ARDA Insights Blog                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Top Resorts Earn Highest Industry Honor

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Top Resorts Earn Highest Industry Honor

By Kathryn Mullan, ARDA
June 24, 2015 

 Hyatt Ka'anapali Beach 

“ARDA awards its highest honor to both a domestic and an international resort.” 

The ACE Project of Excellence Award is ARDA’s most prestigious award, honoring resorts that are leading examples of vacation amenities and the ultimate owner experience. The award has gotten so competitive that this year, ARDA awarded this accolade to both a domestic and an international resort.

On April 15, ARDA was proud to award the domestic ACE Project of Excellence Award to Hyatt Ka’anapali Beach, a Hyatt Residence Club Resort, and the international ACE to Novaispania Los Cabos (an RCI affiliate, developed by the Pueblo Bonito Resort Group). “We are proud to present these ACE Project of Excellence Awards to two truly deserving winners, as great examples of amazing development throughout the world,” said Catherine Lacey, RRP, vice president of meetings and member administration, ARDA.

There are some key similarities between this year’s winners; both offer a slice of ocean- front paradise, stunning views and design elements, as well as exquisite concierge service. Here’s a glimpse into these award-winning properties.

Hyatt Ka’anapali Beach 

Almost every one of the 131 units looks out on Hawaii’s spectacular Ka’anapali Beach. The others? They have to settle for a view of the mountains of Maui. The grounds are lush with native plants. The outdoor dining offers views of both the ocean and the infinity pool. And in every direction, the grounds unfold as an exotic adventure. Of course, the story of Maui itself is a magical one. And it’s told throughout the property in the handiwork and craftsmanship of many local artists. With all the amenities and attention to detail, it’s easy to see why this Hyatt resort was a deserving winner of this ACE award!

Novaispania Los Cabos 

The world of this resort invites you to step away from the bustle of nearby Cabo San Lucas and everyday reality to rest and relax—rest the spirit, body, and mind and take in the beauty of enchanted gardens under waterfalls, all in Old World comfort. From the resort’s villas, there is the option for an indoor/outdoor kitchen, a private infinity pool, and a master bedroom that overlooks the ocean. A personal chef prepares your evening meal or you may have cocktails and dine at one of the many fine restaurants on property. This resort is proof that the market for luxury and world-class amenities is not endangered but growing, just like the resort itself and the employment it is bringing to the Cabo residents and the region as a whole.

These two resorts exemplified what it means to be an ACE award winner, and have set the bar high for future winners. Read the full story in the latest June issue of Developments.

Timeshares Lead to More Frequent, Happier Vacations

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Timeshares Lead to More Frequent, Happier Vacations

-- Peter Roth, ARDA VP Marketing & Communications

Expansion in Latin America

What has happened to vacation? Or as the Time Magazine asked “Who Killed the Summer Vacation?” Our recent survey results show that it’s definitely not the timeshare owner!

In fact, an impressive one-third of timeshare owners have taken four or more vacations in the last three years alone. This is quite telling when compared to non-timeshare owners--only 18% have taken four or more vacations in the last three years. With today’s hectic lifestyle it is becoming even more important for people to get away and experience a relaxing vacation.

Furthermore, timeshare owners say they experience a happier, more relaxing time while away. When compared to non-owners, timeshare owners experience more happiness in each of the seven distinct vacation lifecycle phases, from planning the vacation to the first day all the way to the afterglow that the vacation leaves when it’s over.

A better vacation experience with timeshares comes from the ease of planning, spacious accommodations, and the choice of resorts all over the world. To find out on how you can experience more and happier vacations, check out!


Intersecting Industries

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Intersecting Industries 

Brent Bellm, President & CEO of HomeAway 

 Economic Momentum

There are many alternatives to traditional hotel stays when it comes to vacationing today. Of course, timeshare is one and vacation home rentals is another. At HomeAway, we decided to see if we can marry the two and provide yet another alternative for today’s travelers.

Beginning in 2012, we engaged a number of vacation ownership industry leaders—including Westgate Resorts and Wyndham Worldwide—to distribute their inventory on HomeAway to gauge the demand of timeshare-style accommodations from HomeAway travelers. Traveler demand showed a very strong initial surge, and we knew we could create a synergy within the industry.

Our relationship with ARDA was initiated at the same time. HomeAway is an ARDA Trustee member, and we provide front-line support in the legislative and regulatory arena as well.

I believe we will see more resort developers and suppliers testing the waters of the vacation rental market for their unused and unsold properties. I also believe that we will see further distribution of these properties not only on our sites but on third party sites (like Expedia) as well. High-quality visibility and increased exposure is essential in this competitive environment, and so we have partnered with key vacation ownership professionals to ensure we’re offering the best accommodations for our travelers. And moving forward, we are looking for even more synergies between our approaches!

To read more, please see the recent April/May 2015 of Developments magazine.


A Brand Marketing Case Study: “Orlando. You don’t know the half of it” Campaign, Lessons for All of Us

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A Brand Marketing Case Study: “Orlando. You don’t know the half of it” Campaign, Lessons for All of Us

by Peter Roth
VP, Marketing and Communications

 Changing the Lens 

 Shifting the perception of timeshare as a viable—and beneficial—way to travel is integral to our strategic conversations at ARDA. From a Marketing and Communications standpoint, how we communicate with our key audiences and stakeholders is equally as important as what we communicate. In other words, integrating data and facts into compelling materials is essential in communicating effectively in today’s digitally-dependent, research-driven and content-overloaded society. 

