The timeshare industry has been around for over four decades and in the process has gotten more confusing to its consumers. Luckily for us, there are some companies that are helping consumers navigate the minefield of the world of timeshares. Among these is Timeshare Users Group (TUG), a website that has been selling timeshares for nearly 29 years. In fact, the company’s website has sold more than $50 million in timeshares.
The TUG website isn’t the only timeshare site on the Internet. Another is Signature Resorts, which claims to be the largest timeshare resort operator in the world. This adolescent firm owns 46 resorts, which contain 175,000 timeshare owners. Its newest acquisition, LSI, has been bought by Signature Resorts in a move that will allow it to increase its footprint in the European timeshare market.
In the United Kingdom, the timeshare industry is still a relatively small one, but it is growing. The aforementioned TUG website has a presence in the UK. The company has announced a new marketing campaign and has also acquired a 119-unit timeshare resort in New Orleans. A similar campaign has been launched by Fleetwood Enterprises, the nation’s largest recreational vehicle producer.
Other than providing vacations and a place to stay, timeshares also provide consumers with an ever-expanding list of travel options. Some of the better names in hospitality have introduced innovative designs to the timeshare experience. Even if you have a bad experience with one of these timeshare resorts, it is a good idea to find a new place to go.
Timeshares aren’t all bad though. According to a survey, 8 out of 10 timeshare owners have enjoyed their ownership for over a decade. Additionally, the timeshare industry plays a crucial role in the economy of Europe. That being said, the latest consumer report from the Financial Times is a scary one.
In fact, timeshares are a surprisingly effective way for developers to drive up hotel rates during recessions. While some timeshare resorts have been able to raise their prices via an influx of gullible customers, Marriott Vacations Worldwide and other top tier companies are likely to be hit hard by the recession. Fortunately, the delinquency rate of timeshares at Marriott Vacations is lower than it was during the great financial crisis.
On the other hand, there are numerous cases of timeshares being mishandled by unscrupulous marketers. Several have been found guilty of fraudulent activity, and one, Laugharne Park Wales, was even fined by the Advertising Standards Authority for misleading prospective buyers.
Despite its flaws, the timeshare industry isn’t going anywhere. From independent developers to top-named resorts, the timeshare product is improving. For example, Sunterra, the parent company of LSI, has introduced a new points system to the USA. LSI has even made a point-split policy for its Grand Vacation Club.
The most exciting part of all is that there are more and more options to choose from. One of the best parts is the fact that timeshares are one of the few industries that can truly offer consumers a year-round job.