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Fractional Ownership News
OTE ANNOUNCES 2009 FORUM CANCELATIONDate: 28/09/2009
Article source: fractionalownership.co.za
The Board of the Organisation for Timeshare in Europe (OTE) regrets to announce the cancellation of this year’s European Timeshare Business Forum, after long consideration of its viability in the current economic circumstances.
The decision wasn’t taken lightly, according to the OTE Chairman Richard McIntosh (Hilton Grand Vacations): “This is a vital annual event for the organisation, and the industry as a whole, which is why we carefully considered every possible option before reaching this very difficult decision.”
This year’s event was originally planned to take place in Athens in the autumn. A possible relocation to London was one of the options considered by OTE to reduce costs and facilitate access for members.
OTE understands that many companies in the industry are also being forced to cut down costs because of the global financial crisis. This was reflected in a drop in sponsorship of the Forum, and an expected reduced attendance to the Forum.
“We do not wish to burden those members who may be struggling a little with additional expense pressures at this time.
OTE would like to thank the efforts of all the parties involved in the organisation of the event, and in particular the willingness of the long term conference organisers to reach a compromise.
The situation will be reviewed later in the year to establish the viability of possibly staging an event earlier than normal in 2010. “We hope we can bring the membership together once again very soon,” Mr McIntosh concluded.
WORK GOES ON AFTER EU DIRECTIVE
The approval of the EU Timeshare Directive earlier this year was without doubt a major landmark but the job to protect consumers doesn’t end there according to the Organisation for Timeshare in Europe (OTE).
“Although consumers will be better protected once the new Directive is implemented, there is always room for improvement”, said OTE’s Secretary General Peter van der Mark. “There is always scope for new, better regulations.”
While the process of lobbying national governments for the implementation of the Timeshare Directive is underway, OTE is continuing to work in support of other new legislation which will also have a significant impact on the timeshare industry.
Next on the agenda is the proposed EU Consumer Rights Directive, which is currently being discussed in the European Parliament.
The proposal aims to replace four existing directives on consumer contracts, merging them into a single, harmonised piece of legislation across the EU. It will also update existing consumer rights to reflect issues resulting from the use of new technologies and include protection against pressure selling, or sales negotiated away from business premises.
Also under consultation is a proposal for Consumer Redress which would allow victims of the same alleged fraud to group their claims and take class action against the company involved.
OTE will keep members updated on any further developments on EU legislation. Similarly, a special Guidance Note on the implications of the EU Timeshare Directive will soon be distributed to members.
GOODBYE OTE... HELLO RDO!
Final preparations are underway for the official launch on 25 March of the Resort Development Organisation (RDO), the new name for the Organisation for Timeshare in Europe.
The launch will coincide with the publication of the EU Economic Impact Study, a key report on the timeshare industry currently being prepared by the University of Nottingham in the UK.
The change of name reflects the evolution of the timeshare industry, which now includes diverse forms of vacation ownership such as fractional ownership and private residents clubs.
Media briefings and one-to-one contact with key journalists are planned in Spain and in the UK to ensure that the rationale behind the name change is well understood and discuss the findings of the report.