Don Harrill, president and CEO of Orange Lake Resorts, home to Holiday Inn Club Vacations, was unveiled as the new Chairman of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) at their annual Convention and Exposition which took place at the Orlando World Centre Marriott from 27 to 31 March 2011.
The overall message from the Convention was that there is growth ahead for the timeshare industry. Outgoing chairman Jim Lewis, president of Disney Vacation Club, said: “We survived, we’re beginning to thrive. We might not be there yet – we’re clearly not all the way there – but there are some encouraging signs.”
A recurrent topic of discussion was timeshare resales and the threat posed by so called “postcard companies”, as more owners search for a way to get rid of their timeshare in the current economic climate. ARDA recently proposed new legislation for the secondary resale market that would help standardise and legitimise resellers and the resale process to ensure a safe experience for consumers.
As well as the Resale Forum, notable sessions included a Sales and Marketing Forum and a presentation by Terry Jones, Chairman of Kayak.com, on how to leverage digital relationships. The more than 2500 delegates attending also heard views on the state of the industry from Hilton Grand Vacations, Wyndham Vacation Ownership and Marriott Vacation Club International amongst others.