-by Scoop (October 6, 2017)
itting the high seas in 2002 — and earlier while the cruise liner was being converted leading up to its maiden voyage — if memory serves me correctly there were a few ‘insiders’ within the travel, tourism and real estate community back then who claimed the project was doomed to failure specifically because there would be no market for “The World”, which is “…the largest private residential ship on the planet at 644 feet…” (See: www.abouttheworld.com for complete details).
So Here’s The Scoop: Outfitted with restaurants, a fully equipped gym, spas & tennis courts, etc. “The World”, from stem to stern, is about two NFL gridirons in length (200 yards) and – “…home to only 165 Residences. Residents & Guests spend extensive time exploring the most exotic and well-traveled destinations, and return onboard to a lifestyle that exists nowhere else on earth.”
Having reviewed the company website I found myself impressed by that lifestyle and according to another article I read from an independent source those residences, be they a studio, a one-, two-, or three-bedroom ‘villa’, aren’t too shabby and excluding whatever the ongoing annual maintenance costs, etc. are the base price to purchase each residence range from many hundreds of thousands to several millions of dollars.
As I furthered explored “The World’s” website ‘they’ encouraged me to initiate contact so that I could have a friendly chat with “…one of our Residential Advisors today, and learn more about what it’s like to live onboard, details on upcoming Journeys and Expeditions, and if there are any Residences available.”
Declining the offer I then found myself wondering how the company marketed and sold the oceanfaring ‘homes’ and though I’m guessing here I suspect they did not move those high-sea ‘houses’ in a manner similar to the way the typical timeshare developer peddles slices of paradise ‘On The Good Ship Land of Time’, so to speak.
And yet like “The World” there are those timeshare developers who have built some beautiful resorts and having vacationed in, worked at and/or visited many of those fabulous resorts over the years – when I say some are stunningly drop dead gorgeous that is an understatement.
Sadly, and unlike “The World”, a couple of those timeshare developers choose to employ marketing and selling tactics to represent their company, the resort(s) they built and the vacation plans they sell as if they were unloading a used car lot full of high-mileage ‘clunkers’ with faded paint, dented fenders, bald tires, ripped interiors and smoke pouring out from their tail pipes when the ignition is activated.
And while I’m at it there are more than a few of those sold-out ‘legacy’ resorts around that I’ve visited during recent years that are also awesome properties and offer all the bells and whistles most would appreciate having as owners/members and/or while exchanging into those resorts on their vacations.
However some of the people I’ve met handling the resales (aka: marketing/selling) at and/or for those resorts might just as well be standing on a street corner under a lamppost around midnight with a hand rolled lit cigarette hanging from their mouths who might just as well ask passers-by – “psst, ya lookin’ for a good time?”
Additionally, whether a timeshare property is brand spanking new, shiny and spectacular or, like yours truly, the resort has been around awhile – their host locations (regions) are not usually in a place like (e.g.) Baker, California.
And I mean no disrespect to the San Bernardino County community nor to the 700 + proud local folks who call Baker home. (Baker hosts an attraction claimed as the world’s largest thermometer, by the way, standing tall at about 134 feet on the main road through town.)
The fact of the matter is that many TS resorts all around the world are usually in locations (regions) where vacationers often pay more than a few bucks each night just to have a place “to lay their heads down at night…”, as the saying goes, while they explore the area and enjoy (e.g.) strolling along the beaches hand in hand with their loved ones, etc.
All that said and a whole bunch more I fully acknowledge that the way our industry has marketed and sold ‘the vacation dream’ over the past 50 years has served most developers and many of the working stiffs very well.
On the other hand, IMPO, I also believe that our general marketing and selling tactics have been and continue to be our Achilles heel because as a global industry we lost, on a percentage basis, far more sales than we ever made – a trend that is likely to continue.
Oh well. NEXT!
Good Luck Out There
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