Thursday, November 11, 2010

Vacation Ownership Industry Sends 1,000 Veterans on Vacation

On this holiday honoring military veterans, the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), announces its continued commitment to providing “Vacations for Vets,” an industry-wide program that supports wounded warriors returning from military combat by awarding them with much needed vacations to recover and reconnect with family and friends.

“We have been supporting this program since 2005 and are honored to be able to bring together the resources of our industry to provide some much needed R&R for our veterans,” says Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of ARDA.

Today, “Vacations for Vets” approved more than 1,000 vacations to wounded warriors, U.S. veterans, support personnel and their families. The program is run in coordination with the Walter Reed Army Medical Center Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR); In Honor of Our Troops (IHOOT) Foundation, Inc.; International Cruise and Excursions (ICE); and Government Vacation Rewards.

The idea started with Ret. Col. R. John Cully, vice president of government marketing for ICE and Philip Strambler, Walter Reed FMWR Director of Marketing and Commercial Activities. Together they approached ARDA, whose members were honored to participate by donating timeshare-style vacations and other travel benefits to wounded warriors and their families.

For ARDA and its members, which include some of the biggest brands and most respected in the hotel industry, it’s an opportunity to give back to U.S. soldiers through donating excess timeshare inventory, entertainment certificates, car rental vouchers, airline coupons, and other vacation donations.

Over the years, resort donations have come from Hilton Grand Vacations Resorts, Welk Resorts, and Interval International, among others. Many resort property managers make it a point of seeing that each vacationing veteran is personally greeted upon his or her arrival.

For more information on the program including how to donate, contact Lou Ann Burney of ARDA.

The American Resort Development Association is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries. Established in 1969, ARDA today has over 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate. The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, and owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC).

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