Festiva, the developer for the Festiva hotel and resort properties and the Festiva Adventure Club, today discussed changes in how they provide information to better serve the needs of 21st century vacationers.
“Since Festiva was founded, we have constantly been innovating to provide our members with the best possible vacations,” said Mr. Herbert H. “Butch” Patrick, Jr., President and CEO of Festiva. “This commitment to customer care is the reason for our success.”
Founded in 2000, Festiva and affiliated partners have used inventive programming to provide the most enjoyable vacation experience via more flexible opportunities. They have grown to become one of the most successful, privately held vacation ownership companies in the United States. Through this growth, Festiva has created hundreds of good jobs in North Carolina and throughout the Southeast and Midwest while also supporting the thousands of tourism jobs that help drive the North Carolina economy.
“While our commitment to customers helped build a membership base of almost 100,000 Festiva families, Festiva employees are the ones who made it happen,” Patrick continued. “We seek the best employees who share a vision for helping create the best vacations for our members. To ensure we have, and we keep, the best employees, Festiva evolved into an Employee Stock Ownership Plan company.”
An Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) company transfers company ownership to employees over time, encouraging retention of long-term employees who can better serve customer needs.
“This evolution helps Festiva provide long-term stability for the families who have entrusted their future vacations with us,” said Patrick.
As part of this company-wide effort to better meet the needs of consumers, Festiva is also changing some marketing practices. Festiva is reducing face-to-face interactions to focus on online education efforts and allowing members to make their vacation decisions in a setting that maximizes consumer choice, convenience, and flexibility.
“We also realize and appreciate that our members and potential members could be better served via a greater online presence rather than a more traditional face-to-face interaction,” said Patrick. “Similar to brick-and-mortar retailers or banks, we have to do a better job balancing a consumer’s desire for flexibility through technology with the customer service that can only be provided through a personal touch. To achieve this, we are reducing in-person marketing efforts and investing in a more robust digital experience. We know everyone has a busy schedule and this allows the consumer to make more informed decisions after the kids have gone to bed or during a lunch hour break during the workday.”
Festiva also announced that lawsuits triggered by consumer misunderstandings have been resolved. Rather than pursue costly, long-term litigation, Festiva chose to address and resolve outstanding consumer issues through a variety of means such as enhanced benefits, additional vacation opportunities and reacquiring memberships where appropriate. However, the agreements clearly delineate that Festiva admits no wrong-doing.
“As part of our commitment to our customers, we are pleased to say that any lawsuits triggered by misunderstandings have been resolved and will allow us return our focus to best serving the consumers,” Patrick concluded. “While we believe we could have won, we would rather invest our time, effort, and resources into customer service rather than litigation. By reinvesting in the company, we will reenergize Festiva for a better customer experience and the best vacation possible.”
Festiva is proud of the positive changes to the membership experience that have resulted from consumer and regulatory feedback. This experience has left the company in a stronger position to better serve members, Festiva’s most valuable resource. Festiva has improved member communications, enhanced vacation opportunities and invested in significant employee training with a 100% focus on creating great vacation memories for members that will last a lifetime. Festiva will continue to create jobs in numerous states in addition to North Carolina and looks forward to continued support of our state’s great tourism industry.