VIEWS AND INTERVIEWS
Talking to Marie Rodrigues - an 86-year-old with wings!
Marie Rodrigues lives in an old bungalow in Bangalore’s celebrated Cooke Town – once a quiet residential area that largely had the flavor of the city’s British Raj. The roads are getting busier and the bungalows are fast disappearing, but you’ll still find people like 86-year-old Marie who can go down memory lane, and still look positively at the future. Marie’s husband was a Brigadier in the Indian army and by virtue of being extended family of the army, she has travelled all over India. Marie is a walking travelogue and can regale you with stories for hours on end.
We talk to her about timeshare and what she thinks of it – especially in terms of the long-term equation.
Q: Have you heard of timeshare, as a vacation-ownership concept?
A: Yes, I have – and please don’t underestimate my awareness levels in these matters. I read two newspapers a day and all the magazines that come my way - I particularly like reading travel magazines. And to answer your question, I do know what timeshare means and think it’s a great idea. Unfortunately when we were young and working, nothing like this was even remotely available, but the Indian army made up for it and took us all over the country. In a sense, I can afford to buy a timeshare plan right now, but I’d have to live till 110, I guess to derive optimally from my membership. Not impossible but…there you are.
Q: What do you particularly like about timeshare as a concept?
A: Just look at the kind of conversation people of my age get into these days. In my time a train ticket to Mumbai, was what you tip the pizza delivery boy these days; the price of one litre of petrol was what you now pay for a matchbox. Just face the facts: the price of everything around you is bound to go up over the years, but if you can buy your plan in advance and be insulated from rising costs, you’ve done something very, very sensible. So, the one thing that I like about timeshare, is pay now to reap the benefits over the years.
Q: Have you gone for a holiday at a timeshare resort?
A: Though I’ve not personally gone on a timeshare holiday, I have seen pictures and holiday videos of my nephews and nieces, at timeshare resort locations. And when I watch these videos, I sometimes wish I was 50 years younger – I still have the swim suit sent to me by a devoted aunt in England when I was 30 years old.
I’m basically from Goa and I find some of our favourite holiday locations in Goa, turning into resorts. Which is a good idea because you need to open your doors to the whole wide world and share your natural resources.
Q: What else do you like about timeshare, from what you’ve heard?
A: Actually, I quite like the idea of being able to cook in your suite, or cottage - now that’s a very interesting thought. Meals with the “home-cooked” flavor are a very good option, though my nephew now tells me that people don’t cook on holidays any more – especially with better food available at the restaurants. I sort of understand that as well, because the women usually get landed with the cooking. You cook at home, and you continue to cook on a holiday - when for God’s sake do you get a break?
Q: Would you recommend timeshare to your children and other family members?
A: Why children, right now, my grandchildren are at that age when they’re ready and oriented for something like this. My grandsons are the outdoor type and would love wild-river-rafting or whatever you call it these days. Yes, I’d recommend timeshare to my family with all conviction. It makes sense and it adds up…especially if they take me along (with a wicked smile).
Q: Thought we would use this opportunity to talk to you about AIRDA : )
This overview is for people like Mrs Rodrigues and others who may not know about AIRDA’s role in helping promote organized timeshare in India.
The All India Resort Development Association (AIRDA) is a self-regulated, independent advisory dedicated to the timeshare and vacation ownership industry. AIRDA’s primary members are resort owners, who benefit from AIRDA’s constructive sharing of ideas and strategies on the running and promotion of timeshare. AIRDA works closely with members to cut a clean image in the industry and offer fair value to end customers. AIRDA also represents the industry and lobbies with the government on policy issues that could have a bearing on timeshare and vacation ownership in the country.
AIRDA has a balanced end-customer focus and provides updated information on the official website. This covers the timeshare marketplace, advice on making informed choices on vacation ownership and assistance on complaint redressal, if any.
AIRDA is an affiliated member of the American Resort Developers Association.
Thank you so much. With AIRDA, I’m sure timeshare can only go one direction – forward. I wish you all the best and may your tribe increase.
Marie Rodrigues, Bangalore