Innovative Holiday Club by Club Wyndham (IHC) is a vacation club developed by Wyndham Destinations, the world’s largest vacation ownership and exchange company. IHC is the company’s newest vacation ownership product and was designed to overcome the pain points of previous vacation ownership models, and offer greater flexibility and options, while reducing the length of the club term.
The club is expanding across Asia, with members in Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, China, the Philippines and Malaysia. Sales operations have been set up in Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and China and these are steadily expanding as the world opens back up.
Club members have the ability choose from thousands of properties around the world through the following arrangements:
• A selection of club-owned properties
• An agreement between Wyndham Destinations clubs which gives IHC members access to more than 150 high quality resorts in Club Wyndham South Pacific, Club Wyndham Asia and WorldMark, The Club in North America
• Free three-year membership with exchange giant RCI for new members, granting access to RCI’s more than 4,200 resorts globally
• An affiliate agreement with Greenland Kang Yang Resorts, providing another 13 options across 11 provinces of China
• The ability to exchange IHC vacation points for Wyndham Rewards points to gain access to an additional 30,000 hotel, resort and vacation ownership properties worldwide
Many of these properties have extensive facilities including swimming pools, day spas, restaurants, bars, cafes and kids’ clubs, and offer accommodation ranging from hotel rooms to spacious apartments that feel like a home away from home for families.
During the COVID-19 period, Wyndham Destinations International has signed associate agreements with 10 resorts so members can use their credits to stay, providing more domestic options to members based in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
One of the features of this timeshare club is a shorter term of 20 years. This is in direct response to customer preferences for a variation on a 40 to 80-year term. This enables members to take advantage of their usage rights for the entire club term – rather than willing them – and also allows for a lower buy-in than usual. Members will also, in many cases, be able to receive any beneficial interest from the assets of the club when the term ends in their lifetime. The risk for the developer is that it gives a limited window to sell interests in the club.
IHC offers its members the ability to opt out of their annual levy for a year, as long as they also forgo utilising the credits and instead give them back to the developer for its use. Members can also pay the next year’s levy early and access future points in advance. Both these features give members additional flexibility.
Club membership provides a rewards system that is simple for members to follow and claim. TravelWallet lets members accumulate Travel Cash by making a reservation for the first time, donating to the club’s chosen charity or advocating the club by referring friends or participating in marketing activities like sharing a story. Members can redeem the Travel Cash a variety of ways, including:
• Paying exchange fees
• Paying for RCI Cash Bonus weeks
• Covering RCI membership fees
• For discounts on annual levies
• To pay for experiences at resorts
Rather than providing a bonus good or service, Travel Cash is used to cover fees the member pays or for travel expenses, giving it automatic appeal.
One of the key advantages of IHC is the simplicity. It does not have multiple tiers, all members are accorded access to Wyndham Rewards and associate agreements (except that free RCI membership is only included for the first three years) and the rules are the same across all memberships. The program can be readily understood and is equitable for all owners.
IHC was launched during COVID-19, so for the duration of its existence, sales representatives have used online methods like Zoom to meet with prospects. The teams pioneered the use of these platforms across Wyndham Destinations. Now, as the world reopens, they are giving prospects the opportunity to trial resort accommodation at a discounted price and then meet with a sales representative face-to-face.
In the past year, marketing teams have welcomed more than 1,804 “mini-vacation” holiday guests, with a gross conversion rate averaging 10.2%. In November, the Thailand sales site earned the highest revenue since COVID-19 hit, indicating that sales will pick up once pandemic restrictions are completely dropped.
As the name suggests, IHC is a truly innovative membership program and may provide a blueprint for what vacation ownership will look like in the future.