Visions of the World Timeshare History
It is widely ackonwledged that the Timeshare industry we know today began its humble roots in the Swiss Alps around the mid 1960s. Families from all over Europe were vacationing more frequently and determined that it was more affordable for several families to jointly own a chalet or apartment and take it in turns to use it for a period of time hence sharing the ownership of a vacation home. Europe became the epicentre of a building boom once developers had embraced the concept of multi owned properties resorts, selling them in one and two week increments "Timeshare" was bourne and the vacation home ownership market had arrived to the masses at an affordable cost to many more families.
Timeshare entered the US in the 1970s and have grown from strength to strength ever since. Early Timeshare developments were mostly located in the South and converted from Motels and Hotels producing one bedroom and studio (efficiency) style units. In 1974 the vacation exchange company RCI was established, timeshare exchange and flexibility of use was created enabling consumers greater options Worldwide through the exchange of their Timeshare Ownership.
The Timeshare Industry experienced a boom period over the next few years with the incoparation of exchange and the general increase in vacation options as consumers had more time and disposable income to enjoy their well earned holidays. The Time Share concept spread like wild fire, notably in Spain and Portugal.
The rapid growth of the Timeshare industry continued into the 1990s expanding the exchange portfolio into Asia and Eastern Europe adding to the 2300 or so developments and 4 million Timeshare Owners Worldwide. Through out the decade the multi billion pound Timeshare market continued to attract both entrepeneurs and large corporations. Some of the Worlds best known travel and leisure names reilised the benefits of adding Timeshare interests to their mainstream business models- Hilton, Sheraton, Disney, Marriott's, Ramada, Four Seasons, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton and Radisson became firm industry figures.
By the turn of the century millons of time share owners, family and friends were owners of vacation ownership all over the World making the timeshare industry a huge success. Timeshare today extends to over 100 countries and nearly 5400 resorts. Timeshare owners come from some 270 different countries with approximately 45% from the United States.
Regulation has been a keen provider to increased Timeshare interest with many countries adopting messures to protect both the buyers and sellers of Timeshare Ownership. In the Western World, timeshare is a highly organised and regulated industry. Trade bodies include the Organisation for Timeshare in Europe (OTE), the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) and the Canadian Resort Development Association (CRDA) who work tirelessly to apply codes of conduct and a strict code of ethics.
The Future of Timeshare
Due to the ever growing world population the worldwide Timeshare industry looks positioned firmly to increase sales in the months and years ahead. As the fastest growing sector of the travel and leisure industry.