Do you ever feel bewildered by the timeshare concept?
Timeshare (or shared vacation ownership) is inherently complex and often confusing for most consumers. But the Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa (VOASA) spokesman, Alex Bosch, explains that it’s often easier to understand the concept when you compare it to other timesharing examples as it is not unique to the vacation industry.
For example, it is used every day across many business sectors such as the timesharing of private jets instead of buying the whole plane. Or, consider golfers who cannot afford to own a championship course, but are still able to play golf and enjoy the benefits of the course by becoming a member of the golf club. The course is owned by the club, which is funded by the member’s joining fee and annual subscriptions to cover the maintenance each year.
VOASA cautions consumers to ensure that the type of vacation product they choose is best suited to their individual needs before signing on the dotted line.
“This is like the principals of buying a car. You must decide whether your lifestyle calls for a convertible, bakkie, sedan or SUV. Do you want an entry level model or are you looking for a higher level of comfort with more features that comes with an extra cost?” asks Bosch.
“Remember that shared vacation ownership is a ‘use product’, so to be happy you need to be getting the most out of it because it comes with a cost whether you use it or not – the same as a gym contract,” he adds.
The price of your shared vacation ownership is established at the time of your purchase, which means you are safeguarding your future holiday accommodation costs against inflation and peak season rates. Most importantly, it is advisable to have an envisaged long-term usage plan and to know what your exit options are should you wish to exercise them.
Crystal Springs Mountain Lodge
Conventional Timeshare and Holiday Clubs
Conventional timeshare ownership entails the payment of an upfront sum for a fully furnished accommodation plus yearly maintenance fees. Depending on the agreement, owners either own the rights to a specific, fixed week (for example from the 1st to the 7th of January each year) or the rights to a floating arrangement where you can visit for a week within a period each year (for example a week between the months June and August every year).
Holiday Clubs are a newer variation of the conventional timeshare model and presented an opportunity to invigorate the product offering. Instead of purchasing the rights to a specific unit, holiday club members pay an upfront sum to purchase a specific number of points, which can be redeemed for different vacations each year. Annual resort maintenance fees still apply. The number of points translate to different types of vacations based on the desirability of the resort’s location and the time of the year.
Blue Marlin Hotel
View the timeshare resorts available across South Africa at https://voasa.co.za/resorts/