Views & Interviews
Talking to end-customers of timeshare
June 10, 2009
For this customer Q&A session, we talk to Bangalore’s own cartoonist and designer, Paul Fernandes. Paul and his wife Renu (also a designer & boutique owner) have chockablock work schedules, but manage to take off at least twice in the year, on holidays that are well deserved. We talked to Paul for some feedback on timeshare holidays.
Q: Paul, when was your first timeshare holiday? A: If I remember correctly, my first timeshare holiday was in Goa with my wife. We had just got married and the holiday was a gift from the family. But that was a long, long time ago when timeshare as a concept was new.
Q: What timeshare holiday locations have you been to?
A: We are both the travelling kind and need to get out of town every few months.
Our timeshare getaways have largely been in Goa. We are regulars at Mahindra Resorts, Goa, Royal Goan Beach, Goa, and Sterling Resorts in Goa and Kodai.
Q: Which according to you, is your most preferred timeshare location?
A: Goa seems to be the most preferred destination on timeshare and there’s more than one reason for that, I guess. (Beginning with freshly tapped fenny.) We’re currently planning a timeshare week in Thailand and can give you an update when I get back.
Q: What are the plus points of a timeshare membership?
A: Timeshare ownership gives you a good feeling of longevity – and that is a big plus. Imagine not having to budget for a good holiday for as long as 25 years or more!
Currently with the recession, any kind of holiday seems like a luxury – even a weekend thirty kilometers from Bangalore can be a NO! NO!.
Q: Is there any other benefit that comes to mind?
A: I have experienced a great deal of convenience and comfort. Timeshare allows you to treat your holiday just the way you want to go – simple or fancy. There’s no real pressure on conforming to a pre-set holiday plan and no pressure to keep the daily spend low.
Q: What about the customer service, what’s your view?
A: Looking back, we have had no serious issues or complaints in terms of service; there will be the odd, small slipup - but nothing earth shattering. Waiters and other service staff are generally helpful and friendly. The attached kitchens are useful, allowing you to cook a simple homemade meal if you so wish. Elaborate menus at our age can tell on you, in more ways than one.
Q: Do you have any suggestions for timeshare customers?
A: From a reservations point of view, I have found getting our week of choice a big challenge – even if we plan well in advance. So, off-season slots are a good and easy option. For me, this is always a nice time to escape from work pressures and soak yourself in peace and solitude. Another good piece of advice: go when the kids are safely in school, if you wish to be romantic.
Q: Do you have suggestions for timeshare resort owners?
A: Resort owners are increasingly becoming aware of the need to approach “timeshare customers” in a very different way. As long as newer resort owners can perceive this difference even before customers sign up, they’re on the right track.
Q: Finally, have you heard of AIRDA?
A: Not too sure – are they in some way connected with ARDA, the American Resort Developers Association?
Our answer to Paul’s question may be useful to other timeshare customers / prospects who have not heard of AIRDA.
The All India Resort Development Association is an independent, non-profit 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. We work closely with our members to cut a clean image in the industry and offer a fair value to their customers.
AIRDA is an affiliated member of the American Resort Developers Association.
We have a balanced end-customer focus as well and provide updated information on our website. This covers the timeshare marketplace, advice on making informed choices on vacation ownership and assistance on complaint redressal, if any.
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Benefits for Resort Owners
What does an AIRDA membership mean to resort owners and developers? AIRDA comes in as your industry partner, conscience keeper and business catalyst - with a wide portfolio of support services.
Benefits for Consumers
What does AIRDA mean to holiday seekers and prospective customers? AIRDA comes in to provide information and offer guidelines on making the right timeshare decisions.
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