The multiple ownership of individual weeks brought with it the guarantee of reservations for those who wanted to ski in the area. It was an immediate success. By the 1970’s some faltering condominium projects in St. Thomas, Fort Lauderdale and Puerto Rico were converted over to vacation ownership and thereafter timesharing became a viable vacation alternative.
Once the concept of vacation ownership was embraced by the United States it began to gain wide acceptance by the public. Sales jumped to over 50 million by the mid 1970’s and has climbed to more than 2 billion annually today. Vacation ownership has enjoyed substantial growth over the years with approximately 3.3 million timeshares sold since 1980. Currently there are over 5,000 vacation ownership resorts in over 75 countries around the world.
Exchanging a vacation ownership week in one resort for that of another resort was introduced in 1974 and thereafter timesharing offered variety and flexibility in the vacation experience. Although there are many exchange companies available which provide excellent service, the two major forces are Resort Condominiums International (RCI) which has approximately 3,250 member resorts and Interval International (II) with approximately 1,600 member resorts. Combined, these two companies provided over 1,600,000 exchanges last year.
During a 30 year span, the industry has grown from small (15-20 unit ) hotel conversions to the high quality condominium resorts of today. The evolution of the industry from scattered entrepreneurs to well managed professional development companies has brought with it a noticeable change for the better. Definitive leaders have emerged and created standards and ethics for management, marketing and sales practices. One such organization is the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) who’s members are required to comply with the established “Code of Ethics.” The recent entrance into the marketplace by major hospitality chains such as Disney, Hilton, Ramada, and Marriott has greatly enhanced the quality and image of the industry. Vacation ownership resorts of today are luxurious, spacious and well located.
By the advent of these stronger and more professional development and management companies along with the weeding out the less desirable developers and marketers, the industry is experiencing a noticeable swing from a historically negative to a very positive public image. One of the industry’s leading analysts (Ragatz and Associates) concluded that the majority of timeshare owners are very satisfied with their purchase and in fact, many own multiple weeks. The future of vacation ownership is very optimistic and has tremendous potential.
What Is Vacation Ownership ?
Vacation Ownership “Timesharing” is the right to use specific weeks of a resort during a specific time period. Simply put, it is the pre-purchase of a vacation. It is important to understand that vacation ownership is a commodity which is purchased to be enjoyed and used over the years. One should never purchase a timeshare with the intent of reselling it for a profit. Vacations are holidays for which we spend money to relax and rejuvenate; they are not investments.
Ownership of a timeshare is very similar to ownership of a condominium except that your rights are limited to a certain week during the year. The form of ownership can be Deeded, Leased or a License.
The License is somewhat different in that it is most commonly a membership in a club. Providing you are a member in good standing, you have the right to use the club and all it’s amenities. Be sure to read and understand all the terms and conditions of your club membership before you make the decision to buy. Most vacation ownership consists of either a deeded interest or a leased interest for a specific number of years.
A Deeded interest is owned outright forever. It an absolute right which can be sold, leased, or even willed to your heirs. Most timeshares which exist today are deeded ownership.
The Leased interest is much like an apartment lease except right to use it is restricted to a specific week during the year. Upon the expiration of the lease term your right to use will generally terminate and return to the resort. With a leased interest you should know the terms and conditions of the lease prior to making the decision to buy.
The time of your use can be either Fixed or Floating. Fixed time is a specific week during the year usually defined by a number. Generally the week will begin on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday and is given a number starting with the first week in January an run through the end of December. (Example – week 14 might be April 7 through April 13.)
Floating time means you have the right to select any available week within a certain season of the year. Therefore, if you own a summer season week you could pick any week which falls within the
defined summer months. However, competition between existing owners for prime weeks in very desirable location can impact availability. It is important to find which type of use best fits your specific travel needs.
Each resort is different and you should ask if there are other benefits which are available to its owners. Many resorts offer special reduced rental rates for extra nights or us of other resorts which are owned by the developer. This can add to you flexibility and provide substantial saving on vacation costs. Additionally, consider carefully how and where you normally vacation. This is very important in making your decision about where you should buy and what you will be trading.