 The good news is we are working more closely with ARDA’s International Foundation (AIF) to identify travel habits, vacation preferences, travel experiences, and vacation benefits (among other topics) that can be used to help position the timeshare experience effectively to different demographics and potential consumers across multiple channels. We are integrating these findings into infographics, blog topics, social posts, press releases, and as core content for all our communications.

While ARDA may be in the early stage of this effort, Orlando’s Economic Development Commission (EDC) is in the middle of a multiyear campaign of its own to change the perception of Orlando as more than a vacation destination. At ARDA World, Jennifer Wakefield, vice president of Communications and Marketing at the EDC, presented on how their campaign “Orlando. You don’t know the half of it” is doing—she shared many good tips and lessons learned!

The EDC first conducted research to determine perceptions about Orlando and created a 40-person committee of business leaders to help identify its mission and guide the strategic plan. The integrated campaign targeted local influencers and utilized paid elements, media partnerships, business promotions, national PR, social and online efforts, and stakeholder engagement for the initial launch, followed by a sustained PR effort. Their performance indicators are being measured through awareness, engagement and submissions for business investment, and they are well on their way to success! To find out more about this campaign, read here.

ARDA World Download

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ARDA World Download

By Howard Nusbaum

ARDA World 15 CEO Panel

Every year at ARDA World—where I am surrounded by thousands of energetic people who work to make our industry so vibrant—I am reminded why I love this industry. Listening to the presenters, panelists and CEOs talk about key innovations that meet customer demand and exceed owner expectations at resorts around the globe is yet another example of our industry greatness.

Since the introduction of timeshare in Europe in the late 1960s, developers and resort operators have continually sought to make the product better. Our satisfied owner population domestically has grown over the years to more than 9.1 million U.S. households and is now expanding to the next generation of vacationers—the Millennial generation. This success in targeting and marketing to this new generation underscored much of the content and conversation at ARDA World.

The energy and buzz at Convention was also fueled by our phenomenal keynote speaker, Jay Baer, a renowned smart marketer, customer experience expert, New York Times best-selling author and timeshare owner. Jay talked about the concept of “youtility”—giving away information and resources for free—as an engine for driving smart marketing and how to be effective in a world cluttered with content. In today’s digital world, with 24/7 information at our fingertips, effective marketing is harder today than ever. At the same time, technology has enabled customer experience and marketing to intersect. Fact: Sixty-seven percent of a buyer’s journey is done digitally. People make on average 28 visits to travel sites before booking a trip. And, by 2020, customer experience will overtake price as a key brand differentiator. 

In our industry, using technology has enabled our resorts to communicate directly with and encourage engagement from our owners. Technology is also changing the way customers are introduced to vacation products. From ARDA’s AIF data, we know that new owners are more knowledgeable about the product before entering a sales discussion.  This is facilitated by the great information and learning about the product and resorts easily accessible online. With more and more purchases of timeshare products coming from younger populations, we are evolving our means to reach and communicate with them effectively.

As Jay told us, the key to having a successful marketing strategy is being useful and providing help. If you sell something, you make a customer today—but if you genuinely help someone, you create a customer for life. Words to live by!

More to come at, where you can download the “best-of” photos and PPTs from sessions and re-live all the awesome moments of ARDA World 2015…



The Place to Be: Orlando in April!

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The Place to Be: Orlando in April!  

By Howard Nusbaum

ARDA World 2015 is just about here and we are ready!  We are thrilled to have such great new content to share and are looking forward to returning to Orlando to see many familiar faces – and welcome new ones! 

For those new to the industry, this is your chance to meet new colleagues, hear from industry leaders and join us in recognizing the best of the best in our industry at the Awards Gala.

For those familiar with ARDA World, we hope you’ll enjoy attending several of the sessions during the four Educational Wave breakouts and hear our keynote speaker Jay Baer – a marketing consultant, speaker, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, Youtility.  His Convince & Convert blog is ranked among the world’s top marketing resources, and was named #3 social media blog in the world by Social Media Examiner.

Speaking of social – ARDA will be very active across all our social channels this year and will be engaging with attendees live from the Digital Zone.  Broadcasting from the center of the Exhibition Hall, the Digital Zone will have an ongoing social media feed for attendees using the hashtag #ARDAWorld, and provide a daily digest on ARDA Insight’s blog about top takeaways from educational wave sessions and forums at the end of each day.  

But don’t take it from me, hear ARDA’s out-going Chairman Franz Hanning share his thoughts on what to see at ARDA World 2015! Watch his video here.



See you in Orlando! 

ARDA World 2015 is Just About Here….Ready, Set, Go!

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ARDA World 2015 is Just About Here….Ready, Set, Go!

By Sharon Scott 

2015 ARDA World 

The annual timeshare industry convention is almost here—and for many, that means making sure your business get the maximum exposure even before the Exhibit Hall opens. Here are three quick tips from ARDA’s Resort Operations Council:

#1: Get the Word Out 

Hopefully by now, you have spread the word that your business and business representatives will be there through email blasts, newsletters, advertisements in timeshare publications and social media posts. Notify customers, properties and prospects ahead of time the location of your booth in the Exhibit Hall and schedule as many appointments as you can in advance.

#2: Plan Ahead 

It goes without saying that planning ahead is a crucial part of making ARDA World a successful business trip. From assembling the right sales team to staff your booth to creating the right marketing materials for display and trying out any new products, planning in advance is always well worth your time!

#3: Engage & Interact 

Once Convention begins, do your best to connect with the thousands of other timeshare industry professionals during the many meeting opportunities, networking events, sponsor parties, Exhibit Hall, educational sessions, and conversations in the hallways.

See you next month in Orlando!