The future of timesharing
Timeshare is a global industry, with more than 5000 resorts and 4 million owners spanning all continents. Although timeshare emerged first in Europe during the 1960s, it was in the United States where it burgeoned, especially after the introduction of the exchange function in the mid-1970s. The United States currently accounts for 35% of all timeshare resorts and 48% of all timeshare owners, though its percentage share of the world totals will inevitably decline as the industry continues its geographical expansion. Indeed, growth in the European market has been particularly strong throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, making it the second largest market with 31.5% and 26% of timeshare resorts and owners respectively (RCI Consulting, 1999). These two key regions are annexed by a number of smaller established markets and, moreover, the emergence of new markets: India and Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, for example.