Timeshares may have received bad press in the past as tarnished by tales of scams and mis-selling practices. Ask those owners who are eager to get out of their timeshares and they’ll give a list of it’s the disadvantages of such vacationing option. But many holidaymakers today are looking forward to timeshare exchange as a great way to make use of their timeshares and consequently, as an ultimate way of vacationing.
The practice of acquiring certain amount of weeks’ usage a year in a holiday home is now commonly called ‘seasonal’ or ‘shared’ ownership or ‘a holiday membership club’. But such schemes all promise that you get to ‘sample the lifestyle of being a second-home owner at a fraction of the price’.
According to Helen Foster, of RCI, the world’s largest shared ownership network, many of their customers could afford a second home, but prefer the flexibility of a holiday exchange programme. She added that the customers are typically middle-class professionals, usually late-40s plus, who save money in the long run and swap their weeks for those in a different resort if they get bored of the same location.
On the other hand, in the US, holiday exchange schemes are big business, but they are catching on UK as people realize their flexibility. As Dimitris Manikis of RCI’s Business Development said, UK customers are increasingly looking at home rather than abroad to spend their vacation. He added that last year, the staycation is gaining popularity because of the recession, and this year the uncertainty of air travel is fuelling this trend.