An Insight into Shared Vacation Ownership

Each year millions of families across the globe enjoy the benefits of shared vacation ownership. Since the inception in the mid-1960’s in Europe, it has evolved into a major global industry that gives a massive economic boost to the tourism and hospitality sectors.

In South Africa, when the 1970’s rise in inflation and cost of living pushed the annual hotel vacation out of reach for many families, shared ownership provided an alternative vacation plan and redefined leisure travel.  Today it has a significant footprint and boasts a mature R3.5 billion per annum industry totalling more than 200 resorts and 500 000 shared owners throughout the country, according to the Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa (VOASA).

While the sales model has transformed over the years to meet the ever-changing needs of holidaymakers, the founding principal of offering quality family vacations with spacious bedrooms, kitchens and lounges with top notch amenities in the most sought after locations has remained constant for over 4 decades.

For some however, grasping the concept of shared vacation ownership and how it works may still be a little confusing. But, when compared to everyday examples you begin to realise that this concept is in fact used every day across many different industries.

Consider a golfer who needs a golf course to play golf. While the vast majority of golfers cannot afford to own a championship course, they are still able to enjoy the benefits by becoming a member of the golf club. The course is owned by the club which is funded by the member’s joining fee and annual subscriptions to cover the running costs each year. Every time the golf course is used by the member, he pays green fees to cover the maintenance thereof.

Similarly, holidaymakers don’t need to own a luxury holiday home with an ocean view or a rustic log cabin in the mountains to enjoy its benefits. With shared vacation ownership, it’s like owning your own dream holiday home wherever you want that home to be each year. This means an ever-expanding choice of accommodations, amenities, locations, pricing and floor plans with the added benefit of access to a wider portfolio through exchange.

VOASA explains that by purchasing a shared ownership product you can secure a future holiday lifestyle at today’s prices and for the period you need. A one-time purchase is made of furnished accommodation at a fraction of the whole ownership cost. Thereafter, a levy is paid throughout the year to cover the costs of running the resort. The benefit is that these levies are not subject to any profit.
Whether you book a year in advance or a short notice break, vacation ownership allows you to pick up when the mood strikes, alleviating the stress of needing sufficient cash to pay for accommodation on the spur of the moment.

VOASA concludes that it is optimistic about the continued future growth of the industry noting a property upgrade investment of over R500 million over the past five years. This investment is a promising commitment to ensuring that there is always a bucket-list of luxury resort destinations waiting to be explored at some of the most recognised and established names in hospitality and resort developments.