ARDA International Foundation Launches e-Learning Platform

The American Resort Development Association's (ARDA) International Foundation (AIF) is launching the first comprehensive e-learning platform for the timeshare industry. AIF will provide ongoing industry-specific training for sales, marketing and operations staff on an easy-to-use e-learning platform. The first course launching in Fall 2011, is entitled "Partnership Strategies: Winning in the New Economy."

"We have been hearing from members for years about the need for more industry-wide, standardized training," said Darla Zanini, executive vice president, AIF. "We're thrilled to be able to deliver the first of many courses that will enhance the skills of the people working in the timeshare industry."

"Partnership Strategies" is a self-paced seven-module course that delves into specific strategies and best practices for handling customer interactions today. Integrating video, interactive exercises and module quizzes, the course offers real-life examples and situations applicable for any timeshare employee who may have contact with consumers.

RCI’s senior vice president, Kris Jamtaas is enthusiastic. "We had our entire sales team in San Diego participate in the course together, as well as some staff from operations, the phone room and gifting, and they all gave it high praise," Jamtaas. "AIF has hit the mark with this powerful and relevant topic – Partnership Strategies is a must-take industry course for all who are passionate about their profession."

The course is available to both corporations and individuals. For individuals, the price is $399 and will include the entire 2010 AIF Webinar series at no extra charge. There are three levels of corporate partnership that provide packages structured specifically for companies that have multiple users and want to take advantage of the special pricing offered.

Future courses will be announced later this year, including Timeshare 101. For further information, please visit

The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries. Established in 1969, ARDA today has over 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate. The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs).

RCI’s New Affiliations Brings Asian Portfolio to 158 Properties

RCI, the global leader in vacation exchange and part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands, has announced two new affiliation agreements with Hon Tam Resort & Spa in Vietnam (see photo) and Patong Bay Garden Resort in Thailand. The signing of these agreements expands RCI’s Asian portfolio to 158 properties.

Earlier in the year, another two new properties were welcomed into the program. Both in China, the Shining Star Vacation Club, Xing Yao Shui Xiang Resort and Huangshan Grandview Resorts Hotels offer high-quality vacation experiences to the 3.8 million members in RCI’s network.

“These four new affiliation agreements not only show a growing interest for timeshare travel throughout Asia but evidence that we’re offering an innovative and appealing timeshare exchange product,” said Adrian Lee, managing director, RCI Asia Pacific.

“Adding new resorts in China, Thailand and Vietnam reaffirms our commitment to offering great vacations in highly-desirable destinations in Asia and throughout the world. We’re happy to have them on-board,” Lee said.

Hon Tam Resort & Spa (see photo) is located on Hon Tam, an eco-green island in the middle of Vietnam’s Nha Trang Bay surrounded by crystal blue waters and a private and pristine beach.. Recreational facilities include a golf driving range, mini-golf, tennis courts, fitness center, Kids’ Club, spa, and water sports including scuba diving and fishing. Nha Trang is known for its endless beach and warm tropical weather,

Patong Bay Garden Resort is located on the popular Patong Bay in Phuket, Thailand offering a full range of facilities and activities, along with the classic touch of Thai charm and hospitality. Phuket, also known as the Jewel of the Andaman Sea, is a world-class destination offering a dynamic, vibrant and diverse holiday destination; world-class diving in the Andaman Sea; golfing at world-standard championship courses; eco-adventures in tropical forests; exhilarating speedboat trips to the surrounding islands; and serene cruises around mystical Phang Nga Bay.

Shining Star Vacation Club, Xing Yao Shui Xiang Resort is located in the Jia Lize wetland in Kunming, China. This mega upscale integrated tourism development consists of more than 10,000 diverse vacation accommodations spread across themed resorts, hotels, holiday villas and town houses; equestrian club with a landscaped 20-kilometer riding boulevard; ecological wetland park; country-style fishing club; golf academy and driving range exclusively designed by Phil Mickelson; extensive lavender and sunflower fields; organic fruit and vegetable garden; meeting and conference facilities; and a myriad of retail and dining facilities.

Huangshan Grandview Resorts Hotels, part of the Yuan Yi Group, is a global lifestyle and mixed-used development strategically located in the south of Xin An River and flanked by Pei Lang River to its east. It is surrounded by renowned tourism sites such as the charming Old Antique Street, the awe-inspiring Huangshan, China (also known as Yellow Mountain), diversified cultural wetlands and historical Anhui villages.

