Wyndham Vacation Clubs President and Managing Director, International Operations, Barry Robinson, has outlined some of the unique challenges and advantages the timeshare company has dealt with during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Implementing initiatives such as protecting ownership of members struggling financially, waiving cancellation and rebooking fees and extending booking windows have all assisted timeshare owners throughout the downturn, Robinson said.
In addition, the company has been highly active on social media, Zoom and other direct channels, engaging with members with ways to keep them entertained at home with activities including travel quizzes, best holiday movies, Lego and cutest pet contests, among others. Activities for the children of employees, such as colouring-in books, were also provided to help maintain worker sanity and boost productivity.
Robinson said there were opportunities to be realised in the downturn, saying the company’s business leaders had taken chances to review systems and tackle projects which were difficult to begin while the company was “at full speed”.
“This business interruption, while challenging in many ways, is allowing us a rare chance to take some quantum leaps in our business evolution,” Robinson said.
Wyndham Destinations opted to close its offices and resorts well ahead of the pandemic taking hold, Robinson added, saying this pre-emptive decision ensured the health and safety of club owners, guests and employees. This has also allowed for a fast-tracking of refurbishment projects, deep cleans and maintenance so that when guests return, properties will look “better than ever”.
IT systems were reworked to allow head office employees to work from home, with regular Zoom meetings taking place along with updates being posted on a closed Facebook group solely accessible by staff.
“Within a day of its launch we had over 752 staff members join, and we have over 838 members today,” Robinson said.