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ARDA PROMOTES TIMESHARE EXCHANGES

The association representing the vacation ownership industry said in a press release issued on March 15 that no matter how much an owner may love their timeshare, every once in a while they get an urge to explore destinations beyond their “home” resort. “After all, this is one of the main reasons people continue to buy and love their timeshare vacations,” ARDA noted.

Many resorts have timeshare exchange programs, which allows owners to trade in their timeshare for a stay at a different location. So the association has some thoughts on the best way to take advantage of an exchange program, which enables owners to trade their timeshare for accommodations in the United States and internationally. “From ski slopes to beaches, modern cities to quaint villages, championship golf courses to dude ranches, exchange programs offer a variety of destinations and accommodations from around the
globe,” ARDA noted.

What this option provides timeshare owners, ARDA noted, is the ability to experience new places and resorts while knowing their experience at the new vacation spot is likely to also be high quality, since the exchange program involves multiple resorts that cooperate together.

“Vacation exchange allows timeshare owners to discover new locations and enjoy the freedom and flexibility of resort vacations all over the world,” said Gordon Gurnik, president of RCI, which is participating with ARDA on this program.

“By becoming a member of an exchange company like RCI, owners can expand their vacation options from one resort during the same period each year to thousands of properties throughout all four seasons,” Gurnik said. “This is a wonderful way for owners to experience new and memorable destinations around the world.”

Among the tips that ARDA and RCI are recommending:

Be sure to deposit your points of weeks early for the resort you want, since the earlier an owner deposits, the stronger their trading power becomes. It should also offer them a wider variety of vacation choices. Members of the RCI Weeks and Interval International’s program can deposit their timeshares up to two years before their vacation start dates.

Allow some flexibility in the dates you plan to travel on, or the destinations or resorts you want to visit. The more specific people make their vacation searches, ARDA notes, the smaller their options become.

Members who own multiple weeks or points intervals can deposit them at once, which provides strength in numbers, and they should be able to redeem them to secure additional units to travel with family and friends.

Consider an online exchange, by visiting sites like IntervalWorld.com or RCI.com, which allow subscribing members to search through thousands of vacation options and complete a vacation exchange with a few simple clicks. Interval International has a “Pending Request” option and RCI has a special tool called “Ongoing Search.” These options automatically scan the network for units to see if one matches the resort or vacation destination that a member is looking for -- which means they don’t have to continually perform a manual search every time they want to check on the availability of the vacations they want to take.

Consider purchasing vacation protection, which gives timeshare owners some peace of mind, because if they have to cancel their exchange vacation, they’re able to get some form of reimbursement.

“Membership really does have its privileges for members who exchange within Interval’s Quality Vacation Exchange Network,” said David Gilbert, Interval International’s executive vice president of resort sales and marketing. “Members can enjoy exciting locations and new adventures around the globe, at properties that offer spacious accommodations and an array of on-site amenities. They also have access to a number of year-round leisure and lifestyle benefits and services that enhance the value of their vacation ownership.”

ARDA is a Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries. It was established in 1969 and now has nearly 1,000 members.



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