European Timeshare Owners see Changes in Regulations

A press release has announced a tightening of regulations for the timeshare industry in the European Union - significant information for anyone who owns, or plans to buy, a timeshare in Europe.

The new Directive will set the conditions for fair trading in timeshares and should go a long way in instilling consumer confidence by implementing measures to protect buyers and help put an end to “pressure selling," stated the press release.

Commenting on the legislation that goes into effect February 23, 2011, Britain’s Consumer Minister Edward Davey said, “These products are often sold across borders, so it’s only right that we have protections in place for consumers that also cross borders. Knowing these regulations are in place will boost consumer confidence and boost business for legitimate traders.”

This directive is seen as a major milestone for the industry in Europe. While the vast majority of timeshare owners say they are happy with their purchases, it is the holiday clubs and unregulated rogue resale companies that taint an otherwise solid and thriving global industry, explained Davey.

The Resort Development Organization (RDO), the trade body dedicated to excellence and fair trading in the European vacation ownership industry, welcomes the new regulations. Because of these tighter conditions the RDO believes much of the activity of the holiday clubs will cease as they will be unable or unwilling to operate in a regulated environment.

So how will the consumer benefit? Some of the most significant changes will affect:
  • Pre-contractual information (or disclosure)

  • The cooling-off period and right of withdrawal

  • Timeshare protection is expanded to include cruise ships, canal boats, etc

  • Short term holiday products

  • Resales
The RDO stated that the new directive will help create a level playing field for businesses by simplifying the UK legislative regime with a single set of regulations to replace the old Timeshare Act. “Holiday clubs” that have not been covered by law will now be subjected to the same regulations, a move which should help put an end to rogue “holiday clubs” and unscrupulous resale companies, and pave the way for a stronger, more unified European timeshare industry.

For more information about the new EU directive, visit
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