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VOASA conference 2009 highlights consumer protection for the vacation ownership market in SADate: 01/10/2009
Article source: www.fractionalownership.co.za
The Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa (VOASA) held its first conference in South Africa this week.
The conference, which also saw the official launch of the VOASA’s new name, logo and identity, signals a re-invention and dramatic change for the industry body. VOASA was once known as the Time Share Institute of South Africa (TISA) but in its new state now represents ‘fractional ownership’ as well. The conference opened with a presentation by keynote speaker Mr. Howard Nusbaum, President of the American Resort Development Association, reviewing the shared vacation ownership industry in the USA and highlighting the effects of the global credit crisis.
The conference brought to light some key industry issues including the important new Consumer Protection Bill which will change the way the industry communicates with customers, the new Companies Bill and the effect it has on share blocks and the shift in tourism to a greener approach along with how this will benefit both resorts and developers.
“The new Consumer Protection Act will have significant practical impact on the nature of contractual warranties provided to consumers, refund policies and the general formulation of contractual terms and conditions, particularly standard form contracts and the way in which those contracts must be interpreted by courts,” says Mr Brendan Hughes, Senior Consultant at Michalsons Attorneys, who spoke at the VOASA conference.
“Although the Act puts up several new legal hurdles for business to clear, it also offers businesses the opportunity to promote confidence and certainty in their offerings to consumers and this will ultimately help drive consumer purchasing decisions,” continues Mr.Hughes.
For consumers, the name change means that VOASA will be the mediator for any queries or complaints relating to timeshare and any other shared vacation ownership products. The industry has to comply with legislation and the conference informed all industry players of the new consumer protection bill and how it protects consumers. The conference also advised the industry about marketing messages and particularly those which are no longer permitted in order for the industry to comply with the new legislation.
Various guest speakers also discussed internet marketing and promoting a conscious brand throughout the industry in detail. VOASA recognised pioneers in the industry with an awards ceremony on Monday night. The award categories included Industry Team of the year (Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge), Industry Performer of the year (Ms. Judy Pousson – The Holiday Club), Service Excellence (Mr. Dirk Wilson – FractionalOwnership.co.za.) and a Life Time Achievement award (Mr. Brian Stocks – Sun International Vacation Club).
A FIFA soccer ball was also signed by all the delegates at the conference to show their dedication and support for the 2010 festivities. VOASA’s purpose is to provide innovative solutions to industry challenges and introduce the new consumer protection legislation.
For more information about this release, or for an interview, please contact either: Melanie Hatjigiannakis VOASA 011 258 0045 email@example.com