A timeshare is a property in which several parties hold rights to use a particular property, and each member or sharer is allotted a certain period of time, typically about one week, which is almost the same time each year in a fixed package as well as a week which they choose in floater package; in which they might use the property. The membership fee can cost Rs 1 lakh and upwards and the annual cost of maintenance about Rs 10,000 or higher depending on the type of package you have taken up with the timeshare company. A person can also sell the share to others if they do not want to hold it anymore. However, the member does not have any claim regarding the ownership of the property—E.g. Sterling Holiday Resorts, Club Mahindra, Country Club etc.
The timeshare market has been growing at a rate of 20% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the course of the past several years according to the chairman of All India Resort Development Association (AIRDA) Ramesh Ramanathan. The top priorities of the industry include increasing transparency and improving consumer satisfaction.
Many travel enthusiasts assume that a membership such as this will make their travel plans easier since they already have a list of destinations they can choose from and the accommodation has already been paid for. However, in actuality, the rooms are not always available at the dates the people want. If they want to go on such an impromptu holiday, getting a hotel to stay at can be difficult, because the rooms may be full.
Interestingly, good holiday deals are a very important motivation for customers casually surfing online. If offered a considerable discount for a short time period, almost 36% of consumers reported that they were willing to make unplanned trips.
India currently boasts of 80 resorts, 20 lakh memberships and 40 timeshare companies. The main reason why timeshares are still only catching up is because of the steep annual maintenance charges.
Here is a simple example demonstrating the usefulness of timeshares. The rates in five-star hotels and properties range from Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000 per day, or Rs 70,000 to Rs 85,000 per week. Now suppose that a timeshare member pays Rs 2.5 to Rs 3 lakh for membership and gets an offer for 30 holidays of seven days each extended over 30 years, the cost reduces to Rs 10,000 for a week’s holiday in a year, which is just a fraction of what would have to be paid otherwise.
The current packages usually start at Rs 3.37 lakh for a family of four with the minimum down payment being Rs 50,550; monthly instalments depending on the number of years you opted for to pay the remaining amount. The membership begins after meeting the minimum payment as specified. The annual maintenance rates are a bit high, starting at Rs 13,000 and upwards based on the package opted for.