Timeshare Exchange Gets Good Review by Miami Herald
Saturday, February 20, 2010
It is good to see fair, accurate, and positive press lately regarding timeshares, timeshare sales, and timeshare exchange. The naysayers who present vacation ownership and timeshare vacation rentals as only being about timeshare scam do a real injustice to the industry, to the hardworking people whose daily objective is improving the vacation experience for others, and to consumers who could be enjoying affordable vacationing through timeshare resales and timeshare rentals.
Last week, the Miami Herald took an objective look at timeshare exchange, focusing on Interval International, which happens to be a Miami-based company.
Interviewing Jon Fredricks of Welk Resorts, a California timeshare company, the article quoted Fredricks as saying, “In this economy, you’re seeing more people wanting to drive to their exchange, with less use of airlines. Vegas is not in favor as it once was. I think Interval has had to adjust to those changes alone.”
Fredricks’ point is critical: timeshare owners and timeshare renters may be vacationing differently because of the economy, but they are still making use of timeshare ownership and the opportunities of timeshares.
A Changing Profile for Timeshare Owners
Timeshare owners have always leaned on timeshare companies to offer more flexibility. Because of this, over the years, the options of timesharing have changed considerably. But with all the stresses and economic pressures many people are feeling these days, they’ve upped their demands even more.
Here’s what timeshare owners have always wanted in timeshare exchange:
- Flexibility in exchanging one date or property for another.
- The opportunity to exchange timeshare or timeshare points for cruises and other travel amenities in addition to timeshare.
And here’s their new list of add-ons:
- Shorter lead-time for making timeshare exchange.
- More drive-to timeshare vacation destinations.
- Shorter vacation intervals, something most timeshare companies are already striving to offer.
Currently, Interval International timeshare exchange has a network of over 2500 timeshare resorts, representing some 75 countries worldwide. Last year, in response to their member requests, Interval international timeshare exchange launched their ShortStay Exchange Program. Through this option, gold members can deposit their timeshare interval or points and exchange it for one or more vacations of two to six days in length. These ShortStay timeshare exchanges are made online at IntervalWorld.com
According to Interval CEO Craig Nash, “We’re always looking at product development.” He adds, so far the program is, “tracking nicely.”
Other Options for Timeshare Exchange
As the Herald article points out, Interval International timeshare exchange is second in size as a timeshare exchange company to RCI Exchange. Also there are many other timeshare exchange companies that may have smaller inventories of timeshare exchange properties but are targeted to a specific region, resort group, or type of resort. Additionally, Timeshare Users Group, which most timeshare owners know as TUG, offers timeshare exchange along with ads for timeshare resales to its member participants.
While fees may be cheaper in smaller groups, timeshare owners are not likely to have as much flexibility as with a larger timeshare exchange company. Lisa Ann Shreier, author of Timeshare Vacations for Dummies and co-author of Timeshare Management, makes a valid point in saying this about timeshare exchange companies, “They do facilitate the trading process. It makes it easier if 2,000 people are depositing their weeks into a pool.”
And any timeshare discussion always comes down to one important point: timeshare exchange is -and always has been- one of the significant reasons people buy timeshare.