In the past timeshare resorts were for the exclusive use of owners and their families or friends, but not anymore. These sought-after resorts are becoming a popular choice for people holidaying on a budget and wanting peace-of-mind when it comes to quality home-like accommodation with onsite entertainment.
"Timeshare rentals are the hidden gems of the travel industry," says Alex Bosch, COO of the Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa (VOASA). "You can take a chance on renting a holiday accommodation that is unfamiliar or you can choose a timeshare rental managed by top hospitality brands that are known for their quality vacations and an array of amenities."
Bosch explains that these resorts are available to the public when owners are unable to use their holiday and opt to rent it out instead. "Generally, owners will price their timeshare rental based on their annual maintenance fees so that they don’t lose money. This means non-owners can experience all the benefits of a timeshare holiday at an incredibly affordable price. As a result, the timeshare rental market is growing and will continue to do so because it offers a win-win situation for everyone."
While some people primarily book timeshare rentals for their vacations, others are taking advantage of the opportunity to 'try before they buy' and get a first-hand experience of shared vacation ownership. However, Bosch advises that if you develop an affinity with a resort, location or hospitality brand, then it makes more sense in the long term to rather buy than rent.
The timeshare industry, which is one of the earliest and largest examples of collaborative consumption, is a true backbone of the economy, according to the Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa (VOASA)...
Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa 5 Apr 2019
In South Africa, there are 158 timeshare and vacation ownership properties in the most sought-after locations that cater to all types of holiday preferences - from beach to berg, bush or urban city adventures. These resorts are operated by recognised South African hospitality brands who are accredited with VOASA - such as Tsogo Sun, Sun International and Legacy Hotels and Resorts as well as exchange companies like RCI, amongst others.
"By renting a multi-room timeshare unit, families don't have to rent multiple hotel rooms and can put those cost savings to better use," says Bosch.
Finding a timeshare to rent is relatively easy thanks to the internet and online bookings. But with holiday rental scams on the rise, Bosch cautions consumers to be vigilant and to weigh up the advantages of dealing with established industry players. "Be wary of paying a private individual by bank transfer, even if you are offered a discounted rate. Trust your instincts as it would be much worse to find the money had been taken and you turned up to no accommodation."