RCI bullish on vacation ownership industry
RCI, the world leader in Vacation Ownership Industry” (earlier known as Timeshare) is bullish on growth prospects continuing at 20 per cent.
Considered as one of the most resilient industries (in India), the growth rates in terms of sales volumes have been consistently at 18 per cent to 20 per cent, despite periodical scare created by global events.
Whether it was SAARS, September 11 or the fly by night operators who have now disappeared, they failed to make a dent in the Indian vacation ownership industry’s business which has been continuously growing at around 18 per cent, though global industry was growing at just about 6 per cent, says Radhika Shastry, General Manager of RCI (India Operations).
“The good days were here followed by bad days. The worst is over. Now it is good days again, and we don’t see any downturn. India and China are the hot markets for growth in the next few years” says Ms. Shastry even as she points pointed out that RCI has dropped 46 affiliates from its list of 101 in the past few years on grounds of credibility and quality norms. It now has 55 affiliates, and constantly keeps watch over the quality of services.
It cannot afford to slip up as it has an 85 per cent market share globally with 3,700 affiliates across 100 countries.
“The worst period was 2001 and by 2002 the cleaning up was over. The industry has been cleaned up and big and credible names like Club Mahindra and Royal Resorts to mention a few are into this business now. Also a self regulatory body named All India Resort Development Association (AIRDA) is now in place”, she points out.
The industry’s turnover was Rs.150 crores by December 2002, and is estimated at Rs. 200 crores by December 2003.
The worst is over, and we are now concentrating on several concepts like providing “holiday experience” or trying to cater to the novel trend of people wanting to do something during a holiday. Referred to as “achievement” resorts, such resorts (mostly abroad) offer “achievements” like scuba training or skiing.
To popularise the concept of vacation ownership, RCI `s major initiative will be to get people to use “timeshare”, to get more affiliates with unique holiday experiences. RCI is also trying for more affiliates in Nepal and Srilanka. While Orlando is the top global destination, in India it is Goa, where 9 of the 55 vacation industry resorts are located (even after some have been disaffiliated).
The 55 resorts are owned by about 30 to 35 companies, which are into this business.
While India has 2.5 million tourists in 2002, China had 12 million!
Moreover industry analysts predict that China will emerge as the largest tourist destination by 2010. RCI has 21 affiliated resorts in China, and is looking at another 12 in 2004. The China National Tourist Association (CNTA) is reviewing draft policies on timeshare as submitted by RCI, and some form of regulation is anticipated to be drawn up in the near future.
RCI’s representative office is being upgraded to the status of a branch office. And post SARS, RCI India is actively promoting Chinese destinations also.