For many owners, it’s a whole-in-one holiday solution that fits their modern day lifestyles
This year there are more reasons why timeshare is even more appealing. Not only are quality resorts in “new” winter sun destinations such as Turkey and Egypt becoming fast favourites, consumers will also enjoy added peace of mind thanks to a new EU Timeshare Directive which came into effect on 23rd Februrary 2011.
For some of us, nothing sounds better than an eco-break in Cornwall; for other, a “proper” holiday means getting as far away from the weather at home as possible, ideally to the nearest winter sun destination or somewhere longer-haul like a beach in Bali.
It’s true that timeshare was at one time geared towards repeat holidays in repeat destinations but all this has changed. What started as a “holiday product” has really become a lifestyle in itself; vacation ownership is becoming increasingly flexible and sophisticated as companies compete to meet demand. With a strong US market and a growing European timeshare consumer market, hotel brands like Hilton, Marriott and Disney are still expanding their portfolios and coming up with some very different ways to holiday (in different destinations and at different price points).
Innovative programmes such as the Club La Costa Yacht Club or Club Leisure Group’s Golf Resorts Club in South Africa mean that owners can choose from holidays which are tailored around specific activities – sailing, golf, safaris, wine tasting, skiing, canal boat trips, even riding holidays in Sardinia.
It doesn’t matter whether if your choice is a cosy resort in St. Ives or a suite at that relaxing beach hotel in Bali – the fact that you’re spending the next week or so in a self-catering apartment at a quality resort offers you the best of both worlds – you can eat in or dine out, stay in or go out. And you’re not restricted by the parameters of some hotel rooms, things like tiny mini-bar fridges and not being able to make toast and a proper cup of coffee in the morning.
The new winter sun resorts
Looking at the choice of destinations aimed at Britons, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and France are still hard to beat but with the recent wave of brand new resort construction in non-euro zones such as Turkey, Dubai, North Africa and Egypt, consumers have been switching to these new winter sun destinations. Because these resorts are recent builds they tend to tick a lot of boxes when it comes to location, quality of build, design, amenities and service, and the sunshine is free and almost guaranteed.
Value for money
One of the biggest plus points for timeshare is “economy”. Averaged out “cost-per-night”, timeshare can be fantastic value over the long term. As hotel room rates continue to rise, pre-purchased timeshare becomes even better value by comparison.
Convenience and amenities
An independent villa in the hills near Marbella may sound appealing but the reality is that while you’re on holiday you don’t want to spend time trekking back and forth from the supermarket, or driving around looking for an internet café. A resort might have a restaurant(s), mini-market, café, concierge service, onsite car rental, live entertainment, pools, gym, beauty salon, spa, kids club, tennis and golf coach, sports facilities, DVD library, newsagent and sometimes even a medical centre.
The world is your oyster…and it’s getting bigger
You can go where you want, when you want. Exchange programmes like RCI and Interval International offer all sorts of destinations in all styles of resorts, from wine estates in Capetown to beach resorts in Crete. With flexible points-based timeshare ownership, you can also squeeze in long weekends and city breaks between proper holidays.
Accommodation.Self-catering timeshare holidays provide everything you need to feel at home in your holiday home – from the basics, such as a well equipped kitchen to the ultra-luxurious, like a Jacuzzi on the terrace.
Other advantages that come with owning timeshare include:
1. The fact that you’re paid up in advance
2. The freedom to swop your week at your home resort with somewhere else
3. Generally, no extra charge for extra guests
4. The opportunity to rent out your unused week(s)
5. The ability to pass your timeshare on to loved ones
6. Not having to worry about sorting out maintenance or repairs that come with whole ownership (e.g. in the winter of 2010 Spain and Portugal experienced heavy flooding).
7. You avoid “vacation inflation” i.e. rises in hotel prices
8. You get to enjoy a feeling of community and the sense of security that comes with being a member of a well-respected club.
9. You have the peace of mind of a well-known resort name behind your purchase particularly if you buy through an RDO member
10. And, of course, the added peace of mind of knowing that the new EU Timeshare Directive is in force (effective 23rd February 2011) which further safeguards consumers’ interests.
How will the new EU Directive change the timeshare industry and how will it benefit consumers?
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For more information on timeshare holidays and the consumer experience, visit:
www.RDO.org – The Resort Development Organisation
www.tatoc.co.uk – The Timeshare Association run by Timeshare Owners