Last Friday, Inside Timeshare was given the following news, Diamond Resorts Europe have given notice that all their sales decks are to be closed forthwith. Sales staff in Malaga and Tenerife have been instructed to see a solicitor within the next 15 days, as there will be major redundancies.
So what is happening?
According to a letter passed to Inside Timeshare from a member, they are being informed that the European Sales and Marketing business has for sometime been facing a rather difficult time, in other words sales targets are not being met.
Diamond state they have implemented a number of initiatives attempting to improve the performance of the European sales teams, but have admitted that it has not worked.
Therefore, Diamond have been forced to drastically reduce their sales and marketing operations in Europe, this is also subject to consultation with their team members. This is obviously a great blow to many of the sales staff around Europe, as Diamond are one of the major players, with sales decks all over Europe.
Diamond have gone on to add and reassure members this will not have any affect on their holidays, stating that “Diamond Resorts International continues to be a strong leader in the global hospitality and vacation ownership industries”. They also go on to say that any members wishing to purchase and increase their points ownership, will be able to as there will continue to be a dedicated team at their disposal.
It appears that there will be a few sales decks still operating , one has been named as Pine Lakes, in the UK, another is reportedly one of Diamond’s flagship resorts in Malaga, Sahara Sunset, with a apparently two remaining in Tenerife. These will obviously be run on skeleton staff.
At present it does look like it is mainly Diamond run sales decks, as yet we have not heard if it will affect any of the franchise decks, which did undergo a similar cut back earlier in the year.
This news is not that surprising, sales in timeshare resorts has been declining over recent years, the product has changed from the very first timeshares, where you bought a fixed week in a fixed apartment. Since then we have seen a move to vacation club membership rather than resort ownership, these clubs use the floating weeks and points systems, which offer only a right to use, subject to availability.
It must also be remembered that the way people book holidays is very different today, with many timeshare resorts available on various websites. Which is one of the main complaints from members, why did we purchase for so many thousands and yet non members can book at a fraction of our maintenance fees?
In the early days of timeshare it was also the quality of the resorts available that helped to sell “the dream”, after all, most package holidays were in not very desirable hotels. But again the hotel industry has improved, quality is very much on the agenda, with many hotels in recent years undergoing drastic renovations.
Another aspect for the decline in timeshare sales is obviously the all inclusive packages, again a week’s holiday for a family of 4 can be purchased for less than the average yearly maintenance fees.
So what of the future for Diamond sales in Europe?
To be perfectly honest, not good, many operators are scaling back their sales teams, timeshare is in decline, many owners / members are elderly, with children that do not want to take it over. What we call the internet generation, who have grown up with the unlimited availability on the web, without the initial huge outlay for membership.
Another question that has been posed, is what about Apollo in all this, could it be a move to also separate the US arm of Diamond from the European arm, a possible sell off?
As usual only time will tell, but for now, it would look like there are going to be a lot of ex sales staff looking for work in an ever diminishing industry.
Inside Timeshare will keep you posted on any latest news. If you have any comments on this subject or any other published, we welcome it as it helps to keep others informed.