Posted on April 23, 2021
Timeshare owners visiting from out of state who are looking to attend California theme parks are allowed to attend, but there’s a catch.
Any visitor, including timeshare owners, planning a California vacation are now allowed to attend events and activities in the Golden State, as state officials have lifted the ban on out of state visitors. The catch – they must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan now allows for out of state visitors to attend facilities that were previously restricted to only California residents if they have received the COVID jabs. Theme parks are included, but not all theme parks have adjusted their policies yet to allow for out of state visitors.
So far, only SeaWorld San Diego has announced its plan to accept vaccinated, out of state visitors into the park. Disneyland and other parks have yet to announce changes to their policies, with Disneyland scheduled to reopen next weekend.
Timeshare villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort are still on track to reopen on May 2, and the resort and theme parks will be under limited capacities with the usual COVID protocols regarding masks and social distancing.
Hawaii Magazine has named Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Hilton Hawaiian Village as the top timeshare resort on Oahu in the magazine’s 9th Annual Reader’s Choice Awards. Hilton was also recognized with Kings’ Land by Hilton Grand Vacations placing third among timeshare resorts on the Big Island of Hawaii.
HGVC continues to broaden its Hawaii offerings, with the newly developed Maui Bay Villas by Hilton Grand Vacations in Kihei scheduled to open in September, bringing the number of Hilton timeshare resorts in Hawaii to ten.
Other Hawaii timeshare resorts recognized by the Reader’s Choice Awards as top in their category are Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas (best Maui timeshare), The Cliffs at Princeville (best Kauai timeshare) and Wyndham Kona Hawaiian Resort (best timeshare on the Big Island).
Of particular note – for the Best Hotel category for all hotels across all of the Hawaiian Islands, two of the top five hotels have timeshare components. Disney’s Aulani Resort came in third, followed by Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Grand Pacific Resorts has expanded its California timeshare resort offerings by adding Mandalay Shores Resort to its network of managed resorts. Located on the beach in Oxnard, about a half-hour drive from Santa Barbara, the resort increases the Grand Pacific portfolio of managed resorts to twenty.
Mandalay Shores will be fully managed by Grand Pacific, including resort operations and owner services. Owners will be able to participate in the Grand Pacific Exchange service, an internal exchange program exclusively offered to owners who are part of Grand Pacific-affiliated resorts.
With resorts located in California and Hawaii, Grand Pacific looks after over 70,000 owners as well as thousands of vacationers who visit their resorts each year.
Hawaii Governor David Ige announced this week that the state will introduce a vaccine passport beginning May 11 for state residents who are fully vaccinated to travel between the islands. However, this will not impact travelers from out of state, who will still need to provide a negative COVID test prior to arrival in order to avoid a 10-day quarantine.
The passports are being billed as a phase one step, but the state is only able to verify vaccinations which have been administered in Hawaii. The state is unable to verify vaccinations conducted on the U.S. mainland, and concerns over fraudulent vaccine cards have led state officials to restrict the program to Hawaii-only documentation.
Hawaii timeshare owners looking to head to the Aloha State for a vacation will need to take a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test up to 72 hours before arrival and provide the negative results to avoid quarantine. And just when you thought the process was getting easier, Maui has thrown a change-up.
Maui timeshare owners will now need to take a COVID rapid test upon arrival onto Maui, even if they have already provided a negative test result when landing in Hawaii.
So, the confusion in Hawaii continues.
The Myrtle Beach hospitality sector is anticipating a big bounce back with visitor numbers expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels heading into the summer. That’s great news for Myrtle Beach timeshare resorts which are still recovering from the body blow of last year’s summer pandemic shutdowns.
According to the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, hotel bookings between now through June 14 are nine percent higher than the same time in 2019, exceeding pre-pandemic booking levels.
The Chamber adds that recent last-minute bookings have increased and some resorts are sold out. Officials are expecting these trends to continue as the warmer weather kicks in and pent-up demand for vacations takes off.
One note of caution came from Myrtle Beach CFO Michelle Shumpert, who stated that about half of people think there will be another COVID surge, but the demand for vacations will mean good travel numbers through the peak season.
The Caribbean island of Barbados has announced changes to its COVID visitor entry policy, reducing the amount of quarantine time required for fully vaccinated visitors. Still, the testing requirements seem excessive, with continued testing required for visitors even after arrival.
Beginning May 8, visitors entering Barbados who are fully vaccinated will still need to provide a negative COVID test result taken within three days of arrival. After providing proof of vaccination, travelers will again need to take a COVID PCR test on arrival at the airport, proceed to their accommodation and quarantine at the resort for one to two days until the test results are in.
Isn’t this a bit of overkill, especially for a fully vaccinated visitor?
Non-vaccinated visitors are also required to show the pre-arrival negative COVID test and head directly to their resort. The primary difference is that these visitors must remain in their rooms for five days before being tested again, with their quarantine lasting seven days.
All of this seems to be a kick in the guts to the Barbados timeshare industry which is still recovering from the impacts of the pandemic. Presumably, if the vaccine is shown to eliminate transmission of the virus then these policies would be revised. But health officials in various countries have said the vaccine’s ability to reduce transmission is inconclusive at best, so look for testing to continue – even in a vaccinated world.