LONDON, UK (January 28, 2011) — New legislation will tighten the regulation of the timeshare industry and enable consumers to buy timeshare with greater confidence predicts RCI, the world’s largest timeshare exchange company.
The new regulations are the result of a new European Union Timeshare Directive, which is designed to give consumers better protection and more confidence when buying shared ownership or timeshare products, long-term holiday products and related services.
RCI, which has approximately 3.8 million members worldwide, was consulted during the development of the legislation which is to be implemented into national law by all 27 European Union Member States by no later than 23 February 2011.
Paul Carter, Managing Director of RCI in Europe said: “RCI fully supports the introduction of common rules across Europe and increased protection for the consumer and has been partnering with our affiliates across Europe to ensure that shared ownership promotional activities are properly regulated.
“Unlike the existing legislation which applies to timeshare alone, the new regulations have been extended to include exchange, resales and long-term holiday products. This will ensure the conditions for fair-trading throughout the industry and potential purchasers will be safe in the knowledge that they are being offered similar levels of protection wherever, and whatever shared ownership product, they buy in Europe,” added Carter.
“These new regulations are very good news for the industry because it will help to eliminate those rogue traders whose fraudulent activities have created credibility issues for the legitimate operators. Increasing consumer protection for timeshare owners should help shift the focus toward the many personal benefits timeshare has to offer.”
EU Member States are obliged to implement the Directive in national law in a way that does not exceed or fall below its requirements. These include a 14-day cooling off period with an absolute ban on any payments made during this time. In addition, disclosure and language requirements have been updated.
In the UK, the Government’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has finished its consultation of stakeholders and submitted the proposed regulation to Parliament in December 2010.
It is anticipated that the new regulations will encourage greater growth within shared ownership, with the timeshare industry estimated to be worth €3.2 billion and responsible for almost 70,000 jobs across the EU.
RCI, part of the Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN) family of brands, is the worldwide leader in vacation exchange.
[1.] Source: Resort Development Organisation (RDO), The European Timeshare Industry 2008
RCI is part of Wyndham Exchange & Rentals, the worldwide leader in vacation exchange and the world’s largest full-service vacation rental business, providing access to more than 85,000 vacation properties in approximately 100 countries. The vacation exchange business includes RCI, the worldwide leader in vacation exchange and provider of travel services to businesses and consumers, and The Registry Collection® program, the world’s largest luxury exchange program. The vacation rentals business includes Hoseasons, cottages4you, Novasol®, Cuendet®, Landal GreenParks®, ResortQuest®, James Villa Holidays, Endless Vacation Rentals® and other renowned vacation rental brands through which vacationers can rent a variety of property types, from city apartments to villas. Wyndham Worldwide Corporation is one of the world’s largest hospitality companies with leading brands in lodging franchising, vacation ownership, vacation rentals and vacation exchange. For additional information visit our media centre.
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