Historically, timeshare has shown time and time again that it is one of the most resilient sectors of the holiday industry, and this year is no exception.
An article last week in the Times of India highlighted the timeshare industry’s resilience in that region during challenging times, and the piece outlined the benefits of owning timeshare as a “future holiday” product.
As the article noted, timeshares are doing well while hotel bookings have fallen:
“ Timeshare is a concept where the customer pays upfront for the right of low-priced vacations at resorts at different locations for a specific period (say, one week) each year for a specified number of years. Hence, at times of economic slowdown when people usually tighten their purse strings, the timeshare model allows members to reap the benefits of their lump-sum payment and enjoy vacations at resorts, experts say.”
Many of India’s leading timeshare entrepreneurs agree that the shared ownership industry is currently enjoying an upward curve:
“The mood in general is despondent but the timeshare industry does well and is inflation proof,” said Ramesh Ramanathan, managing director of Sterling Holiday Resorts.
Rajiv Sawhney, CEO of leading brand Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India, echoed this view, while tour operators are also seeing tangible growth within the sector. Ajit Kuma, CEO of Asia Pacific Tours, added:
“There is definitely an increase in people taking timeshare vacations. Timeshare as a concept is aimed at families rather than business groups or couples, and with changing lifestyles, people are looking for such opportunities to bond with their families. Since companies are also positioning their products for this and marketing the products intensely, there is an increase.”
The Times of India feature mentions that although India’s vacation ownership industry is relatively new, it has grown at 18% in the last five years. There are about 350,000 households in the country who some kind of timeshare product.
Sterling Resorts reports that occupancy rates this year have averaged 65% – up on last year’s figure of 52% and it also has an expanding number of rooms on its books – 1,500 rooms compared with 1,35o last year.
“Resorts in Daman, Sariska and Dindi in Andhra Pradesh will be up next year,” Ramanathan said.
Among the new resorts that are popular this year are ones in Goa – a favourite destination for timeshare owners who want to completely switch off and enjoy a “chillout” break – as well as Karwar, Thekkady and Dharmashala.
Club Mahindra is in the fortunate position of being able to boast 90% occupancy at its units, so it makes sense that the company is now looking to expand outside India, since two of its international properties- in Bangkok and Dubai- have done particularly well.
“We will be going to all international destinations where Indian low cost carriers fly to,” Sawhney said. Club Mahindra plans to add over 500 units to its current inventory of 2,480 rooms over the next few years.