Evolution Of Timeshare
Timeshare first arose in the 1960’s in Switzerland, by Alexander Nette’s desire for rent-free holidays every year. After the acquisition of several resort properties which were sold in a “right to use” share program as opposed to deeded real estate, he came up with a catchy slogan that advised people “it was cheaper to buy the hotel than to rent the room”, and it caught on.
In 1970’s America, the timeshare concept quickly caught on especially in Florida where a small number of real estate developers, who were experiencing difficulties in selling their full ownership condominium properties in a down economy, began to pursue the new model of interval sales which changed the world of vacationing, as it was then known.
In 1974 RCI (Resort Condominiums International) was formed by Christel and Jon DeHaan. They cleverly figured that if timeshare owners were able to trade their week for a week somewhere else, it would increase the perceived value of the product and more people would buy. This proved correct and since then exchange groups have been formed all over the world.
Over the subsequent years following the emergence of timeshare, various new systems have been created such as the Points System or Fractional Ownership to give the consumer ‘flexibility’ and more choice of holiday options. Schemes are sold as a way to upgrade customers where as in reality, this is another way for resorts to increase their sales by pressuring clients to upgrade or buy more points. This in itself would be fine, if clients were not told false statements in order to clinch the deal.
Although nowadays timeshare has a bad reputation, it isn’t always deserved. There are happy customers who have returned to their timeshare property year on year and have made use of their purchase with no complaints at all. The general consensus is that it is not usually the timeshare property itself that is the problem, but rather the way that it was sold to the consumer, and the conditions under which they sign a contract. This has led to unforeseen expenses and binding conditions in a contract that is very difficult to escape from.