Not only is shared vacation ownership good for our health by ensuring that we take regular holidays, it's also good for our country's economy.
According to a 2016 worldwide Oxford Economics Industry Study, the timeshare industry spans the globe with 5,491 resorts, 194 million room nights and annual sales of $19.7 billion. By travelling to these resorts, holidaymakers make a positive contribution to the global economy by supporting nearly 1.3 million jobs and generating $146 billion in economic output.
As one of the world's leading shared vacation ownership markets, South Africa, which is ranked the fifth highest country for vacation ownership and fourth in terms of future purchase interest, has resonated the vibrancy of the international scene. It is a R3.5 billion per annum industry that has a significant footprint in the tourism and hospitality sectors. Furthermore, its knock-on effect has a positive impact on the country's economy by contributing billions of rand to the GDP and generating employment for around 27,000 people, ranging from highly skilled to informal positions.
"Another interesting finding of the Oxford Economics Study was that vacation owners generally spend more than double what a hotel guest spends on local attractions. This is because hotel guests spend most of their holiday budget on premium season accommodation rates, while vacation owners are saving up to 50% on their accommodation, giving them more disposable cash to support local economies," says Alex Bosch, spokesman for the Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa (VOASA).
He adds, "When we compared the number of timeshare apartments to the number of hotel rooms in three popular vacation destinations, we found that timeshare made up for 63% of the apartments in Umhlanga, 60% of the apartments in the Drakensberg and 70% of the apartments in the Hazyview/Kruger Park area. This indicates a significant contribution by the shared vacation industry to local revenues through restaurants, entertainment attractions and retail outlets."
With property upgrades of more than R500 million in recent years, resort development plays a key role in supporting local entrepreneurs. Crafters are given the opportunity to sell their merchandise in many resort's curio shops, which helps to alleviate poverty. This creates a positive experience for the local communities and holidaymakers by balancing the needs of travellers with those of the destination.
"The timeshare industry can take pride in being one of the robust areas within the South African economy. Through its nearly half-a-million members, including resort developers and other various stakeholders, the industry is perfectly positioned as a tool to influence change and make a positive impact on the future of our country's economy," concludes Bosch.
Find out more about this story at www.voasa.co.za