Important Facts About Vacation Ownership
– Timeshare is one of the fastest growing areas of the travel and tourism industry.
– Timeshare owners live in more than 200 countries around the world.
– Major brands now involved in timeshare internationally include Hilton, Hyatt, Four Seasons, Sheraton, Ramada and De Vere.
– On a worldwide basis, more than 12 million people took a timeshare vacation in 1999
– There are around 5,500 timeshare resorts throughout the world in more than 90 countries.
– The industry is worth in excess of $6 billion annually. The top 10 timeshare companies alone reported combined sales in excess of $2.64 billion in 1999.
– During 1999 each of the top 10 performing timeshare companies worldwide recorded sales in excess of $100 million.
– RCI, the world’s leading timeshare exchange organization, arranged vacations for seven million people worldwide in 2000, making it one of the world’s largest travel companies.
Timeshare Today And In The Future
The modern timeshare industry continues to expand at a rapid rate, with new markets opening up in Asia and Eastern Europe and consolidation prevalent in the established markets of Western Europe and North America.
Firmly established as a key sector of the mainstream vacation market, the multi-billion dollar timeshare industry now embraces modest entrepreneurs and mighty corporations. Its global reach with close to 6,000 resorts in more than 90 countries extends from Spain to China, Mexico to South Africa.
Some of the world’s biggest names in the hospitality and leisure sector now have timeshare interests – Hilton, Sheraton, Disney, Ramada, Four Seasons, Hyatt, Westin, Ritz-Carlton and Radisson. At the same time, the list of well-known European companies with timeshare interests continues to grow – RIU Hotels (50% owned by TUI – Touristik Union International, Europe’s largest tour operator), Sol Melia, De Vere, Macdonald Hotels in partnership with Barratts (the UK’s Number One house builder), Mondi Ferienclub in Germany.
Quality developments around the world are enjoyed by millions of owners, their families and friends, making the phenomenon of timeshare a success story without equal. In 1999 over 12 million people took a timeshare vacation.
Timeshare owners come from over 190 countries but more of them live in the United States than anywhere else in the world – 47%! In fact the US has the lion’s share of timeshare resorts – over 1,500. And that accounts for more than 37% of the total worldwide. In the western world, timeshare is now a highly organized and regulated industry. Trade bodies such as the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) and the Organisation for Timeshare in Europe (OTE) work to apply codes of conduct and ensure that expansion is based on sound commercial practice and ethical standards.
There is also considerable regional, national and international legislation in place which aims to help protect the rights of potential purchasers and discourage the use of high-pressure sales tactics.
Timeshare in the future The worldwide timeshare industry looks set to grow in popularity and log record sales in the months and years ahead. Social trends mean more people have more time and money to devote to travel and the concept of vacation ownership. In many parts of the world, regulation has given timeshare a firm footing, helping to reassure and protect purchasers with a series of consumer protection measures.
Since its inception, timeshare has undergone a metamorphosis, according to Timeshare: Coming of Age, an independent report published in October, 1999. With the advent of the points-based system, the original real estate concept has been transformed into “a flexible, pre-paid vacation membership concept, placing timeshare where it belongs – in the mainstream of travel, tourism, hospitality and leisure”.
In 10 years time who knows where the next development will be?
Golf vacation resorts were introduced with the aim of providing players with rich golfing experience and an ultimate luxurious experience. It is not surprising, therefore, to learn that these vacation resorts are becoming the preferred choice of golfers all over the world. However, to enjoy a dream vacation a golfer must do some careful planning and consider few important tips.
Tips to select golf resort: Choosing the perfect golfing destination while going on a vacation represents the most important step for relishing a memorable holiday. Some love the energy of a big city like Las Vegas while others love golfing in a peaceful countryside. In addition to the destination, don’t forget to research about the prevailing weather conditions. A bad weather can be the biggest threat to a good golfing experience. It is advisable to visit golf courses in peak times. However, all those who are looking for cheap golf can visit private golf courses in slow times such as winter. Most golf resorts provide discount tee times during the off-season.