Extra Holidays by Wyndham 9/11 Donation to Tuesday’s Children

Extra Holidays by Wyndham, a subsidiary of Wyndham Vacation Ownership, the world’s largest vacation ownership company and a member of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies, has announced a monetary donation in support of children impacted by the terrorist events of September 11, 2001. Tuesday’s Children, a New York City-based nonprofit family service organization, will receive the charitable funds.

In honor of the 10th anniversary of September 11, Extra Holidays by Wyndham is donating $10,000 to Tuesday’s Children and is encouraging the social community to visit the Extra Holidays Facebook page to “like” it and learn more about Tuesday’s Children.

“The tragic events of September 11 are forever in our hearts and minds,” said Sarah King, executive vice president of human resources, Wyndham Vacation Ownership. “Supporting children is a major focus of our charitable giving program, Wishes by Wyndham, and we applaud the much needed services being provided by Tuesday’s Children. It is our goal to engage and challenge the social community to also support such a worthwhile cause and help children with us.”

Since 2001, Tuesday’s Children has promoted healing and recovery by strengthening family resilience, providing individual coping and life management skills and creating community through programs, mental health support and family engagement opportunities.

“Tuesday’s Children welcomes the support of Wyndham Vacation Ownership,” said Terry Sears, executive director, Tuesday’s Children. “Thanks to caring companies like Wyndham, we can continue to promote our mission of helping families and first responders and offer much needed programs and services.”

Tuesday’s Children is a nonprofit family service organization that has made a long term commitment to every individual impacted by the events of September 11, 2001 and more recently those who have been impacted by terrorist incidents worldwide.

Since 2001, Tuesday’s Children has promoted healing and recovery by strengthening family resilience, providing individual coping and life management skills and creating community through programs, mental health support and family engagement opportunities.

Extra Holidays by Wyndham specializes in offering quality vacation accommodations throughout the United States, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Extra Holidays by Wyndham is a specialized, resort condominium rental operator and a part of Wyndham Vacation Ownership, which is headquartered in Orlando, FL.

China Destination Added to Interval International Timeshare Exchange

Interval International, a leading global provider of vacation services and an operating business of Interval Leisure Group, has expanded its global resort network with the addition of Jinfeng Yinhua Holiday Hotel, part of the Shengteng Vacation Club.

In the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lijiang City, China, the vacation ownership apartments offer the ideal vantage point from which to explore the history and customs of the Naxi people, who have lived in Yunnan Province for 800 years.

“Lijiang City is one of China’s most popular destinations, renowned not only for its cultural heritage, but also for its stunning surroundings and unique festivals,” said Joe Hickman, Interval’s executive director for Asia Pacific. “The hotel’s authentic Naxi architecture, distinguished by sloping tile roofs, gates, and classical courtyards, blends seamlessly with the historic hotels and farms of the Old Town, while offering up-to-the-minute style and amenities.”

Tucked into cobbled Guailiu Lane in the willow-shaded Shuhe Old Town, Jinfeng Yinhua Holiday Hotel has a restaurant and separate tea and wine bars on site. All units have sleek, modern decor. Nearby, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain provides a majestic backdrop for the Moon Embracing Pavilion (see photo), a frequently visited tourist site at Black Dragon Pond. Other popular attractions include Dongba hieroglyphs and the Mosuo people at Lugu Lake, known as the “last kingdom of women on earth.”

Legendary Lijiang City is situated in the mountains of Yunnan Province, in the far southwest of China. Due to its low latitude and high elevation, the climate is generally mild year-round.

“Lijiang City is a harmonious combination of old traditions and a fashionable new city,” said Wang Xinming, President of Shengteng Resort Development Co. Ltd. “We are pleased to welcome Interval members to this part of China and to offer our Vacation Club members the quality and worldwide scope of Interval International operates membership programs for vacation owners and provides value-added services to its developer clients worldwide. Based in Miami, Florida, the company has been a pioneer and innovator in serving the vacation ownership market for 35 years.

Today, Interval International has a timeshare exchange network of approximately 2,600 resorts in over 75 nations. Through offices in 15 countries, Interval International offers high-quality products and benefits to resort clients and approximately 2 million families who are enrolled in various membership programs. Interval is an operating business of Interval Leisure Group, Inc., a leading global provider of membership and leisure services to the vacation industry.

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