Swiss shared ownership pioneer Hapimag, which introduced the “rights of residence” concept in Europe in the sixties, is celebrating its big “5-0” this month.
In 1963 its two founders Dr. Guido M. Renggli and Alexander Nette, came up with a simple but brilliant idea: they wanted to purchase holiday resorts to make them available for collective use.
Back then, the “invest together but use individually” holiday concept was a novel idea but since then the shared ownership concept has become a sustainable business model, both eco and economical, and it’s still as solid as ever.
Hapimag’s original intelligent concept – sharing instead of owning – fits with the current economic climate more than ever and timesharing is one sector of the global tourist industry which continues to show the strongest growth.
Whereas sole holiday home ownership often means vacation properties abroad remaining empty most of the year apart from peak demand periods, timeshare is much more of a year round holiday concept, with steadier demand across all twelve months of the year.
Recently, authorities and local councils have started seeking solutions to this “empty space” issue and timeshare also generates employment for staff full time, year-round, as opposed to many holiday resorts which close in low season, sometimes leaving the local region “dead” until summer comes around the following year.
In contrast, Hapimag apartments are used for almost three-quarters of the year (71 per cent) and there are Hapimag resorts in a variety of destinations, so that members can enjoy sun, ski, beach, city and mountain breaks in any season.
Sustainability is high on the priority list at Hapimag and its business model already incorporates the concept of sustainability and revenue generated is consistently invested in the maintenance and upkeep of the resorts. This means that members benefit from being able to enjoy their breaks at high-quality, regularly maintained resorts and residences and the portfolio of Hapimag destinations keeps expanding.
Currently, Hapimag has some 140 000 members who use property collectively. Members purchase the right of residence for all of Hapimag’s 57 resorts and residences around the world, in destinations as diverse as Salzburg and Marrakech.
Since its inception, Hapimag has recorded around 80 million overnight stays and employs more than 1400 employees across resort staff, reservations staff – high standards of service are paramount at Hapimag.
Although Hapimag membership is registered in one person’s name, it can be used by the whole family and also be transferred to the next generation. As an example, over the past five years, around 20 000 shares have changed owners within the members’ families, corresponding to approximately 10 per cent of the entire stock of shares.
Special Events to mark Hapimag’s 50th Birthday
One of the highlights of Hapimag’s special events to mark five decades of Hapimag holidays is its unique cycling tour. Six cyclists embarked on five different routes across Europe earlier this year and they’ve been reporting on their experiences in the “Hapimag world”.
After pedalling their way across more than 20,000 kilometres of stunning scenery, the “Cyclists on Tour” made it to Hapimag’s headquarters in Baar on 24 September 2013 to mark the date Hapimag was first founded.
Hapimag has also been running a very special “Giving experiences” where 50 children and youths with handicaps or who have had to face difficult circumstances are invited to spend a week’s holiday in a resort. The young guests come from five different countries and are spending an eventful week with a leisure programme devised especially for them.
Last but not least, on Hapimag’s birthday, 10,000 members from all the resorts and residences and all the employees jointly celebrated the Swiss company’s birthday, aptly themed “Back to the Sixties”.
Find out more about the special projects and discover the world of Hapimag at www.hapimag.com/50
Founded in 1963, the leading European company offering rights of residence provides over 140 000 members with access to an economically and ecologically sustainable platform with 57 addresses at top locations in 16 countries.
Over 5300 apartments are available to members for their individual use, supplemented by gastronomy, wellness, cultural, service and infrastructure facilities at the individual locations. The company employs approximately 1,400 people (full-time) and in 2012 generated an operating income of EUR 186 million.
Hapimag is a joint-stock company according to Swiss law and is based in Baar/ZG (CH). www.hapimag.com
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