Multiple ownership of individual weeks ensured that those wishing to ski in the area would have a reservation. It was an instantaneous success. In the 1970s, failing condominium projects in St. Thomas, Fort Lauderdale, and Puerto Rico were converted to vacation ownership, and timesharing subsequently emerged as a viable vacation option.
Once the United States embraced the concept of vacation ownership, it began to gain widespread public acceptance. Sales surpassed 50 million by the middle of the 1970s, and they now exceed 2 billion annually. Since 1980, approximately 3,3 million timeshares have been sold, resulting in a substantial increase in vacation ownership. There are currently more than 5,000 vacation ownership resorts in over 75 countries worldwide.
In 1974, the concept of exchanging a week of vacation ownership at one resort for another resort was introduced, and since then, timesharing has provided a vacation experience with variety and flexibility. Although there are numerous exchange companies that provide excellent service, Resort Condominiums International (RCI), with approximately 3,250 member resorts, and Interval International (II), with approximately 1,600 member resorts, are the two dominant forces. Last year, these two businesses provided over 1,600,000 exchanges collectively.
Over the past three decades, the industry has evolved from small (15-20 unit) hotel conversions to high-quality condominium resorts. The evolution of the industry from dispersed entrepreneurs to well-managed professional development firms has resulted in a significant improvement. There have emerged definitive leaders who have established standards and ethics for management, marketing, and sales practices. The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is one such organization whose members are required to adhere to an established “Code of Ethics.” The recent entry of major hospitality chains such as Disney, Hilton, Ramada, and Marriott into the market has significantly improved the quality and reputation of the industry. Today’s vacation ownership resorts are luxurious, spacious, and strategically located.
By the advent of these stronger and more professional development and management companies and the elimination of the less desirable developers and marketers, the industry is experiencing a noticeable shift from a historically negative public image to a very positive one. One of the leading analysts in the industry (Ragatz and Associates) determined that the majority of timeshare owners are extremely satisfied with their purchase, and that many even own multiple weeks. The future of vacation ownership is extremely promising and filled with optimism.
What Is Timeshare Ownership?
Vacation Property The right to use specific weeks of a resort during a specific time period constitutes “timesharing.” It is simply the purchase of a vacation in advance. It is essential to recognize that vacation ownership is a commodity that is purchased for long-term enjoyment and use. A timeshare should never be purchased with the intention of reselling it for a profit. We spend money on vacations in order to relax and rejuvenate; they are not investments.
The ownership of a timeshare is comparable to that of a condominium, with the exception that your rights are limited to a specific week of the year. There are three forms of ownership: Deed, Lease, and License.
The License is somewhat distinct in that it is typically a club membership. As long as you are a member in good standing, you have access to the club and all of its amenities. Before deciding to purchase a club membership, be sure to carefully read and comprehend all of the terms and conditions. The majority of vacation ownership consists of a deeded or leased interest for a specific number of years.
A deeded interest is owned in perpetuity. It is a right that can be sold, leased, or even bequeathed to heirs. The majority of timeshares that exist today are deeded.
The Leased Interest is comparable to an apartment lease, with the exception that the right to use it is limited to a specific week of the year. Upon expiration of the lease term, your use privilege typically expires and reverts to the resort. Before making the decision to purchase a leased interest, you should be aware of the lease’s terms and conditions.
Your usage duration can be either Fixed or Floating. Fixed time is a week during the year that is typically designated by a number. In general, the week begins on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and is numbered from the first week of January to the last week of December. (Example: week 14 could be from April 7 to April 13)
You are permitted to choose any available week within a particular season. Thus, if you own a summer week, you may choose any week that falls within the
characterized summer months However, competition among existing owners for prime weeks in a highly desirable location can have an effect on availability. It is essential to determine which type of use best suits your travel needs.
Each resort is unique, and you should inquire whether its owners have access to additional perks. Many resorts offer discounted rates for additional nights or use of other resorts owned by the developer. This can increase your flexibility and provide substantial vacation cost savings. Additionally, carefully consider how and where you normally spend your vacations. This is extremely important when deciding where to purchase and what to trade.
Important Information Regarding Vacation Ownership
– Timeshare is one of the travel and tourism industry’s fastest-growing sectors.
– Timeshare owners reside in over 200 countries worldwide.
– Hilton, Hyatt, Four Seasons, Sheraton, Ramada, and De Vere are now among the world’s most prominent timeshare companies.
– More than 12 million people took a timeshare vacation worldwide in 1999.
There are approximately 5,500 timeshare resorts in over 90 countries worldwide.
– The annual value of the industry exceeds $6 billion. In 1999, the top 10 timeshare companies reported combined sales of over $2.64 billion.
– In 1999, each of the top ten performing timeshare companies in the world recorded sales of over $100 million.
– In 2000, RCI arranged vacations for seven million people worldwide, making it one of the world’s largest travel companies.
Present-Day And Future Timeshare
The modern timeshare industry continues to expand rapidly, with new markets opening up in Asia and Eastern Europe and market consolidation prevalent in the established markets of Western Europe and North America.
The multi-billion dollar timeshare industry, now firmly established as a key sector of the mainstream vacation market, is comprised of both modest entrepreneurs and enormous corporations. It has close to 6,000 resorts in over 90 countries, spanning from Spain to China, Mexico to South Africa.
Hilton, Sheraton, Disney, Ramada, Four Seasons, Hyatt, Westin, Ritz-Carlton, and Radisson are among the most recognizable names in the hospitality and leisure industries with timeshare interests. Simultaneously, the list of well-known European companies with timeshare interests continues to grow: RIU Hotels (50 percent owned by TUI – Touristik Union International, Europe’s largest tour operator), Sol Melia, De Vere, Macdonald Hotels in partnership with Barratts (the UK’s largest homebuilder), and Mondi Ferienclub in Germany.
Millions of timeshare owners, along with their families and friends, enjoy high-quality developments all over the world, making the timeshare phenomenon an unparalleled success. In 1999, more than 12 million individuals took timeshare vacations.
The United States is home to 47 percent of the world’s timeshare owners, more than any other country. In fact, the United States has over 1,500 timeshare resorts. This represents more than 37 percent of the global total. The timeshare industry in the West is now highly organized and regulated. Organizations such as the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) and the Organisation for Timeshare in Europe (OTE) work to implement codes of conduct and ensure that expansion is founded on sound business practices and moral principles.
In addition, numerous regional, national, and international laws exist to protect the rights of prospective buyers and discourage the use of high-pressure sales techniques.
Eventually, timesharing In the coming months and years, it is anticipated that the worldwide timeshare industry will achieve record sales. More people have more time and money to devote to travel and the concept of vacation ownership due to social trends. In many regions of the world, regulation has given timeshares a solid foundation, reassuring and protecting buyers with a variety of consumer protection measures.
Timeshare has undergone a transformation since its inception, according to Timeshare: Coming of Age, an independent report published in October 1999. The original real estate concept has been transformed into “a flexible, pre-paid vacation membership concept, placing timeshare where it belongs – in the mainstream of travel, tourism, hospitality, and leisure”
Who knows where the next development will be in ten years?