Meet the new sheriff for holiday cowboys...
Timeshare's tarnished image could be helped by a program that lets you see your apartment before you buy it.
Monday 20 May 1996
But a new program, entered for the Independent Award for the Most Innovative Business Use of Multimedia at this year's Multimedia '96 show, could help to raise the credibility of the timeshare industry, and also make it easier for people to find the right holiday home for them.
Bringing the Dream Alive! has been developed by the Brighton-based multimedia company EMG for RCI, the world's largest timeshare company, with more than 2 million member families and nearly 3,000 resorts affiliated to it. RCI not only arranges holiday exchanges for timeshare owners, but also books flights and arranges car hire, holiday insurance and more.
Until recently, there were two ways of viewing a timeshare property. On-site marketing takes place while you are on holiday and involves looking around the resort complex. But many people also view properties "off-site", typically in an office in their home country where they can read directories describing the apartment and facilities and watch videos of the resort. Multimedia offers a third option.
"Around 18 months ago, RCI began looking at new technology, and the company spent about six months evaluating the benefits of multimedia," says David Coplestone, EMG's account manager.
The result is a multimedia program, Bringing the Dream Alive!, which uses a PC and touchscreen technology. Instead of operating the computer by a mouse or keyboard, users touch pictures on the computer screen to activate parts of the program. Bringing the Dream Alive! uses around 450 megabytes of hard disk space and includes high-quality video, photographs, text and sound (some of it is atmospheric, so that if you're watching a section on, say, an Australian resort, you'll hear Aboriginal music). A database holds information on almost 3,000 resorts around the world.
The program is designed to be used by a timeshare salesperson as they talk to a potential client. It includes a description of the timeshare concept, introduces RCI and describes various resorts. There are also video testimonials from timeshare customers, and a cost-benefit analysis of timeshare.
"The program gives the timeshare selling process some structure," says Paul Ruffle, head of RCI's multimedia development. "It doesn't get tired, so there's a consistency and quality to the sales pitch. Most importantly, it also ensures that no exaggerated claims are made by the salesperson."
After demonstrations of the system at timeshare exhibitions around the world last year, EMG was given the go-ahead to develop the program. Two prototype systems have been tested at British resorts and the final version of Bringing the Dream Alive! is about to be shipped to a number of key resorts in the UK. The program is being localised for the French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese markets.
The shortlisted nominations for the 'Independent' Award will be on view on the Bima Awards Showcase and Unipalm Pipex stands at Multimedia '96, which takes place from 18-20 June at the Business Design Centre, London N1. Details: 0171-288 6408. Fax back: 0171-288 6407. E-mail: http://www.bdcevents.co.uk/multimedia96/. EMG: (01273) 728686.
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company leads the market i...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Manager for Cyber Secur...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Service Desk Analyst (App...
£35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: 3rd Line Support Engine...