The Timesharing concept was born in Europe and often been accredited to Paul Doumier a developer in the French Alps in the late 1960’s who coined the phrase “ It is cheaper to own the hotel than rent the room” And, it caught on! The industry has changed along the way however millions of families today enjoy the simple concept of being able to “own their vacation”
As the industry grew typically in the 70’s and 80”s timeshares were quickly built around the world and very prominent in the U.S. in places such as Florida and Hawaii. The industry’s reputation was perceived to be less than favorable especially due to urgency placed on the choice to “buy today “and sometimes considered to be high pressure. As the industry evolved with various governing bodies placing strict measures and implementing improved regulation, the timeshare industry enjoys a much more consumer-friendly and positive reputation.
In the early days the timeshare industry had little respect. However beginning in the 1990s the timeshare industry experienced a renaissance and it continues to mature. New developer sales and timeshare resales activity continue to grow beginning a new era for this once questionable industry.
Initially timeshare properties were marketed as investments. Timeshares are not in fact investments and one should not buy a timeshare with the expectation of reselling it for a profit.
While one might buy a timeshare property to make an investment in a lifestyle, few timeshares appreciate—only the ones in choice locations during specific seasons.
The increasing positive image of the retail and timeshare industry is a result of two main factors. One is the influx of well established companies into the new sales market such as Marriott, Disney, Hilton, Hyatt, Wyndham and others. These corporations have spent significant resources informing the public of the many benefits of timeshare and counteracting the poor reputation that lingered from the early days of the timeshare industry. Branding by Marriott, Hilton, Disney, Westin, Hyatt and others has improved product image and helped new timeshare sales & resales.
The second factor is that people are realizing that the concept of timeshare is a real vacation option. With the improved industry reputation, more and more people are attracted to the idea of timesharing as opposed to discrediting the concept because of those early, new sales techniques and marketing. The day has come where consumers are waking to the idea of “Today I am going to look at buying a timeshare.”
The timeshare industry is the fastest growing segment of the Travel and Tourism industry. A study released by the ARDA International Foundation (AIF) in 2007 and conducted by Ernst & Young, LLP points out indicators of future growth and accelerated growth in the future.
In 2006 14,000 new units were built and 11,000 in 2007. In 2008 and beyond, the current forecast is for about 47,000 new units. The Ernst & Young study showed a new sales growth of 81% over a five year period. Additionally, the number of timeshare owners in the U.S. grew from three million in 2002 to 4.4 million in 2006 with 1,615 resorts operating in the U.S. and 176,232 timeshare units. The AIF study further found that U.S. new sales reached a new high of $10 billion in 2006.
Developer/Hoteliers also have found that occupancy rates for timeshare units exceed those of their hotels.
What does that say about the timeshare industry? That demand for new timeshare-vacation clubs is growing and the resale secondary market will continue to grow proportionately.
When asked to indicate the degree to which timeshare ownership has affected five aspects of their personal lives, Canada timeshare owners respond as follows:
These results suggest that timesharing helps deliver specific benefits that go beyond simply making vacations easier to arrange or more affordable.
Here is a handy weeks Calendar to help you identify important travel times.
For example: your arrival date for Week 24 in the year 2013, would be June 15 based on the Saturday check-in dates.
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Wednesday, September 13, 2006 Glenn Haussman
WASHINGTON, D.C., -- A new study conducted by Ragatz Associates of timeshare buyers has learned that people buying into timeshare overwhelmingly believe that their decision to buy accentuates the vacation experience.
The study, which was released by The American Resort Development Association International Foundation (AIF), polled existing timeshare buyers and found that 75.7 percent said owning a timeshare makes them more excited about their vacations. Additionally, 68.4 percent said owning a timeshare increased the amount of time spent vacationing a year. These results were released in the survey: Resort Timeshare Consumers: Who They Are, Why They Buy.
Howard C. Nusbaum, ARDA’s president and CEO said he is not surprised by the high level of satisfaction because the typical timeshare offers considerably more space and amenities than a hotel room. By having multiple bedrooms and a full kitchen in a timeshare, the entire vacationing paradigm is changed and therefore affects the buyer’s perception of the experience.
“We are finding out that going on vacation is about rejuvenation with families and bonding. Sitting at a table in the kitchen [in a timeshare] is bonding, whereas everyone eating out of a pizza box on a hotel bed is not,“ said Nusbaum. “Timeshare reflects the way we live.”
Dave Matheson, VP Corporate Communications with Starwood Vacation Ownership, is also a father of four kids ranging in ages from preschool to high school. With such a large brood, and the need to recharge his batteries while on vacation, he said staying a hotel is just not a practical possibility.