The various golf vacation packages: One needs to decide whether to opt for a golf vacation package or go without it. Many believe that vacation packages are ideal for those who have a high budget. This is a wrong conception; golf vacation packages do not necessarily have to be expensive and people looking for some cheap golf can also opt for them. These golf packages usually include the cost of staying in the hotel rooms, discount tee times, and carts. In most golf packages there are facilities for luxurious rooms at low rates, guaranteed tee times, discount green fees, and in some cases, even the drinks and entertainment. Another advantage of booking vacation package is that golfers can play at less crowded private golf courses. However, golfers might be required to adhere to certain tee times restrictions and the discount tee times are not available throughout the season.
Golfers must consider the fact that golf vacation packages are available for people with different tastes and budgets, so it is better to shop around for a fancy deal rather than choosing anything on an impulse.
Consider the budges: All those who are planning to go on a vacation without opting for any package must prepare in details their budget and the estimated expenses that are likely to occur in different fields such as transport, accommodation, and costs for booking tee times etc. It is recommended that golfers take special care while booking online tee times. Those who want to save a few dollars while booking tee times can opt for golf networking sites that offer discount green fees. Generally, the paid members of the golf networking sites can book tee times by just paying the green fees.
Some finds golf packages better suited to their needs while others prefer going on a trip without opting for any kind of packages. No matter what kind of option one chooses, it is crucial to consider the tastes and requirements of people who are traveling along with the golfer. This means that one should choose a resort that has entertainment facilities for the non-golfers or one that is nearby to some fun places and entertainment parks.
Same-sex couples will now be able to get married in Cancun after the citys government announces the authorisation of legal gay weddings.
The JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa is celebrating the announcement by offering a special wedding package for couples planning destination weddings at the resort.
The exclusive package includes an upgraded room, 25 per cent discount on treatments in the resorts spa, a bottle of wine during dinner at one of the restaurants, return transfers to the airport, and $50 daily resort credits.
Couples planning Cancun weddings at the luxury gay-friendly resort can take advantage of the newly created wedding package, which starts from $269, until 21st December, 2012.
The JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa is perfect for straight or gay couples getting married abroad and it provides lovers with an array of modern facilities and 448 beautifully-appointed rooms and suites that boast private balconies and views overlooking the pristine white beaches and the sparkling turquoise ocean.
The AAA Five Diamond Hotel-awarded Cancun hotel has a selection of upscale facilities including four world-class restaurants, 20,000-square-feet of meeting space and function rooms, the exclusive Club 91, two freeform swimming pools, a childrens pool, a 20 foot dive pool with artificial reef, tennis courts and the Marriott Kids Club.
Certified wedding planners are on hand to help organise every detail for tailor made destination weddings and brides and grooms can choose from several idyllic settings including exquisite outdoor space, an oceanfront garden gazebo, a grand ballroom, and many more.
After enjoying romantic weddings abroad at the resort, newlyweds and their guests can stay for longer after the big day and relax and be pampered in the Mayan-inspired spa which has been recognised as one of the best spas in Mexico with 35,000 square-feet of space, 17 treatment rooms, a modern fitness suite, a dedicated aerobics room, Spa Salon, indoor heated swimming pool and Jacuzzi, and a juice bar.
Cancun is located on the Yucatan channel which separates Mexico from the Caribbean island of Cuba. After celebrating weddings in Cancun, newlyweds can extend the occasion with a romantic honeymoons where they can enjoy water sports activities in Nichupte Lagoon or explore the historic Mayan archaeological sites including Kinichna, Dzibanche and Tulum.
Formerly known as the Sirenis Cayo Santo Maria, the luxury property previously owned by the Spanish hotel chain has now passed hands to the Gaviota hotel group, a Cuban state owned hotel group which has been progressively taking over the resort in the last couple of months.
