Are timeshares still relevant to today’s holidaymakers?
The way we holiday is changing, and this could spell trouble for the future of the timeshare industry
In the 1960s and 1970s, timeshares were hugely popular, offering people an affordable way to purchase a vacation property and enjoy regular holidays abroad. However, since those halcyon days, the timeshare industry has suffered a dip in popularity, and some people question whether timeshares can still appeal to today’s holidaymakers, and remain relevant and viable in the years to come.
To help us answer that question, we asked some timeshare solicitors what the future holds for the timeshare industry.
Over the years, timeshares have developed somewhat of a negative reputation, thanks largely to instances of unscrupulous, high-pressure sales tactics, unfair contracts and unexpected charges – all of which have resulted in unhappy and frustrated customers. The timeshare industry needs to tackle these issues and restore their reputation if they want to halt their decline in popularity and appeal to today’s more savvy shoppers.
Another of the key challenges facing timeshare companies is that they are competing in a marketplace that has altered drastically in the last decade or so. The way in which we holiday has changed, and the growth of low-cost airlines and the success of holiday rental firms such as Air B&B has made it easier than ever before for people to explore the world and travel to exotic destinations. This means that today’s holidaymakers expect more flexibility from their vacations, and many prefer to explore a variety of destinations rather than returning to the same resort year after year. This attitude is particularly prevalent amongst younger generations, and is something that could spell trouble for the industry in years to come if not tackled effectively.
Overcoming the challenges
The industry is undoubtedly facing some significant challenges, but that doesn’t have to spell disaster for timeshare companies. There are steps the sector can take to overcome these challenges and stay relevant to today’s holidaymakers.
In order to compete in this new holiday marketplace, it’s essential that timeshare firms offer their customers a greater degree of flexibility. And, in fact, many of the larger companies are already moving in this direction by offering flexible ownership plans that allow owners to accrue points that they can choose to spend in a variety of designated timeshare resorts. Many of these ownership plans also include options to bank, exchange or buy additional points, giving owners the freedom and flexibility to enjoy a timeshare experience that is tailored to their needs.
Offering more flexibility is a great first step, but in order to stay ahead of the competition, timeshare companies also need to make sure that they offer added value to their customers. Prioritising the customer experience is absolutely key and offering features such as virtual resort tours, tailored on-site activities, speedy online sales services and members-only perks can all help timeshare firms to stand out in a competitive marketplace.
While there are certainly challenges to overcome, it’s not all doom and gloom for the timeshare industry. Those companies who view the challenges as an opportunity to focus on their customers and improve the way they do business will find themselves well placed to succeed in the