKERAY
talks to the PLAN To gather lifestyle information
you need a solid structure in place to
experts about evaluate and collect owner feedback at
ways to every opportunity. And you need the
versatility, employee empathy and soft
monitor systems in place to not only listen, but
customer actively respond and address customer
concerns.
satisfaction Juliet Mumford, director of market
levels – and research company Intelligent Insight,
specialists in customer satisfaction
the rewards it analysis, outlined the process she
can bring. follows to identify the business need
and then create an outcome to drive
business success and customer delight.

• Why are you doing this? Figure out


what it is you want to know. Make a
list of key objectives and when you
know what results you’re looking for,
you may discover the methodology
needs reconsidering. A questionnaire
might help you measure the benefit of
developing new facilities at a resort,
but is of little use if you want to
establish a set of personas upon which
you can base a segmented marketing
strategy.
• Set up focus groups. These should
Pictured from top: address the requirements and concerns
Juliet Mumford, of the different customers at your
Jeffrey Henning,
Sallie Burnett and resort. Couples think differently to
Diane Clarkson. family units in the way they holiday.

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36 RCI Ventures, November 2009
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• Build the questionnaire. We’re not • Integrate customer relationship Opportunities for gathering
necessarily looking for a wide range of management (CRM) into every part of customer satisfaction data are more
questions – we need to work your business so you can interact with widespread and cost-effective online.
selectively to gather the exact customers in a smart, personal and With the prohibitive cost of postal
information the business requires. efficient fashion. surveys and restrictions surrounding
• Gather data – and analyse. With • Share feedback internally. Too cold calling, the natural successor
experience and an understanding of often feedback simply ends up on the which is gaining improved response
the marketplace you can really drill shelf, but its value should never be rates is the internet.
down into questionnaire responses to underestimated. Diane Clarkson, analyst at
discover trends and traits that you may • Show your employees how their independent international research
have been unaware of. actions are being perceived and company Forrester Consulting, said:
• Present the information. And do their subsequent impact on customer “Effective methods of gathering
so in a meaningful, simple and, most loyalty. intelligence on customer satisfaction
importantly, actionable way. Everyone • Create a customer community or include surveying customers directly
across the business should be able to an open forum for customers to talk and reviewing information that
gain a real insight into the mind of about the organisation. Spearhead this travellers are telling each other on
the consumer. and you can directly respond to websites such as TripAdvisor. Twitter is
concerns and build positive PR. also a growing source of market
DO Consistency is crucial if you • Share feedback with customers as intelligence.
are to get to the heart of customer they want to know what you’re going “Customer intelligence is only
satisfaction. Consistency in the way to do with it – and the timeframes useful if it is acted upon – one of the
you reach out for information, and in involved in execution. most important parts of monitoring is
how you share out the results and to ensure that processes are in place to
action plans. Like Henning, Sallie Burnett, president inform appropriate internal
Jeffrey Henning is chief strategy of Customer Insight Group, a departments and circle back to ensure
officer and co-founder of Vovici, a Colorado-based strategic marketing useful insight was enacted upon.”
leading enterprise feedback company, is a fervent supporter of
management company. He said: “We focusing on owner communities – a REVIEW Henning said: “Customers
see a great deal of inconsistency in the perfect fit for the timeshare model – to no longer accept you want to
way companies often carry out develop customer happiness and brand communicate with them on a
different types of surveys from which advocacy. one-way basis – they need to know
the data simply cannot be correlated Burnett explained: “You should be how you’re implementing their input.
effectively. doing all you can to foster this kind of And it’s good news – this is a very
“With the technology available community feel, both on and off powerful way of building customer
today, the results from every customer resort. The community concept should loyalty.”
contact should be fed into a system be extended far beyond the holiday Having a new layer of customer
able to share this data in ways that can itself, into forums on your website.” information means you can integrate
benefit all your staff, whatever their By developing an online community what you already know with what you
role and department.” you foster a sense of belonging long want to know. Owner contact is
Henning recommends a seven-step after bags have been unpacked, added enhanced with a contextual experience
action plan to get on top of your Burnett. The ancillary benefit is that based on your understanding of their
customer satisfaction strategy: owners will share a formidable array of needs and history, and more
local information and insights into personalised interaction.
• Implement a customer experience your resort that may have slipped your The subsequent amassing of
management programme. This is attention, or would give you information can generate a formidable
simply an understanding of the inspiration for the future. resource for your sales team as they
emotional engagement at each stage of Naturally, not everything posted embark on a discovery with their latest
the owner experience lifecycle. online will be complimentary. prospect.
• Use a common platform to obtain “Some people may use the forums “Feedback will identify the gaps
‘voice of the customer’ data. Stop as a place to moan about their between customer expectation and the
using incompatible feedback- experiences,” said Burnett. “Turn it customer experience,” explained
generating methods and start unifying into a positive – many companies will Henning.
efforts so every piece of information capitalise on this insight to make And once customer expectation has
received can be used to build a improvements or respond in a way that been exceeded, you’re on the road to
complete picture of the customer and demonstrates exemplary customer customer delight: the holy grail of any
benefit all staff. service.” business. V

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RCI Ventures, November 2009 37
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FINAL CALL
QUOTE: WHILE LONG-TERM PLANNING AND INVESTMENT ARE CRUCIAL TO THE
FUTURE SUCCESS OF ANY RESORT, WHEN TIMES ARE HARD THE BUDGET HAS TO BE
TRIMMED. LINDA FREER

LINDA FREER, managing director of Resort Solutions, a UK-


based resort management company, explains why bold decision
making can be key to surviving in a tough economic climate.

