Jamaica's Ministry of Tourism is pushing for more timeshare in the country. It's part of a long-term growth strategy to diversify Jamaica's tourism product, increase tourism, and favorably position Jamaica's tourism industry among its global competitors. Revenue estimates for global tourism indicate that the timeshare industry has consistently been one of the fastest growing tourism segments.
In a recent article in the Jamaica Observer, "Timeshare: Big Possibilities for Jamaica", Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, said, "the ministry plans an aggressive focus on tapping new innovations, products and trends in global tourism to boost Jamaica's appeal to more tourists from both traditional and non-traditional markets." It aims to keep pace with the global tourism trend of more segmented accommodations and services catering to the specific needs, wants or preferences of individual travelers. Bartlett sees timeshare as a perfect product to help achieve the ministry’s overall goals.
Jamaica Behind Other Caribbean Islands in Tourism
Though demand for Caribbean timeshare resorts among international tourists is greater than any other region in the world, Jamaica's share of the regional timeshare market is currently less than one per cent. According to Mr. Bartlett, one of the main reasons Jamaica's timeshare has lagged behind the other islands was an absence of a statutory framework. Now, with Jamaica's new Timeshare Vacation Act, enacted in May of this year, the country has a modern regulatory framework that lays the foundation for the country to make significant gains in timeshare development.
Great Timeshare Destination
The Caribbean is a great timeshare destination for good reason. Its many gorgeous beaches of white sand and aquamarine waters, lush tropical landscapes, perfect weather, and variety of experiences, are the answer to every vacationers' dreams. Family-friendly vacations or romantic getaways can be equally accommodated. If you can't find your perfect activity, you're not looking very hard. The majority of timeshare resorts can be found in Aruba, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. Occidental Vacation Club, Hyatt, Wyndham, Westin, and Marriott are just a few with a major presence in the area.
ARDA, the American Resort Development Association, is making sure that these timeshare island paradises are protected. In 2008, ARDA-Caribbean was formed in response to the high demand as a travel destination for timeshare developers and owners. ARDA works collaboratively with local governments to ensure they have the tools to develop and maintain a healthy timeshare marketplace. The most important tool is to ensure appropriate timeshare laws and regulations to establish a framework for the growth of the industry while also protecting the owners' interests. ARDA-Caribbean supported the Jamaican government as they worked to develop their timeshare legislation.
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