The Summer 2019 issue of the Colebrook Chronicle was published with the latest updates on the timeshare industry. Some of the topics covered in the 13th issue included the rise in misleading timeshare exit companies and the impact they have on owners, resorts, lenders, attorneys and developers, in addition to insight from industry leaders on the future of timeshare. The Colebrook Chronicle is a great resource for those who are looking for industry updates. The publication is organized by Colebrook Financial Company, LLC, a finance firm located in Connecticut that specializes in finances for the timeshare industry.
Are Timeshare Scams on the Rise?
For a long time, exit companies have taken advantage of timeshare owners who were looking to get out of their timeshare. Some exit companies would tell owners that for an upfront fee they could get out of their timeshare contract. Once owners paid that fee, they were told they no longer had to make timeshare payments, causing owners to ruin their credit. This entire process can be extremely devastating and frustrating to the valued members of the vacation ownership world. Resorts and industry leaders genuinely value their members and are working tirelessly to improve this situation.
How exactly do timeshare scams disrupt the industry? Timeshare exit companies have been successful in breaking the trust of current and potential owners with regards to the vacation ownership industry. Not only have exit companies ruined trust among consumers they have also been successful in skyrocketing default rates.
Exit Your Timeshare Responsibly
Even with the persistence of exit companies, resorts are fighting back and implementing even more programs to assist owners when they come to a timeshare crossroads. There are ways that owners who no longer use their timeshare can find relief. Wyndham Cares is a program created by Wyndham that encourages owners within their brand to reach out to Wyndham first when considering exiting their timeshare. In addition, ARDA has a new website titled ResponsibleExit.com that compiles legitimate resources for owners who want to sell or exit their timeshare. Responsible Exit is backed with support from other timeshare industry giants like Interval International and RCI. Similar to Wyndham Cares, ARDA encourages owners to let their resorts be the first point of contact when considering exit options.
If you’re interested in selling your timeshare now, we can help, too.
What’s Next for Timeshare?
As timeshares move forward, many industry executives have moved away from the term “timeshare” and are now marketing the words “vacation ownership.” ARDA World 2019 attendees debated this idea at the annual gathering and concluded that regardless of title, timeshares need to be customer-focused. In addition to the verbiage shift, the structure of the industry is changing as well. Larger vacation companies like Marriott and ILG are merging together and smaller legacy resorts that had deeded timeshare set for 30-40 years in the future are now reaching that 40-year mark. This is causing the smaller and older developers to pivot their efforts by re-purposing old resorts or selling to larger companies in the sphere. Bert Blicher, former ARDA Chairman and current owner of Fidelity Real Estate, commented, “I think we’re going to see a new group of people and maybe a different group of structures.” Not to mention, the timeshare industry experiencing its ninth consecutive year of growth in 2019.
The Timeshare Industry is Evolving
This year, ARDA elected a new President and CEO, Jason Gamel, who brings over 20 years of experience in the timeshare industry, as well as fresh ideas and renewed energy. The new ideals of the next generation of industry leaders and consumers will continue to change the world of timeshare. As seen in recent years, timeshare has opened a world of travel possibilities for owners more than ever before with the concept of points-based timeshares and membership programs. Gone are the days of visiting the same resort every year (unless, of course, you’d like to!) and in come the days of new vacation destinations every year through a timeshare. The evolution of timeshare is good news for timeshare owners because the ways to travel are virtually endless.