TAKING CONTROL

‘‘
THERE has never been
a more important time
to stick your head above the
parapet and be counted in the
world of resort management.
It’s no good sitting back, simply
hoping it will all work out and
blaming the recession for BIO NOTE
everything. This is one of the Linda Freer has
most challenging times we’ve worked in the
experienced in the last couple timeshare industry
of decades and it is experience for 20 years. Her
that you need to call on. former roles include
I’ve spent 20 years in the being operations
industry, taking resorts from director of
receivership to RCI Gold Crown, management
and turning around the fortunes company TMSI and
of 14 resorts. These things director of RCI
don’t happen by themselves Resort Management.
and it’s not something that can In 2005 she set up
be achieved working in isolation. And it most definitely Management fees need to be realistic in these Resort Solutions
isn’t something you can do by always making the difficult times. Maintenance fees may need to be with a business
popular, easy decisions. increased and inevitably will be, if only to take into partner, but now
There are plenty of things you can’t do without – account the return of the 17.5 per cent VAT rate in the owns the company
owners committees, sales companies, rental contacts UK and the changing sterling/euro exchange rate. outright. The
and friends in the industry to name a few – but bold While long-term planning and investment are company specialises
decision-making is probably up there at number one. crucial to the future success of any resort, when in property
The euro exchange rate has crippled many resorts times are hard the budget has to be trimmed and this management, guest
during the last couple of years and, while starts by looking at waste and where things can be services, human
management shouldn’t be about hedging bets on improved. resources, quality
exchange rates, Resort Solutions took calculated risks Resort managers are the best people to do this, so assurance and
in forward buying euros and securing funding at the make sure they are on board and working with you. information
average budget rate. You can only do this using Be sure to involve them in the difficult decisions. And technology for a
reliable statistics and a sound knowledge of your remember – cutting costs should not compromise number of resorts in
resorts and owners. customer service. the UK, France, the
We have also been proactive in not waiting for At the end of the day we are all in the holiday Canary Islands and
things to go from bad to worse. While 2009 has seen business. A holiday – and the anticipation of it – is a mainland Spain.
collection rates largely in line with 2008 and previous relaxing time when the trials and tribulations of For more
years, it is anticipated that 2010 will be a greater everyday life, as well as the word ‘recession’, should information about
challenge. For this reason we have dedicated new be forgotten, so let’s stop groaning and get on with Resort Solutions call
staffing to filling resort inventory, invested in new making people happy. Look beyond tomorrow and next +44 (0)1858 431160

’’
salespeople and new resorts to forge our own way year, make those bold decisions and plan or visit www.resort-
forward. for the future instead of worrying about it. solutions.co.uk

|
38 RCI Ventures, November 2009
“Through the years, Hilton and RCI have enjoyed a great relationship. When we dream big and present ‘what if’ ideas, RCI
always steps up to help us bring our Owners’ vacation experiences to the next level. As a result, our travel advantages
remain unique, flexible and ever-evolving. Our successful collaborations with RCI are based on years of trust, and a shared
commitment to bring dynamic ideas to life. We celebrate RCI’s 35th Anniversary and look forward to the innovations ahead!”

Kim Robert Kreiger


Senior Vice President and Chief Club Officer, Hilton Grand Vacations
RCI Affiliate since 1993

With 35 years of experience, more than 4,000 affiliated resorts worldwide and over 3.7 million members,
we continue to be the global leader in vacation exchange. We are committed to bringing the highest level of
reliability, customer service and innovation to every developer relationship so that you can achieve your goals in
shared ownership. Because after all… your success is our success.

For more information, please contact: Amanda White on +44 (0)1536 314 651.

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RCI HGVC Ad A4.indd 1 6/1/09 11:20:28


18-19 February 2010
The London Marriott Grosvenor Square

2010
changing times changing ma
markets
ets
Europe’s Largest Fractional Real Estate Conference
Sponsorship and speaker opportunities avavailable
a ailable
Save ££s- ‘Early bird’ tickets now on sale
for further information and booking details visit
www.fractionalsummit.com
“Fractional Summit provided
“I enjoyed the conference me with invaluable
very much, very positive “It’s the first event I’ve been knowledge of the exciting
feedback, panel discussions to in a while that has fractional real estate market
were great. I got to meet exceeded my expectations.” and it was inspiring to share
everyone I wanted to.” Ioannis Verdellis this with so many of the
Maurizio Bisicky Select Ownership industries key players.”
Marriott Charlotte Rose Melsom
yooPhuket

Delegate comments- Fractional Summit 2009, attendance was over 210 delegates (+80% on 2008) from 23 countries

Headline Sponsor Platinum Sponsor Media Sponsor Supporting Partner

Media Partners
Cocktail Sponsor

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