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Allister welcomes timeshare report

29 October 2008

For many families, time-share deals that allow buyers to purchase holiday accommodation according to their use of the property are a good alternative to renting or staying in hotels.  According to data from the Organisation for Timeshare in Europe (OTE), the timeshare industry generates revenues of over $9.4bn per year. 

This legislation aims to strengthen consumer confidence and legal clarity, which are essential to the growth of this sector.   It will do so by simplifying EU-wide rules and strengthening consumer protection measures. The cross-border nature of time-share makes this particularly important.  Whilst the British and Germans are amongst those who use timeshare most, the majority of holiday centres are located in Spain, Italy, France and Portugal.

The EU directive of 1994 on this topic failed to properly harmonise time-share rules across the EU and foresee the obvious loop-holes.  The emergence of new forms of timeshare came about that were not covered by the directive, including holiday clubs giving holidaymakers reductions in the cost of their stays if they take out a subscription.  Some of the contracts clearly circumvented consumer protection rules.  As a result, litigation between operators and holidaymakers is rife, notably about conditions and quality of service. 

I welcome this new piece of legislation that finally aims to make genuine timeshare easier to buy and will also put an end to fraudulent discount travel clubs.  This new legislation is a victory for the consumer and better protects the time-share holiday rights of some 1.5 million European families.  It enables people to invest in time-share with much more confidence and security.

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EU Parliament