WHISTLER, B.C. — VO-Con 2019 moved west to the beautiful mountain village of Whistler this year, providing compelling speakers, engaging activities, fun networking opportunities and the ability to conduct business in a resort environment that has all the luxuries of a well-developed tourism destination.
“All in all, Vo-Con 2019 was a very successful conference. A resounding success for networking, business relationship building and our new and returning members were highly engaged and definitely have been reporting great value for attending,” said Ingrid Jarrett, president & CEO of
Canadian Vacation Ownership Association.
“Some of the presentations that were of significant interest and value were the Mexican Panel on vacation clubs, which included the Sunset Group, the Posadas Group and Unlimited Vacations,” said Jarrett. “The benefit of ownership when layered with these extraordinary vacation clubs are a benefit to the owners, the developers, the management companies and the resorts themselves.
“In addition, the Sustainability panel as well as the tech panel had everyone talking about new technology and new opportunities to green our business with a fiscal benefit to the bottom line were both of great interest.”
Delegates came from across Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, and included resort developers, independent hotels/resorts, and resort and hotel collections such as the Posadas group, which is the largest resort/ hotel/ vacation club in Latin America. There was also a range of suppliers from all over North America, Vacation Clubs and Exchange Programs, management companies, finance companies and tech companies for hotel software to name a few.
Growing together was the theme of the conference – as business relationships are the foundation of growing and changing with the times. Panels discussed some very hot topics such as the Secondary Market, as well as the opportunities that exist between the three countries in the tourism and hospitality space as the demand grows between Mexico, the US and Canada, and the opportunities to work together. Some of the other delegates also profiled a focus on excellence and proven success.
Hotel Financial Coach David Lund spoke about training and financial leadership, and the keynote was Adrian Garrett, VP with DAE World Timeshare Exchange, who was engaging, enthusiastic and had everyone in the room engaged during his meaningful presentation on Bias.
The CVOA also signed MOUs with both Hotel Association of Canada, which is a renewed agreement to work together, as well as with ACOTUR, the association for tourism development in Cancun, Mexico, the largest growing tourism region in Mexico.
The Mexican Vacation Club presentation was enlightening for many of the hotels/resorts and brands in the room as a potential approach to growing business that may not have been previously considered. The advocacy panel drilled into the topics of setting the bar on ethics and working together to ensure the continued success of the industry was sustainable.
“This year’s conference was a little different than past year, in the structure and the content – and the feedback has been excellent,” said Jarrett. “The Awards evening and entertainment with Andrew Johns was fantastic. Part of building relationships in business is having a little fun, and we certainly did during the reception with Andrew Johns. He is an amazing musician who knows how to get everyone smiling and dancing.”
Greg Crist president of the Association of Vacation Owners received the prestigious Cornerstone Award for his outstanding contribution and leadership in the vacation industry, and the Service Excellence Award was presented to Gerardo Rioseco with the Posadas Group by Paul Mattimoe of Intuition Brand Marketing.
Next year marks CVOA’s 40th anniversary. “Our 40th conference in 2020 will be held in Toronto, and will be a remarkable gathering of industry leaders who will once again be meeting to discuss and grow our business of vacations,” said Jarrett. “Partnerships and new memberships always provide a fresh perspective and a new opportunity to work together.”