“If we all go away and stay in a hotel it is not a relaxing experience for me or my wife,” said Matheson. “With a timeshare my older kids can sleep in while we get up with the younger ones and make breakfast.”
According to Nusbaum, other reasons that play into the high level of excitement surrounding the timeshare vacation are timeshares provide a better way to enjoy downtime and that timeshares offers higher control for owner’s over their lives. Since timeshare vacations are an annual or more frequent experience, Nusbaum said people look forward to that getaway throughout remainder of the year. “Families know they have vacation currency and that anticipation of the next trip carries the vacation throughout the year,” said Nusbaum.
Additionally, the study noted the average timeshare visitor spends 8.6 nights per vacation in the resort area where their timeshare is located. The average timeshare visitor party spends $1,334 per timeshare vacation—an increase of 10.7 percent since 2002 the survey found. The average size of timeshare visitor parties is 3.8 persons.
Matheson believes more of this money is staying on site at resorts that utilize a mixed use model; that is, resorts that have both a hotel and timeshare component. “When we build a vacation ownership resort next to an existing Starwood property we have found it increases the value of the vacation to our owners,” said Matheson. “Our hotel owners benefit from having the hotel in that package next to it.” The hotel usually has additional added amenities such as golf courses, more restaurants, spas and retail outlets. Together, Matheson said the varied components all play into adding to a more multi-dimensional getaway.
Of all owners, 35.8 percent personally used their own timeshare purchase during the past 12 months, while 47.4 percent exchanged or space banked it, 4.4 percent rented it out, and 2.9 percent gave it away. Nine and a half percent of time owned by all owners went unused during the last 12 months.
The study investigated the usage of vacation ownership based on surveys of 938 recent timeshare buyers and 1,547 owners who purchased prior to 2005.
The fact that the timeshare resale market is still relatively young within the timeshare/vacation ownership segment of the travel industry, makes it a long way before consumers at large feel comfortable purchasing on their own a timeshare on the secondary market. Lately, however, we have noticed an increasing number of inquiries coming from travelers wanting to know more about the timeshare concept simply because they see friends, family members or acquaintances travelling a lot more than they do through timeshares and that intrigues them. So they’re coming forth to find out... with a little apprehension sometimes because timeshares have paradoxically mystified them: despite its disputable reputation, so many people benefit from owning them.
Some of the following may be what may relate to the other 15% of unsatisfied customers
It does unfortunately happen that salespeople will oversell the product and omit to mention what it really can and cannot do for the customer. Out of pressure of meeting sales quota, some salespeople will rely on embellishing the product to make it sound like it will nicely meet the customer’s requirement. It is very unfortunate that timeshare products are sometimes sold that way, but in most cases, it does not have to since most consumers will buy it for the benefits it brings to them.
Sometimes for the sake of making a sale and of meeting the customer’s budgeted bottom line, the salespeople will diminish the efficiency of the product... ex. sell blue or white time as opposed to red time in order to meet the customer’s budget. The value is still good, however, the overall efficiency of the product might not meet the vacation requirements of the customer whose travels needs are in high time. The relevancy of the product was sacrificed over budget because the customer was not explained properly the relevancy to its needs and only took the dollar sign into consideration.
Unfortunately, timeshare’s frizzled reputation often brings a negative impact on its new owners who, once they get home, become aware of uneasiness from family and friends who too often have unfounded prejudice about timeshare ownership. Among the general public, too often we find people with erroneous information about timeshare usage as a rule. Unfortunately, they let their own prejudice perspire to the point of making their friend or family member feel uncomfortable about their purchase even though they know very little about their friend’s needs and how timeshares can work for them.
It should be sold as a vacation lifestyle as unique as how everyone likes to travel. Too often we meet timeshare owners complaining about the cost at the end and comparing it. Timeshares have not been designed to provide an economical option... It is just using the money you’re going to spend anyways and improve your travelling style to stay in fully equipped condo as opposed to hotel rooms. At the end, however, it will give you the expected returns... provided you use it.
The end all to be all, but rather one to compliment various methods of travel you already have in place. When people buy timeshares they expect to use it across the board. I would recommend fill your travel toolbox with many options- All inclusive packages often provide a viable and worry free option when travelling to places such as Cuba or the Dominican Republic. Guided tours work magically for the elderly and the young alike providing an added element of well-being, comfort and safety, Backpacking might just fit the adventurer in you as you journey through life’s travels. And just like the above, timesharing too offers an upscale and proven method of finding most of these elements with the added conveniences of typically fully furnished accommodations providing your family with...a home away from home located on a beach, mountain or resort basis.
