Big Changes at Occidental Vacation Club

The Occidental Grand Aruba is perhaps one of OVC's most
well-known properties!
Is the future uncertain for Occidental Vacation Club's successful all-inclusive timeshare model? The Spanish company Barceló Hotels and Resorts marked its first entry into the timeshare/vacation club industry with its acquisition of OVC in August 2015.  Luis Namnum, OVC President, is out after nearly two decades of leading the company's growth (with 22 year OVC veteran Milton Gonzalez taking over the management role), and Barceló, one of the world's largest hospitality companies, has not shown much confidence in the timeshare model. Once again consolidation in the industry is not without consequences and there could be more to come. 

Different Approach to Reaching Clients

OVC began operations in 1993 with a vision of offering an attractive and different approach to the vacation club market. It has continued to innovate with a different approach to reaching out to potential clients with a focus on an "enhanced vacation experience". Its members are offered a personalized stay, special club check-in and check-out, high quality service and amenities, spacious rooms, and exclusive club areas like the first lounge. Two levels of membership, First Club and Grand Level, are offered now and there are plans for an even higher level like a Boutique-style hotel within the resorts.

Growth Continues

In January, OVC opened a new sales room at the Barceló Tucancún Beach. The new sales room has a Project Director and five sales representatives in charge of welcoming guests and introducing them to the features that make the club so special. They will also give guests an on-site tour at one of the nearby resorts to give them a first-hand look at the club.

In November of 2015 OVC completed a $280,000 upgrade to the Arena Beach Lounge area of Occidental Grand Xcaret, the all-inclusive Riviera Maya Resort. The cliff side lounges for First Club and Grand Level members were reimagined with new amenities including Jacuzzis, beach beds and lounge chairs. Adjacent to the lounges is an exclusive bar offering tropical cocktails, beer, wine and soft drinks.

What Does the Future Hold?

Barceló Hotels and Resorts is considering important renovation plans for the Occidental hotels with a possible investment of between $120 and $150 million. However at the same time, they are reviewing the brand structure of the Occidental properties and how they blend with the existing Barceló Hotels and Resorts portfolio.  No word on a name change or what else might happen. In the meantime, OVC members have access to many more properties through Barceló.

Will Barceló move forward with OVC’s successful timeshare/all-inclusive model? Recent sales figures for OVC are up. Timeshare sales in 2015 surpassed 2014 (51.1 million in 2015 up from 48.3 million in 2014). Ownership was also up (30,713 in 2015 up from 27,605 in 2014). Only time will tell. We’d like to hear what you think about the consolidation in the timeshare industry and what you think the future holds. Give us your opinions in the comments!

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2 Responses
  1. Stephen Says:

    We own at Occidental and, as is my wish for other timeshare properties, I think they would benefit from building in a buy-back. The greatest negative for us has been that we enjoyed and heavily used our time share weeks for quite a few years. Now our priorities and family has changed and we find it difficult to "unload them" Wouldn't it benefit most of the companies that sell time shares to be able to get them back in the system again? Building that into the original contract would make them seem so much more attractive. Even if they guaranteed an easy buy-back at a small percentage of the original price like 25%, it would seem to be a win-win! Doesn't seem likely for some reason, I can never understand!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    A buy-back would be great for those of us no longer wanting to use our vacation pkg memberships,due to health or other reasons.

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