ARDA Insights Blog                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

“Meet the Leaders” at ARDA World

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 “Meet the Leaders” at ARDA World 


ARDA World is quickly approaching, and with so many great opportunities and experiences offered it is time to decide which of these are the “can’t miss” events.  One of the most popular sessions from previous years, the CEO Session, will be making its highly anticipated return again this year.  In this session our CEO panel will be addressing topical industry issues ranging from the impact of industry consolidation, the secondary market and generational demographics on our business through a robust discussion regarding managing and enhancing digital relationships. 

ARDA World is quickly approaching, and with so many great opportunities and experiences offered it is time to decide which of these are the “can’t miss” events.  One of the most popular sessions from previous years, the CEO Session, will be making its highly anticipated return again this year.  In this session our CEO panel will be addressing topical industry issues ranging from the impact of industry consolidation, the secondary market and generational demographics on our business through a robust discussion regarding managing and enhancing digital relationships. 

Let’s meet this year’s panel: 

Jon Fredricks 

Fredricks has been the President of the Welk Resort Group since 1999 and CEO since 2014.  The company has more than 1,600 employees and 1,077 vacation units across its portfolio. Fredricks has led the award-winning hospitality company during its greatest period of growth and expansion. 

Franz Hanning 

As President and Chief Executive Officer of Wyndham Vacation Ownership, He is responsible for the world’s largest developer and marketer of flexible, points-based vacation ownership products.  He oversees all management, operations, strategic planning and growth initiatives, and leads a worldwide staff of more than 17,000 employees. 

Don Harrill 

 Harrill has been Chief Executive Officer of Holiday Inn Club Vacations since 2005, leading the organization to years of consecutive record growth and becoming a key voice within the timeshare industry. Don arrived to Holiday Inn Club Vacations with more than three decades of experience in the hospitality industry, eight of those at the helm of industry-leading timeshare organizations Trendwest Resorts and Hilton Grand Vacations Company. 

Ken Potrock 

Potrock began his career with Disney as VP of Marketing for Disney Cruise Lines in 1995 and has taken on various roles in the company since. He is currently Senior Vice President and General Manager of Disney Vacation Club & Adventures by Disney since 2013.  

 Mark Wang

Wang is President of Hilton Grand Vacations. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Wang co-founded PAHIO Resorts in Hawaii and served as its president for six years. He later formed Grand Ownership Resorts, Ltd., a consulting company that developed a successful vacation ownership program at The Bay Club on the Big Island of Hawaii, a resort now managed by Hilton Grand Vacations. 

With this great group of leaders, you do not want to miss this session!  Be sure to put it in your schedule of events for 4:00-5:00 pm on Tuesday, May 3rd 

Educational Sessions at The ARDA Convention

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Educational Sessions at The ARDA Convention

Education Sessions AW16 

As you probably know, ARDA’s annual convention is quickly approaching.  This year we have a great mix of informative sessions with fun activities, like the annual golf tournament. It is important to partake in some of the extracurricular activities, but one of the main reasons you are coming is for the informative, educational sessions. 

The Educational Sessions offer a large range of information on industry and business topics.  They begin on Monday and then run in waves through Tuesday and Wednesday.  There are a lot of options to choose from.  Here’s a sampling of a few you may want to check out:

  • Keep Calm and Carry On – Understanding the Next Generation, Monday 9:00-10:00 am
  • A 360 Degree View of Social Media Success, Tuesday 9:00-10:15 am
  • Resort Technology – What’s Hot and What’s Not, Tuesday 2:45-4:00 pm
  • Welcome to Timeshare in the Caribbean (Including Cuba), Wednesday 1:30-3:00 pm
  • Brilliance of Brand – Creating Differential Advantage through Social Media for Recruiting, Engagement and Retention, Wednesday 3:15-4:30 pm

With 35 different Educational sessions, it is important to find and plan which ones are best for you.  Check out the full schedule here. 


Meet The Speakers of the 2016 ARDA Convention

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Meet The Speakers of the 2016 ARDA Convention 

This year we have two exciting and educational speakers, Jonathan Perelman and Curt Cronin. They come from different backgrounds but both have helpful insights for our industry.  