Now renamed as the Gaviota Playa Cayo Santa Maria, the former Sirenis property has been undergoing several updates and renovations while still operating as normal and welcoming visitors as usual. With the management transfer from one hotelier to the other has being carried out in the background, the changes have gone almost unnoticed to visitors as most guests enjoying Cuba holidays at the luxurious and modern Cayo Santa Maria resort have noticed virtually no disturbance.
Officially re-launched under Gaviota’s brand name, the newly revamped Gaviota Playa Cayo Santa Maria boasts some of the most amazing swimming pools to be found in the whole of Cuba, each beautifully landscaped with extensive freeform designs and additional water mirrors that create a stunning effect.
Boasting a refreshing collection of 769 elegantly appointed and modern guest rooms, ranging from standard double rooms, ocean view rooms and luxury suites, accommodation at the Gaviota Playa Cayo Santa Maria is comfortable and inviting. Providing travellers with fantastic all inclusive holidays in Cuba’s northern Santa Maria Key, the resorts’ wide range of facilities include a wide variety of restaurants with varying dining options to choose from, an array of water sports and entertainment activities as well as live music shows, a Baby Club for the youngest guests, a state-of-the-art gym and a relaxing spas for those in need of pampering and indulgence.
Officially rated as a 4-star Plus category resort, this vast hotel complex located at the popular Cuban holiday destination of Cayo Santa Maria, a small key situated in the northern coast of the central city of Villa Clara, offers guests with sweeping sea views and direct access to a stunning stretch of narrow beach.
If looking for a little culture or for somewhere else to do beyond the resort’s boundaries, the hotel’s great location means that guests will never have to wander off too far to find tourist attractions. The nearby town of Caibarien is within a short taxi ride and boasts a good selection of restaurants, bars, shops and culturally-enriching attractions of historical value. A stay in Cayo Santa Maria doesn’t have to be all about sun and beach, as from this fascinating location guests can also get to enjoying some enriching cultural Cuba holidays.
Red Sea resorts in Egypt are seeing an increase in visitors as divers begin flocking back to the region to enjoy their underwater adventures.
One of the top locations for scuba diving holidays is Dahab on the Sinai Peninsula and the coastal town is attracting many visitors who are keen to escape the countrys cities and political unrest.
Since the beginning of Egypts revolution last year, the country has seen a decline in tourists as many people avoided travelling during the violent protests that led to the overthrow of President Mubarak.
Mahmoud Aouda, a local dive instructor in Dahab said that work has declined over the last eighteen months despite the recent increase of holidaymakers.
We are still working and people are coming. The Red Sea attracts people from the whole world. Americans, Europeans, Asians are still coming. Work is still good, but not like before the Revolution. Work has slowed down at about 50 to 60 percent, he explained.
Dahab is one of leading scuba diving destinations alongside Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada, and the coastal town boasts clear ocean waters, fantastic diving sites such as the Canyon, and an array of marine species and stunning reefs that can be found close to the shoreline.
Frank Vahrenhorst, a scuba diving organiser at the H20 Dive Centre in Dahab, commented: Even the courses here are very nice to do here because the visibility is very good. Theres hardly any current and basically we have swimming pool like conditions and the marine life here is absolutely stunning.
While scuba diving in the Red Sea, divers can explore colourful coral reefs, sunken wrecks, and swim alongside exquisite marine creatures such as clownfish, lionfish, giant moray eels, barracuda, octopus, hermit crabs, dugongs, green turtles, dolphins and sharks.
Situated 600 km from Cairo, Dahab has always been a favourite destination for scuba diving holidays and the town is surrounded by stretches of golden sand beaches. The waters near Dahab are home to “The World’s Most Dangerous Diving Site”, The Blue Hole, and travellers from all over the world enjoy scuba diving adventures in the Sinai Peninsula every year.
One advantage to the decline in scuba diving visitors over the past year is that the regions delicate coral reef has had the opportunity to recover from human disturbance and as a result more fish can be spotted in the ocean waters.