When you consider that there are 750,000 timeshare owners in South Africa and over 20 million globally enjoying annual vacations year after year, you begin to realise that timeshare (also referred to as shared vacation ownership) is a booming industry.
2017 was recorded as one of the best years globally, with 5,491 resorts and annual sales of over $19.7 billion. But what's fueling this industry's growth?
Spokesman for the Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa, Alex Bosch, says that product flexibility and the wide variety of locations offered by shared vacation ownership is a big drawcard.
"Holiday aspirations vary from person to person, which is why the industry has evolved from fixed-week, fixed-unit purchases to holiday clubs that offer points for greater flexibility in travel destinations and varying vacation periods. The point systems, rental option and exchanges with companies such as RCI and Interval International, are more examples of the product innovation and adaption over the past 50 years to suit the ever-changing trends of travellers," he said.
Here's some of the leading reasons why shared vacation ownership is the preferred vacation lifestyle, especially among millennials and young families seeking quality vacations that are affordable. 1. Reputability - the industry is led by top global hospitality brands
Over the past three decades, top global brands have entered the timeshare arena and dramatically changed the face of the industry. Internationally these include Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Sheraton, Disney, Wyndham and in South Africa Tsogo Sun, Sun International and Legacy Hotels and Resorts are actively engaged in growing the industry locally. 2. Timeshare saves you money
By paying for a number of years holidays upfront at today's prices, you are safeguarding your holiday costs against inflation and peak season rates. If you calculate the expense of owning and maintaining a holiday home that is only used once or twice a year, it makes financial sense to share the cost between several owners. 3. You can holiday whenever and wherever you want - and more regularly
You don't have to go back to the same place at the same time year after year. There's lots of choice in where and when to travel locally or abroad, the duration of your vacation and the size of your accommodation. A recent global Oxford Economics Study revealed that South African timeshare owners spend 6.5 more days a year on holiday than their non-owner counterparts, which means that vacation ownership guarantees that you will vacation at least once a year and ensures you take future vacations.4. There's no hefty accommodation bill at the end of your stay
While other holidaymakers may be feeling the anxiety of a hefty accommodation bill at the end of their stay, shared vacation owners can smile because timeshare allows you to pick up when the mood strikes and alleviates the stress of needing sufficient cash to pay for accommodation on the spur of the moment. 5. There's no gambling with your accommodation
Exploring new destinations can be a gamble if the accommodation does not live up to its promises. But with the consistent quality of shared vacation ownership, your home-like accommodations with full facilities is a sure bet, allowing plenty of luxurious space for togetherness and room for privacy.
For further peace of mind, VOASA provides consumers with assistance when purchasing timeshare to safeguard them against fraudulent business practice. This industry body further serves to ensure that high standards of ethics are upheld by its members, who include reputable companies that have been in the industry since the early 1970s. VOASA recommends only doing business with its registered members and these can be viewed on their website at www.voasa.co.za