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Planning: The One Simple Step in Ensuring Your Yearly Vacation

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Planning: The One Simple Step in Ensuring Your Yearly Vacation
pto plan for vacation

On January 31st Project:Time Off is hosting its first national “Plan for Vacation Day” encouraging Americans to declare their vacation days for the rest of the year…at the start of the year. National Plan for Vacation Day encourages families to sit down together and map out their vacation plans for the coming year.  This is a great concept that we believe many timeshare owners embrace already.

Why is planning so important? 

In our culture of packed schedules, hyper-connectivity and work martyrdom, American workers are in serious need of a break.  But as a whole, Americans leave 658 million vacation days unused each year!

We understand the value of vacation time for our relationships, personal well-being, and professional success. Yet, 51% of Americans skip out on planning, which is the single-most important step workers can take to ensure they are using their vacation time each year. 

The power of planning is evident. Individuals who plan are more likely to use all of their time off, take more vacation days at once and report greater levels of happiness in every category measured. In-depth research proves that the Americans who take time to plan ahead are happier with their health and well-being, their financial situation, their marriage, and even their overall mood. Research also shows that simply having something to look forward to—like a vacation—improves happiness.  

Why don’t workers take time off? 

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of employees report that they hear nothing, mixed messages, or discouraging messages about taking time off, which leads to them choose not taking any vacation. Yet, 80 percent of employees said if they felt fully supported and encouraged by their boss, they would be likely to take more time off. 

It is clear that workers who plan reap the rewards:

  • 51% of planners took all of their vacation time vs. 39% of non-planners.
  • 69% of planners were more likely to take a full week of vacation time or more at a time vs. 46% of non-planners.
  • 85% of planners report they are happier with their relationships with their significant other, compared to 72% of non-planners.
  • 69% of planners, compared to 60% of non-planners, report being happy with their relationships with their children.
  • 81% of planners say they are happy with their financial situation, compared to 71% of non-planners.
  • 90% of planners are happy with their professional success, compared to 82% of non-planners.
 

It's time to start being intentional about how we spend our days. Americans need a wake-up call to take back their calendars and #PlanForVacation. 

ARDA has supported, and will continue to support, this initiative – I encourage you to ask yourselves how you can engage with your owners to assist them with planning for their time off. Remember that happy owners are our industries best advocates.


 

Real ROI

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Real ROI 

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By Howard C. Nusbaum, RRP, President & CEO ARDA 

It’s already mid-January – how are your resolutions coming along? If you’re anything like me, it may be better to take on a resolution that won’t be painful and offers a big ROI: becoming more engaged in ARDA and your industry.

Hopefully, you have seen the ARDA “Proud” ad, featuring three strong actions: “Protect, Connect, and Affect.” These three simple words stand for various ways ARDA can enhance both the overall industry community and your personal career and business at the same time.

ARDA works to help enhance and protect our industry through government affairs at the local, state, and federal level. As a member, you participate in this important work through one of the many ARDA advocacy-related committees.

Another key mission of ARDA is connecting each of you through meetings and events. Helping us plan an educational forum or participating in a networking event at Convention, Fall Conference, or a regional meeting are easy ways to dive into a community of resources. It may be a journey that leads to a new business partner or just the chance to share a best practice or even solve a problem.

And finally, get your hands in the clay with us and actually affect the industry you work within. Again, committees are a great starting place, as are various volunteer opportunities with the AIF or a similar outreach program. I encourage you to be selfish and have a vested interest—be involved in a way that helps your business, fills a need, plugs a hole, or just rounds out your career.

So, in 2017 become more involved in ARDA and see a great return on your investment of time. Start today by registering for ARDA World in New Orleans registration opened December 1. Happy New Year!  

What Is “Expensive?”

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 What Is “Expensive?” 

By Odilia Guiant, Senior Vice President, ResortCom International  

If you are like most developers today, your goal is to deliver on the promise of your product, provide great vacation experiences, and create brand loyalty. Your success is based on and measuredby customer satisfaction. A major factor in delivering and staying competitive in the industry is the ability to handle your customers with ease throughout their entire membership lifecycle. Your infrastructure of systems and people is paramount in the daily execution of every touch-point.  

So, what system should you choose? With so many software options in the marketplace, the decision becomes a difficult one. What about servicing companies—do you use them or not?  

Many developers task their executives with finding a cost-effective solution that covers the majority of the business needs today. More than a solution, however, the focus should be geared toward finding
a “strategic partner” that can scale your business growth plans, who understands your priorities and the demands of the vacation industry.  

Mega-hospitality giants may rely on in-house IT departments to develop and maintain customer engagement systems, while small- and mid-size companies often reach out to third party providers to shore up portions of their platform. A viable vendor should be able to provide a suite of components and/or the entire system as a solution.  

Ultimately, great emphasis should be placed on finding a partnership and collaboration rather than engaging a third party vendor who simply provides the services requested. And sometimes, cheaper is not always better.  

To gain more knowledge on making the right expense choices and to learn about choosing the right partner and building and maintaining relationships with them be sure to read the full article in the November/December 2016 edition of Developments.