When we used to hear the word “timeshare” people didn’t think too highly of them. Most of us thought of people who were desperately trying to get out of it, or elderly people who loved to go every two weeks down to some hellhole in New Mexico. Those where the thoughts going through our heads before it all began to change. And for the most part, it’s understandable since ages ago, that’s what was happening with timeshares. However, through the years, timeshares have been making a massive comeback and those negative thoughts about them are now a faint memory in some people’s minds.
Now back in 1974, the timeshare industry had begun, however, it was on unstable grounds. During that period, the condo market was overdeveloped, leaving developers with alternative methods in order to fill the empty apartments. This came with flashy gifts of concert tickets and buffets, all in the hopes of getting eager vacationers to sign their name on the dotted line. Once people signed up for a timeshare, they were given the option of booking off a week in the condo in a specific location- which was isn’t actually flexible at all when you think about it. Though that was then, and now, it’s a completely different story. Timeshares, over these past couple years, have become popular because the concept has been rebranded by influential hospitality companies.
Over the past couple years, timeshares have attracted many eager vacationers as they’ve now become consumer-friendly, allowing individuals transparency into the company and timeshare. But this transparency was brought forward due to chains such as Hilton, Marriott, Disney, and Four Seasons jumping on the timeshare train. As these chains are major and significant hospitality companies, they were able to provide individuals with better products, transparency, and reputation which are factors which were lacking in the 70s. Plus, these companies are focusing on rebranding the idea of timeshares, now being called “vacation ownership” or “interval travel.” Thus, people who still remember the issues with timeshares are provided with a fresh face of it. Back in the 70s during the first timeshare development, potential customers were pressured into investing in timeshares which is what deterred many people from investing in them.
However, today, timeshares aren’t being thrown down people’s throats which is one of the reasons as to why it’s increasing in popularity. People are no longer feeling pressured and are able to speak to representatives by contacting them on their own. Though fewer people remember the 70s and the timeshare controversy as now, new generations are getting married and having families. Though, new generations are facing many economic issues as the cost of living has been increasing over the past five to ten years. This means younger families are unable to take lavish vacations as they simply do not have the money or time to so do. However, timeshares are now becoming appealing to them as this is something they can afford. Plus, in addition, timeshares are offering more flexible plans which allow individuals to travel to various timeshares own by that specific company. This allows individuals to travel around the world without the extra cost. Thus, this factor is highly alluring to younger families as new generations are more interested in exploring the world and different cultures.
Twenty years ago, people ran away from timeshares. However, over the past five to ten years, people are signing up without hesitation. The rebirth of timeshares was done through rebranding, changing the marketing strategy and focusing on a younger demographic.