I cannot help being excited as we approach the first Vacation Ownership conference of 2022. GNEX is getting ready to welcome Industry leaders from the USA, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean at Encore at Wynn Property in Las Vegas. This is one event I would not miss.
GNEX has attracted for over a decade now a consortium of Industry experts from all corners of North America. The buzz, for lack of a better word, at a GNEX event is contagious. To have the ability to share, learn and develop important relationships is their key objective and Paul and Sharon Mattimoe have been successful at it. So how do you get the most of such a conference where the combined years of experience is well into the 1000’s?
I have attended approximately 100 Vacation Ownership events such as International or more specific targeted conferences. My very first one was at a Canadian Resort Development Association (CRDA) in Toronto back in the mid 90’s. Overwhelmed initially as we were surrounded by developers and Timeshare experts who shared on so many aspects about the industry than I thought even existed. It was not for me to talk; it was time for me to listen and listen I did.
Larry King, who passed away a while back, once said: “I never learned anything by talking”. I made it a mission to meet and listen to attendees, especially the ones that had impressed me with their willingness to share innovative ideas. I was especially attracted to those who showed an interest in ethical and transparent behavior, while providing a value driven proposal.
Gloria Collinson was the then President of CRTA. Once all the high positioned attendees had their time with her, I approached her and introduced myself. The mission of this Trade Association was clear; unite Developers, Marketers, Trainers, financial institutions, everyone that has a take in the Timeshare Business. But more importantly, everyone that committed to ethical and transparent behaviour. That was the element that captured me. CRTA was the Canadian Trade Association committed to the growth and ethical practices for all Canadian Developers.
My Ha! Ha! moment came when I got introduced to the Canadian RCI President, Stephen Marks. We bonded immediately as our discussion was based on what our Industry offered consumers; guaranteed high quality vacations on an annual basis. Much later in the conversation, he looked at me with a profoundly serious look in his eyes and told me something I will never forget as it’s been my mantra ever since.
“Gaetan, I see the passion in you towards your commitment to our industry’s growth. Make me a promise. Make sure you leave this Industry in a better shape than when you discovered it.”
Stephen has passed since then, so has Gloria. But their words never will. My career has been enhanced by all the great people I have encountered along my journey, too many to name. Conferences such as GNEX unites us all in a forum where we are all committed and willing to share our experiences for the betterment of the Vacation Ownership Industry.
In my new role as the head of CRTA, I kept my promise to Stephen Marks and continue in my journey and commitment of ethical practices to all our Members not only in Canada, but to all destinations Canadians love to travel to. www.canadianrta.org
Members of CRTA also have that commitment and when they display at their properties their affiliation with the Canadian Trade Association CRTA, they not only commit to a transparent and ethical sales process, but a good value offering. Any Canadian consumers considering such an offer has the confidence of proceeding when they see that the Resort is a Member in good standing of the only Canadian Trade Association for the Vacation Ownership Industry.
I look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas for those that can attend. I look forward to seeing you in Toronto this coming September for the GNEX/CRTA conference.
Gaetan Babin RRP
President & CEO
Canadian Resort and Travel Association