The timeshare industry is booming and a great option for many consumers. In fact, according to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), more than a million households in the US own timeshares, spending $10.5 billion each year. Yet while they are a popular choice for many, these vacation ownership products are not without their share of issues. From hefty maintenance fees to constant upsells, they often come with a big price tag and a lot of headaches.
Fortunately, there are steps consumers can take to protect themselves. They can visit the BBB’s website, which has reviews and complaints, and always read the fine print of the contracts. Additionally, they should seek out reputable companies that have an excellent track record in the industry. This will give them peace of mind and reduce the risk of being scammed.
In its early days, timeshares gained a less-than-favorable reputation for questionable marketing tactics and the pressure put on consumers to buy on the spot. This, coupled with a failure to disclose key information such as the timeshare’s life-long financial obligation and its high risk, earned them the label of “pressure sales.” As the industry matured, consumer protection organizations, ARDA in the U.S., CVOA in Europe, RDO in Canada and PROFECO in Mexico, were formed, leading to improved regulations and enforcement.
These groups also created a number of best practices for the industry to follow, which led to increased credibility with consumers and a more stable market world-wide. These developments are the primary reason that, despite the COVID-19 crisis, the timeshare industry continues to thrive in many countries, and the popularity of these vacation ownership products has continued to grow.
The most recent ARDA International Foundation’s 2021 State of the Industry survey revealed that the industry is rebounding from the impact of COVID-19, and has been able to maintain its momentum. It is expected that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.
Timeshares are a valuable asset for those who enjoy traveling to exotic destinations and can make these experiences more affordable and accessible than ever before. With the growing popularity of these types of products, it is likely that they will continue to be a popular choice for vacationers in the coming years.
Timeshares are a major source of employment in the hospitality industry and can provide direct and indirect jobs through tourism and visitor spending at other businesses. In 2005, the timeshare industry in the United States generated 91,300 jobs directly through resort operations and an additional 99,700 jobs through visitor spending at other businesses. In addition, timeshare owners contribute to the economic growth of their local communities by attracting new residents and providing jobs in areas where it is needed most. These facts demonstrate that the industry is a vital part of the tourism sector, and the importance of continued support from all stakeholders to sustain its growth.