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Sharing Your Holidays
The tourism industry in India is huge and remains under-developed. Connectivity has to grow at fast pace, says Pali Badwal, managing director of RCI India
RCI, formerly Resort Condominiums International, has the world’s largest vacation exchange network and provides first-to-market innovations and products and services to enhance the vacation ownership experience.
Pali Badwal, managing director of RCI India, spoke to BW Businessworld about his concept of timeshare and his company.
Tell us about RCI and the timeshare concept?
RCI started off in 1974, and the fundamentals remained the same. RCI is a timeshare exchange provider. It does not develop or sell timeshares rather a customer who buys a timeshare with an RCI-affiliated developer has the option to become a paid member of RCI. Such membership entitles the individual to exchange their timeshare with other members. RCI facilitates and fulfils the exchange.
We are a B2B to C kind of solution. You have to connect with any timeshare developer, to enable you to have a relationship with RCI and then we become a closed user group.
Timeshare is pre-purchasing your vacations. In India it is for 25 years. If a consumer purchases from a set of holiday from a developer, for the next 25 years and they are entitled for a week of timeshare (every year) over next 25 years. Globally it is for the rest of their lives and can be passed on to their children.
What is the size of your portfolio?
Globally we have 4,500 members in 100 countries and 60 developers with 130 resorts in India. We have got a range according to the taste of Indian consumers. We have members at beaches, in wildlife safari, cultural and religious sector. New customer prefers India first then decides to go to South-East Asia, US and Europe. Goa is among the top destination for the Indian tourists.
Club Mahindra is our largest member partner followed by Sterling Holidays and Orange County.
How do you operate?
The consumer buys from a developer, like Club Mahindra and Sterling Holidays and pays them by purchasing the timeshare and they get enrolled into RCI and then they have a sort of direct relationship with RCI a member club and when they want to exchange, there is an exchange fee.
We keep it fixed for India and South-East Asia which is at the rate of Rs 8,499 and rest of US and Europe is at Rs 21,999. We provide a very cost effective option to the member hotels and it goes down to the consumers as well.
How do you rate the Indian tourism industry?
The tourism industry in India is huge and is under-explored. The connectivity by surface, air and waterways needs to be developed at very fast pace. In the last 18 months a lot has been done. India has a great potential in tourism. It’s a mix of adventurous and happening places. India has great variety of flora and fauna, hills, desert, beautiful planes, lush green North-east, Kerala and Goa.
Are you going to tie-up with hotel chains in India like the Taj Group, ITC?
It all depends on demand. If our developers and customers want us to enter into such genre, we would definitely evaluate it.