Jonathan Perelman will be the keynote speaker for the opening general session taking place Tuesday, May 3rd between 10:30 am – 12 pm, while Curt Cronin will be speaking at the Breakfast of Champions Thursday, May 5th beginning at 8 am.  You won’t want to miss them!

Jonathan Perelman


Perelman was Former Vice President of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures and Former Global Lead for Industry Relations at Google.  Currently, he is the head of digital initiatives at ICM Partners.  He knows how to stand out, rise above the noise, and get your organization’s voice heard online.  Pulling from his extensive experience at some of the world’s most successful and influential brands, he shows audiences how to tell their story in a genuine, authentic, and meaningful way that generates word of mouth marketing at Internet scale.  With great energy and stage presence, he breaks down the tactics and mindset that propelled Buzzfeed from a small blog to a cultural phenomenon read by millions of people.  Read more about Jonathan Perelman here 

Curt Cronin

Curt Cronin 

Cronin spent over 16 years as a Navy SEAL where he was deployed thirteen times and spent more than four years overseas.  In that time, living and working in an environment where milliseconds made the difference between life and death and winning and losing, he honed his talent as a catalyst for transformation and rose to lead the nation’s premier SEAL assault force. Curt’s experiences as a SEAL reinforced his fundamental belief that the competitive edge for any organization in the information age is neither technology nor information, but the unparalleled power of an aligned team.

Curt’s passion is to engage each person, team, or organization’s highest aspirations, and help them connect to the “hero within.” He has counseled organizations including AIG, Disney, HP, and the Miami Dolphins, and is an expert at maximizing human potential and synthesizing the strengths of a team to create unprecedented results in any context.  This is a ticketed event so make sure to get your tickets ahead of time, and you can read more about Curt Cronin here.


ARDA World 2016 Presents: The Lion’s Den

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2016 ARDA World Banner Logo 

In partnership with Phocuswright, ARDA presents: 

The Lion’s Den 

 An Interactive ‘Digital Meets Travel’ Pitch Competition 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 from 9:30-11 am
Grand Ballroom, The Diplomat Hotel
Open to all ARDA World attendees. 

This year, ARDA is bringing a new, exciting and interactive pitch competition to its general session! Modeled after Shark Tank, you'll watch as a select group of bold start-ups present their digital innovations and business plans to our panel of judges—the Lions of the timeshare industry—including three high profile CEOs and executives of Disney, Marriott and Wyndham.

Our brave contestants include:

  • Proxce – A secure and seamless hotel check-in experience.
  • Rented - A world-class marketplace for competitive short-term rentals.
  • Suiteness – Exclusive online bookings of lesser-known luxury hotel suites.
  • Tansler – A reverse auction, one round of bids approach to home rentals.
  • Trekkable – A booking solution for the 30 million people with mobility challenges.
  • Alice - Guest experience and operational management on one platform.
  • Voyat - Hotel guest connection via the most effective retention engine.

Our judges will evaluate the companies and, following a live audience vote, a winner will be announced! They'll gain massive exposure to members of the timeshare industry, feedback on their innovations, and it's all happening live at ARDA World 2016!

Join us and cast your vote live alongside the judges! 

Not registered for ARDA World? 

Click here to register for the not-to-miss Global Timeshare Event. A key opportunity to network with friends and also build new business relationships—plus, get first-hand access to market intelligence and industry trends… 

Limited lodging is still available, reserve your hotel room before the group rate ends on April 11th.

We hope to see you there!



Spotlight: Brazil & Colombia

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Spotlight: Brazil & Colombia


 Brazil Blog Image 


Just a couple of years ago, Brazil was the darling of the global economy.  Today, Brazil is facing some tougher times through political turmoil, a high inflation rate and a high unemployment rate.   Marcos Agostini, Interval International’s senior vice president of resort sales and business development for Latin America, has confidence that what has come down will eventually go back up, saying he is “positive the tourism sector will expand in 2016.”

There are many factors contributing to Brazil’s rebound.  First, there’s the drop in value of the Real—Brazil’s currency—which is less expensive for in-bound international visitors. It also makes Brazilian real estate more attractive to investors. Brazil is also set to host the 2016 summer Olympics, providing positive exposure to the country.  With a population of more than 200 million and an important middle class, there’s widespread opportunity for development.


