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The Power of Politics

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 The Power of Politics 

By Steve Weisz, President/CEO of Marriott Vacations Worldwide & Chairman of the Board of Directors, ARDA  

In what is surely considered one of the most unique (or bizarre) political seasons in some time, it serves to remind us just how much politics and the mechanisms of government can impact our timeshare industry.

The contributions that ARDA provides in the forming and managing of regulatory and legislation issues is a never-ending task. From taxation and consumer protection to state-by-state guidelines, the laws that are voted in place can have an enormous impact in our efforts to grow and thrive in development, management, and the sale and marketing of our products. Politics, politicians, and policy are a complicated and ever-changing landscape, to say the least.

Working on behalf of the millions of vacation owners is ARDA-ROC, which serves as the constant voice and first line of defense to the federal, state, and local legislative entities that could pass laws that may negatively impact ownership and the ability to enjoy the vacation time that they have purchased. ARDA-ROC also serves as a constant educational platform for policymakers, so they may better understand the uniqueness and complexities of timeshare.

Shaping the industry for a bright and prosperous future could simply not be done without the collaborative relationship we have with lawmakers and influencers that stand on both sides of the political aisle. From attorneys general, legislators, and even governors, it is extremely important to make sure we stay ahead of the issues and have the important cooperative relationships that benefit us as a whole.

As an industry, we must collectively continue to be consumer advocates against unfair taxation, resale scams, and other undermining factors that can affect our fiscal health—while, at the same time, embracing regulations that provide confidence to consumers that they can put their trust in the products we offer.

(Click here for this column and more content from the October 2016 Developments. ).

“Like a Rock”: Uniting Owners in One Strong Voice

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 “Like a Rock”: Uniting Owners in One Strong Voice 

By Charlene Small 

  ardaROC photo 

Timeshare owners get it. They know that owning a timeshare meansa guaranteed once-in-a-lifetime vacation at least once a year, every year for as long as they want to take it. Owners know that the experiences and memories they gain on these vacations with their families and loved ones far outweigh any negative perceptions or influences.

Ensuring that timeshare ownership continues to be preserved, protected and enhanced is a complex task that the American Resort Development Association Resort Owners’ Coalition (ARDA-ROC) is proud to take on.

Empowered by timeshare owners, ARDA- ROC effectively influences legislation that strengthens the timeshare industry, giving owners countless memorable experiences. In order to preserve and protect vacation ownership, ARDA-ROC focuses its advocacy on four main pillars of legislation. 

Resale and transfer legislation: ARDA-ROC helps protect owners from falling victim to scams by introducing or assisting in passing pro-consumer legislation, allowing owners to safely and gracefully exit their timeshare ownership. These legislative efforts continue to protect owners by holding accountable those companies that use deceptive business practices in an attempt to defraud owners.

Timeshare owner privacy laws: ARDA-ROC ensures that the owner’s privacy is always protected by enacting responsible privacy laws that withhold personal information from being shared with third parties for commercial purposes, unwanted solicitation, or fraudulent activity.

Transient accommodations tax (TAT): ARDA-ROC strongly opposes any effort to impose an accommodation tax on the use of a timeshare unit by an owner or exchange guest. Timeshare owners already pay a number of taxes and fees related to their purchase and ownership obligations. Adding an additional tax like TAT, when owners want to extend their vacation experience beyond their home resort, would ultimately put limits on the owner’s vacation ownership.

Non-judicial foreclosure: ARDA-ROC saves HOAs time and money by supporting non-judicial foreclosure laws that enable the trustee of a timeshare to conduct a foreclosure sale outsidethe court system.

Using these four main pillars, ARDA-ROChas championed owners’ interests fortheir timeshare on every regulatory and legislative level for more than 25 years!  As future generations begin to enjoy the sharing economy, timeshare ownership will continue to be a valued community that must remain preserved, protected and enhanced.