TATOC 2016 conference round-up – part 1
The first in a special series of reports by RCI Ventures on the highlights of the 2016 TATOC conference. By LEIGH CONNELLY
Held 4-6 March at the Park Royal Hotel Warrington, this years TATOC (The Timeshare Association) conference was well attended by representatives of TATOC member resorts, industry professionals and resort committee members.
The annual conference is unique in being the only one where timeshare owners and timeshare professionals can come together to debate the issues and challenges facing our industry and explore solutions that we can all implement and support.
This year’s event was themed ’The Challenge of Change; the Essence of Business’, and delegates heard an inspiring and varied collection of speakers sharing great industry insight. Much credit must go to Mark Caldicott, TATOC Consumer Helpline Manager, who organised and managed the conference, and to Robin Mills, RDO Communications and chairman of Club Leisure Group, of whom TATOC CEO Harry Taylor said: “In Robin Mills, we have a conference moderator supreme.”
Taylor was highly commended for his own efforts both during the event, and in his ongoing dedication to timeshare.
Robert Webb, partner at American law firm BakerHostetler, was quick to highlight Taylor’s influence, not just within the EU, but also in the US. ”Harry listens carefully and most of all he speaks for our owners. The way TATOC integrates with businesses is a unique model, we have no such organisation is the US and we would be well served if we did.”
Delegates were also given updates on the activities of TATOC and the Resort Development Organisation (RDO) from Geoff Chapman, director of Accreditation & Affiliation at TATOC, and Paul Gardner-Bougaard, CEO of RDO, respectively. Other conference highlights included:
- The Other Michael Jackson a professional speaker, presented ’The Challenge of Change: The Road Ahead’
- Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of ARDA, presented ’Common Ground: Working Together To Share Best Practices and Lessons Learned’
- Ramy Filo, chairman of Beneficium, presented his views on a white paper on timeshare
- Roy Forsdick, commercial director of Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket, gave a presentation on how to ’Grow Your Own Website’ following the relaunch of TATOC’s own site
- Industry experts, including RCI’s Dimitris Manikis, came together to create an International Industry Panel to discuss a variety of issues, as well as take questions from the floor
- Rt. Hon Dr Liam Fox, Conservative MP, discussed Britain’s exit from the EU and the potential benefits, pre-empting a Brexit debate the following day
- Diana Aitchison of Silverpoint provided an update on TATOC’s chosen charity, the Christel House Foundation
- Robert Webb of BakerHostetler discussed the Opportunities & Challenges for Legacy Resorts in the US
- Patrick Duffy, global director of Vacations at Diamond Resorts International, highlighted holidays as being an essential part of life rather than a luxury
- RCI, Diamond Resorts International, Dial an Exchange and Leisure Management Plus also presented breakout sessions, with delegates able to attend two of the four sessions.
In closing, Taylor announced that next year’s TATOC conference would be held from 3-5 March at a venue to be confirmed. He also stated that: ”On behalf of the TATOC directors, I felt that the response from the delegates to the 2016 conference has been very positive.”
Visit www.rciventures.com over the coming days for more detailed reports on each session.