Considered one of the world’s most bio diverse places, Colombia has a lot to offer—with Caribbean and Pacific beaches, scenic Andean mountains, and cosmopolitan cities for shopping and dining. However, Colombia is often generalized as an unsafe travel destination due to its past, but improved security has already resulted in a boom in tourism, and continuing this could clear the way for the industry to grow exponentially.

In 2010, just 2.6 million travelers visited Colombia, but in 2014, that figure almost doubled to 4.9 million, according to ProColombia, the government’s tourism promotion agency. It hopes to welcome 6 million visitors ready to spend $6 billion by 2018. Timesharing is poised to attract its share of travelers, both domestic and international, says Agostini. “We’re very excited about Colombia. The infrastructure has improved, and we’re finally seeing investments come to fruition.”

Read more in Developments. 

Market Watch: Cuba on the Rise

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Market Watch: Cuba on the Rise  

By Tomas Acevedo, ARDA State Affairs

Cuba Cup 

It’s been more than a year since the Obama administration announced new rules easing trade and travel restrictions against Cuba, as part of the move toward normalizing relations with the country. Since that time, Americans have been able to travel to the island, provided the trip serves a religious, educational, humanitarian, journalistic, or other approved purpose. In fact, U.S. airlines are now allowed to fly scheduled routes to Cuba for the first time in decades, yet Americans still can’t travel to Cuba purely for travel’s sake.

It’s clear that Americans want to visit Cuba now—with its still frozen-in-time culture—before it loses its old-world charm. According to the travelhorizons survey released by marketing services firm MMGY Global, 46 percent
of travelers from the United States who
are likely to visit a Caribbean destination during the next two years would be willing to change their vacation plans to go to Cuba instead. And 19 percent of U.S. adults said they would consider taking a vacation to Cuba during the next two years.

Further, the American Society of Travel Agents estimates that more than 500,000 American cruise travelers would visit Cuba within the first two years—with another one million leisure travelers coming by air. Cuba is ready for business to increase in their travel and tourism space, where they see a lot of opportunity for growth. 

And with all the buzz around this island, it’s only a matter of time before we’re talking timeshare there, too.  Cuba doesn’t currently have timeshare legislation in the country, but with Meliá Vacation Club selling a travel club-type product in the country, it demonstrates they’re open to this new form of business in the travel sector. It’ll likely still take some years—and fully lifted sanctions—before the timeshare sector starts to build a footprint in Cuba, but for those with interest in the area, now is probably a good time to start registering company trademarks and logos, to be at the ready when the time comes. To learn more about the potential of timeshares in Cuba, read the full article in the February Developments.


ARDA World – We’ve Got a Great Schedule!

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ARDA World – We’ve Got a Great Schedule!  

 2016 ARDA World Banner Logo 

Don’t miss our jam-packed schedule of events while you are attending ARDA World this May 1-5, 2016 in Hollywood, Florida. Mark your calendars for these important events:


• Sunday, May 1: AIF Open Golf Tournament 
• Monday night, May 2: Opening reception in the Exhibit Hall 
• Monday night: All Attendee Welcome Party, sponsored by RCI 
• Tuesday morning, May 3: Keynote speaker, sponsored by RCI 

• Tuesday night: Interval International’s Party with a Cause (at LIV nightclub, Fontainebleau hotel) 

• Wednesday night, May 4: Awards Gala with presenting sponsor, American Express  
• Thursday morning, May 5: Breakfast of Champions, sponsored by Hilton Grand Vacations 


• Monday is Key Constituent Day again! This is the day for ARDA’s most engaged and involved members—don’t miss important Committee, Council, Taskforce, and Forum meetings.

Monday also features two targeted educational programming tracks: HR and Fundamentals sessions.

• Our keynote speaker is on Tuesday morning (10:30 am-12:00 pm). It’s Jonathan Perelman, former Vice President of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures & former Global Lead for Industry Relations at GoogleHe will discuss the future of digital marketing. 

• “Meet the Leaders” General Session is on Tuesday (4:00pm-5:00pm).

Get all the very latest at, and see you soon in sunny south Florida!