European Timeshare: Happy Owners And A Year Round Boost To Regional Economies

There are over 1.5 million in and the vast majority *(87%) are happy with their holidays, with almost three quarters thinking that their timeshare accommodation is better than other self-catering holidays they have taken, with quality of accommodation the most important consideration for owners.

This is according to a comprehensive study into timeshare carried out by The at the Nottingham University Business School on behalf of RDO (Resort Development Organisation), formerly known as OTE. The study looked into the industry in detail, analysing what its economic impact is, what owners think of their timeshare and what the industry’s reach is, over 40 years since it was first conceived of in the French Alps.

The results paint a picture of a thriving industry which makes a positive impact on local economies all over Europe. The Timeshare industry generates €3.2 billion of expenditure each year and employs nearly 70,000 people. Occupancy rates are high throughout the year (72%) in Europe’s 1,312 resorts – that’s 67 million bed nights – with owners spending an average of €1,588 per trip on goods and services in the local area: from restaurants, car rental and groceries to souvenirs and clothes.

It is also a form of holiday property ownership for the masses with the average owner’s household income (pre-tax) standing at €60,475; and for people in their mid-life, with the average owner coming in at 55.  The British and the Irish are the biggest timeshare fans, followed by the Germans, Italians, Spanish and French. Spain is the most popular destination with 26% of resorts, followed by Italy (15%) and the UK and Ireland (11%). It’s not all about jetting off though, one third of owners purchase a timeshare in their own country – which shows many want to be able to get to their resort easily.

“Timeshare is a concept that has truly come of age with many thousands of happy owners across Europe”, said RDO Chairman . “The quality of timeshare resorts is high which is why many owners see it as superior to other self catering holidays. With exchange options available, owners also enjoy the flexibility of being able to try out resorts across Europe and the rest of the world.”

“This report also highlights the positive impact that timeshare has on local economies. Timeshare is a year round industry with owners as likely to visit in the winter months as the summer, spending money in the local community and providing jobs where they otherwise might not exist”, concluded McIntosh.

Professor , Director, Christel DeHaan Tourism and Travel Research Institute commented: “This report is essential reading for all involved in the timeshare business, not only does it provide a detailed profile of timeshare owners, but it also examines their future intentions and preferences in the timeshare market place”.

More about RDO
RDO (Resort Development Organisation) is the trade body dedicated to excellence and fair trading in the European vacation ownership industry, whilst promoting and fostering industry growth. As such, it serves its members through public relations, legislative lobbying, research and member and consumer relations management.

Resort Development Organisation AISBL, formerly Organisation for Timeshare in Europe AISBL is an international non profit making association registered in Brussels with company number 0457.984.213.  Its registered office is at Oak House, Cours St Michel 100/3, 1040 Brussels, Belgium

The Christel DeHaan Tourism and Travel Research Institute (TTRI)
TTRI is located in the Business School in the University of Nottingham. The University of Nottingham is one of the UK’s leading universities, a member of the Russell Group of universities and one of the top four universities earning research funding from private industry and commerce. The Business School has been rated as one of the leading research schools in the 2008 UK-wide Research Assessment Exercise

Previous results
*When asked in 2006 whether they were pleased with their decision to buy timeshare 75% of UK owners agreed.

Case Studies – the following ‘excerpts’ represent major developers in some of the key timeshare markets – UK, Portugal and Spain (including the Canaries).

Anfi Group
Anfi Group resorts are located in two main areas of Gran Canaria: Anfi Arguineguín with 4 resorts (Anfi Beach, Puerto Anfi, Monte Anfi and Gran Anfi) and Anfi Tauro (Anfi Emerald).

With occupancy levels in excess of 85% across its luxurious 988 apartments, with the highest rates in October, November, February and March, Anfi’s 1,000 staff service in excess of 30,000 members.

The resorts located in Arguineguín attract many additional visitors through their beach and marina, boosting sales in local shops and restaurants. Tauro Valley which has several golf courses, also brings in many extra visitors to the region, supporting the local economy.

– part of Seasons Holidays Group.
Clowance Estate and Country Club in Cornwall employs over 150 staff in part and full time positions for its 108 unit resort. Clowance has an occupancy rate of 93% – 95% with half its owners on fixed weeks with the rest of the occupants made up of Seasons’ multi destination network. Clowance creates year-round jobs in the resort and indirectly creates jobs in the tourism industry in the local area.  Local shops and restaurants are supported by the resort’s customers all year round, as well as nearby tourist attractions such as the Eden Project.

Club la Costa employs approximately 1,100 people on the Costa del Sol with an average occupancy rate of 85.2% across its 800 units and has 50,000 owners.

Club la Costa is one of the largest employers on the Spanish coast and the majority of staff come from the local community. It also has a policy of trading with local business people wherever possible.

– part of the Anfi Group

The Hilton Craigendarroch resort in Royal Deeside is part of the Hilton hotels group. It is a resort of 99 timeshare units and a 45 bedroom hotel. The timeshare units run at 96% occupancy year round and have over 3,800 owners. The resort employs 35 full time and 80 part time staff in addition to 90 people in the hotel. The resort has a big impact on the local community with local restaurants now open all year round. Prior to the opening of the resort there were only two restaurants in the town and now, in part thanks to the resort, there are nine. Guests at the resort support many local traders, including visitor focussed businesses such as galleries and bike hire shops.

Petchey Leisure
Petchey Leisure, one of Europe’s leading leisure groups, has 3 resorts in the Algarve, Portugal, and a total of 850 apartments.  With around 10,000 timeshare owners and excellent year-round occupancy levels, the resorts provide direct employment opportunities to the local community, hiring around 300 staff.  Local businesses, including shops, restaurants, bars and attractions benefit from the money spent by the resorts’ customers. 

Resort Properties built, sold out and operate 4 prestigious resorts in Europe. The combined Sales, Marketing and Management Team consist of approximately 950 personnel. There are over 1,000 units with an occupancy level of 88%, and a worldwide ownerbase of over 40,000 families.

The resorts are maintained by its Management Company, XL Hotels & Resorts, who employ approximately 600 personnel across their sites.

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