In a recent article by timeshare maven, Marge Lennon, for the Resort Trades magazine, Marge looked at how timeshare resorts communicate with their owners.

Interviewing representatives from Bluegreen timeshare, Grand Pacific, Hilton, and Club Intrawest, Marge talked to these industry leaders about their communications, and how they utilize both print and electronic distribution.

While print remains important, and should not be eliminated from the ways timeshare companies correspond with their owners, it is clear that most timeshare owners are electronically connected, wired-in, and internet savvy. The article showed Grand Pacific timeshare has 45,000 owners, and has email addresses for 76 percent of these owners.

Bluegreen timeshares has 161,000 members of the Bluegreen Vacation Club, 84 percent of whom have provided active email addresses to Bluegreen.

Hilton timeshares has more than 167,000 vacation club members, of which Hilton has an email address for 98 percent. And Club Intrawest, with 22,000 members, has email addresses for 99 percent of these member/owners.

Electronic vs. Snail Mail for Timeshare Owners and Others

Last week the US federal government announced the closing of 3,653 US post offices across the country. Although this reportedly may be somewhat offset with the creation of some 2,500 village post offices to be created in grocery and convenience stores, the general transition from physical mail to electronic mail is patently obvious.

Electronic communication is faster, environmentally cleaner, and cheaper than sending physical mail. And the fact that so many timeshare owners opt to receive regular communication this way reinforces the perception that timeshare buyers, owners and renters like to use their computers as a way to plan vacations, sell, buy or rent properties, and exchange timeshare.

But here’s one last lesson to be learned for all of us, when we look at what is more than a trend but is a new, and likely permanent direction for business-to-consumer communication. As the piles of junk mail decline and people become accustomed to seeing less and less in their mailboxes, the value and significance of a personal letter, especially one with hand written comments, will become profoundly more effective and meaningful.

Be sure you look for the full article, titled “Owner Communications: Print vs. Electronic?” which appeared in the July/August issue of Resort Trades Management & Operations.