The ability to use your vacation program more quickly (travel more) while shortening the length of the original program.
The estimated worth of a timeshare, expressed in terms of market value. Timeshare appraisals are not necessary for buying or selling a timeshare on the resale market and are often considered unreliable. Market value of a timeshare can be estimated by market value survey or the comparing of prices of similar timeshare listings on the resale market.
The leading organization based in the U.S. upholding professionalism and establishing Code of Ethics within the timeshare industry
The ability to save unused timeshare weeks to use later. Banked timeshare weeks can be exchanged for other locations and different timeshare weeks. Banking is sometimes called "space banking".
Allows owners to travel every second year as opposed to every year
Typically in the timeshare world check in days are Friday, Saturday and Sunday depending on the resort.
Expenses at closing on a timeshare property including deed preparation for deeded timeshares, recording fees, administrative fees, escrow costs, and equity transfer for right-to-use timeshares
The leading organization based in Canada upholding professionalism and establishing Code of Ethics within the timeshare industry
This legal document demonstrates ownership rights with title to a timeshare property. Once a timeshare property is deeded the owner can bequeath, rent, or sell the timeshare just as an owner can do with traditional real estate properties.
The ability to deposit your week into an exchange company(commonly referred to as “space-banking”) and extract a week in another resort somewhere other than your home property.
A company that coordinates the trading of timeshare weeks that timeshare owners deposit. There are two main timeshare exchange companies. These are Resort Condominiums International (RCI) and Interval International (II). RCI and II are affiliated with more than 5,000 resorts globally and enable a timeshare owner to trade his or her vacation week at a specific resort with another owner's vacation week at a different resort. This process gives timeshare owners worldwide travel possibilities.
Owners can will their timeshare to anyone they choose
The timeshare owner has the same exact unit every year in the same timeshare resort.
The timeshare owner has the timeshare during a specific numbered week of the calendar year, every year. Timeshare weeks are numbered sequentially from the first week of the calendar year to the last.
Depending on the timeshare resort's availability, the timeshare owner can use the timeshare during any week of the season purchased. If a timeshare week is in high-season, the owner can reserve any comparable week in the high-season that is available.
Typically purchasing multiple weeks (often five) in a resort or condominium style of property. Often, but not always receiving one week per season with one for trading through an exchange company
The highest rating given by RCI for a timeshare resort which includes the highest of standards and meets all site requirements including available amenities.
A timeshare owner can exchange a timeshare week in the same timeshare resort or in another resort within a resort network under the same company ownership.
In timeshare ownership an interval is a measure of time representing one seven-day week in sequentially numbered weeks from 1 to 52 or 53.
These programs typically range from 20 to 99 years and eventually expire. They are often purchased in countries such as Mexico where deeds do not exist
Normally a studio unit and a one bedroom unit (make up a two bedroom to sleep eight people) but can be separated to receive more travel but smaller units.
The yearly fee a timeshare owner pays the timeshare resort management company or homeowners association for timeshare property upkeep, insurance, utilities, and taxes.
A company that manages daily operations of the timeshare resort for a yearly fee to timeshare owners or with funds received by the homeowners association.
A numeric form of currency utilized in the timeshare world- Factors considered are unit size, seasons, location, amenities, etc. Points also offer flexibility in terms of shorter stays including nightly travel and various check in dates.
Resort Condominiums International (www.rci.com) is one of the two main timeshare exchange companies.
A timeshare or vacation club being sold by the owner(s) after it was originally purchased from a developer.
A timeshare lease that generally expires after a said period of time- normally (RTU) programs range from about 20 -99 years and whatever is left can be willed, sold, or donated to whomever the owner chooses.
Typically there are three colors for different travel times around the world. These seasons are harmonious with demand in each area. To travel high time is indicated by (red) to travel mid-season is (white) and to travel low season is (blue). With other travel clubs there can be other colored seasons as well.
An additional fee over the yearly maintenance fee levied for special circumstances such as a major timeshare resort refurbishment.
The purchase or lease of a resort for an interval of time with the option to exchange for other time intervals at the same or a different resort. Timeshare ownership allows for affordable vacationing in that the timeshare owner only pays for an increment of time in contrast to full ownership of a vacation property.
Also known as a holiday club, this is an organization which is unregulated by laws covering the sale of timeshares. Buyers need to be aware of companies that are less than reputable. A vacation club offers timeshare weeks to its members.
A recent term as of late synonymous with the word timeshare. Often used by multi-destination clubs that are aligned with flexible points systems.
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