2019: A Year of Change
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Of course, every year is a year of change, but for the timeshare resort industry, it may be especially true this year. A few examples:

  • Although Howard Nusbaum has promised to continue as president of ARDA at least through the 2019 ARDA World convention, he announced his intention to retired during the fall conference in November 2018.
  • Experts project that the industry will continue to consolidate as a handful of large companies – mostly publicly held – will absorb smaller entities.
  • The trend of declining viability of aging resorts has continued to grow over the last decade. Slip-sliding away, as Paul Simon might say, is a result of various apparently irreversible factors.*
  • And don’t even let me get started discussing the emergence of timeshare cancellation companies – a self-immolating business at best!

In view of the industry’s, …uh, evolution shall we say, Resort Trades has taken a fresh look at our mission of providing industry information and business advice to the professionals who have made the resort business their ‘career home.’ We’ve seen other publishers in this niche reduce their services and even disappear altogether. This causes The Trades to feel the call to serve more strongly than ever. Yes, it’s a calling to serve what is certainly NOT a shrinking audience, but a changing one. After all, our readers are those still marketing and selling vacation ownership, as well as managing and operating resort and travel companies.

2019 promises to be a year of change and growth for The Trades. After some pretty intensive, internal soul-searching, we are arriving at the point of completing a review and retrenching of our direction as a niche marketing company. Through our products, which are not only off- and online publications, but also the provision of consultation and SEO value-added services to those vendors and suppliers who undergird our industry, we enrich our reader’s experience. We broaden horizons; we educate and illuminate. Occasionally, we even inspire.

We hope that 2019 is a year of positive change and growth for you, the reader. We have met so many of you during our thirty years in the resort industry. We know you to be smart, energetic, entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial, and more importantly, devoted to making your customers happy. We sincerely wish you an enjoyable fun-filled day-to-day job, a profitable career, and a lifetime that is a fabulous adventure.

Sharon Scott Wilson is Publisher at The Trades Publishing Company, a Twenty First Century niche marketing company. Her firm, THE TRADES INK Content Marketing (formerly known as SharonINK PR & Marketing), is a subsidiary of The Trades.

*Rob Webb ticks off deficiencies typically experienced by maturing resorts in a January 2014 Vacation Ownership World magazine article, “Timeshare legacy resorts: what is the true situation and what is to be done?” “I would say that the core problems of legacy resorts include some or all of the following: (i) lack of professional management; (ii) lack of adequate reserves; (iii) a resistance by the HOA board of directors to impose an adequate assessment for operating expenses; (iv) an underperforming or non-existent external exchange relationship; (v) an aging owner base that no longer uses the resort or that wants to exit ownership but is generally unable to; and (vi) diminishing resort maintenance standards”