Concept of Shared Accommodations Not New - Timeshare Started it All

Kauai Kailani, the U.S.'s first timeshare.
With all the attention given to home sharing services such as Airbnb, HomeAway, and others, one would think they had originated the concept of the sharing economy. The truth is timeshare started it all. 

Timesharing began in the mid-sixties in Europe with a French ski resort.  It offered the new concept of selling units for vacationing and used the slogan, "No need to rent the room; buy the hotel, it's cheaper." The first timeshare in the U.S., Kauai Kailani, began selling units in 1969. As timeshare grew in popularity, the concept of timeshare exchange was added. In 1974, RCI led the way by helping owners trade their week at their resort for a week at another resort. In the early 2000's, online timeshare rental companies such as RedWeek (now the largest online site), provided another benefit to owners, a safe and easy way to rent their timeshare. Timeshare revolutionized vacationing by giving vacationers more flexibility and control over the way they vacationed.

Sharing Services Risky Business?

Though companies like Airbnb and Homeaway have many fans, there has been criticism about these companies. The risk of booking through peer-to-peer listings, the lack of regulation and guarantees on what the host is like, or whether the properties meet safety requirements are a few of the issues. 

Recently, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors hit the home-sharing industry with a new bill requiring home-sharing services to remove listing for units that are not registered with the city's Office of Short-Term Rentals. The bill allows the city to fine sharing services not registered with the city, up to $1000 per listing. A study from financial services firm, Canaccord Genuity, says other cities are likely to follow San Francisco’s example resulting in a significant reduction of listings for these companies.

Timeshare Offers More

Though timeshare and sharing services both share some of the same concepts such as a variety and diversity of destinations and residence types, there are advantages that only timeshare offers. A big one is knowing what you are getting - the consistency of brand product, brand experience, and level of service that well-known timeshare companies such as Westin, Hilton and Marriott can be counted on to deliver. 

Timeshare resorts are owned and run by professionals, they have strict standards for accommodations and traveler experiences. They follow safety regulations and tax laws. Home sharing services may not even be aware of these practices and many sharers have no experience in the hospitality industry.

Another advantage of timesharing is the family orientation. Children who have grown up with a positive relationship of timeshare often carry on the legacy. 

Potential Distribution Channel for Timeshare Industry

One professional who sees a positive alignment of timeshare and sharing economy alternatives is ARDA President and CEO, Howard Nusbaum. He sees them as potential distribution channels when listings comply with timeshare standards. 

In a recent article in Hotel Management, he was quoted, "Homeaway and Expedia are members of ARDA. We have a program through VacayStay Connect where timeshare resorts can list their product on those sites and harmonize it with them, and I think we offer a better environment because you're not seeing somebody's family pictures, you don't feel like you're invading somebody's privacy, you don't have to worry about cleanliness, or health, or safety, and you still get that condo environment."

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Timeshare Big Contributor to the U.S. Economy

Owners and industry professionals are aware of timeshare's benefits to the consumers, but timeshare also has a huge impact on both local and national economy. The recently released report, 2016 Economic Impact of the Timeshare Industry on the U.S. Economy, from ARDA International Foundation's (AIF), provides impressive figures on the actual size of timeshare's impact.

"It is not just the vacationers that benefit from the timeshare industry," said Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of ARDA, in a recent press release. "This industry has a huge impact on local economies through jobs, spending by vacationers, and taxes."


The report, conducted by Ernst & Young, illustrates that timeshare's influence on the U.S. economy goes far beyond timeshare resorts. It includes the sales and marketing offices, corporate operations, construction of new resorts and renovation of existing resorts. It has significant effects on vacationers’ expenditures during timeshare stays. Here are a few of the highlights of the report.
  • Economic Output
79.5 billion in consumer and business spending
16% increase over 2013
  • Employmen
511,782 full and part-time jobs
8% increase over 2013
  • Labor Income
$28.1 billion in salaries and wages
19% increase over 2013
  • Consumer Spending
$10 billion total spending by timeshare vacationers
$3.4 billion onsite, $6.6 billion off-site

Everyone in the timeshare industry has real reason to feel proud of these achievements. Not only does the industry provide millions of people a perfect vacation year after year, and many private sector benefits, it also provides substantial tax contributions that are a source of revenue for federal, state and local governments - $10.2 billion in 2015, a 21% increase over 2013.

Timeshare in Brazil?

Many of us have always had a romantic image of Brazil. When the song "The Girl from Ipanema" came out we were seduced by thoughts of long lazy days on gorgeous beaches, with azure oceans and swaying palm trees, and nights of partying carnival style to throbbing Brazilian beats. But recently, our pleasant thoughts have been intruded upon by what the press says is reality in Brazil - Zika Virus, pollution, a high rate of street crime and corruption, and the recent impeachment of Brazil's president.

This year's chaotic Olympic Games have added more fuel to that tarnished image. Some Olympians have refused to compete in the games because of the doping scandals (no fault of Brazil), and the substandard facilities for athletes—clogged toilets, leaking pipes and exposed wires in the athletes' accommodations (definitely a Brazilian problem).  The boa constrictors, crocodiles, capybaras and burrowing owls on the Olympic Golf Course have not helped. So far, hotel and airline bookings have suffered, but last minute demand from regional and international buyers is expected to bolster sales.

A Beautiful Country 

Amidst the negativity, Brazil still remains a beautiful place of vast natural beauty, and the joyful spirt of Carnival prevails. With its many attractions - the vibrant nightlife, music and food of Rio, the great Amazon River and its wildlife, the pristine white beaches, and the clear, calm waters filled with colorful sea life - Brazil is still a popular destination and not to be missed. Throughout the enormous country there are paradisiacal landscapes, astounding rain forests, exuberant activities to try, and an impressive culture to explore. There is something for everyone to enjoy in Brazil. 

Timeshare in Brazil

With all that Brazil has to offer it’s an excellent choice for a timeshare vacation and timeshares offer the perfect accommodations for staying there. They are usually more spacious and often more luxurious than a hotel room, and outfitted with kitchens, living rooms and multiple bathrooms. A family or group of friends can stay for weeks in complete comfort and also save money. Onsite amenities offer great perks - concierge service, pools and spas, laundry facilities and the ability to communicate with other timesharers who offer valuable suggestions and insider tips about activities, restaurants and the customs of the country.

Where to Stay

A good place to start your timeshare search is exchange and rental sites, as well as user group sites like RedWeek, of course! As an example, one of the resorts listed on several of the sites was the Marina Palace, a high rise rated 4 ½ stars, located in an upscale section of Rio across from Ipanema beach. It's family friendly, loaded with amenities and near to many attractions. Westin, Sheraton and Starwood have resorts in Rio and other cities across Brazil. You’re sure to find just the right timeshare for your Brazil vacation. 

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