Tapping the timeshare pie
Seeing the potential of the timeshare concept, even tour operators and travel agents are looking at increasing their stake in the segment.
This is a business in which long-term credibility is a must It creates multiple avenues to grow our respective businesses There are currently only three lakh timeshare members in India There is also scope to add value to Sterling’s vacation ownership members
While the hotel industry in India didn’t look too optimistic in 2013, the timeshare concept has been evolving at the hospitality landscape. The concept has helped the industry tide over tough times. Timeshares or vacation ownership offer the right to use a resort unit at different locations for a specific period ( say, a week) each year for a specified number of years (say, 25 years). The apparent cost includes a one-time membership charge and annual maintenance fee. By paying an exchange fee, time-share owners could also opt to stay in resorts of other vacation ownership companies in India or abroad. If used consistently on a long-term basis, timeshares could work out cheaper than comparable hotel rooms.
Seeing the potential of the timeshare concept, even tour operators and travel agents are looking at increasing their stake in the segment. The TCIL transaction is expected to close by the fourth quar- ter of 2014, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. With this merger, Thomas Cook will gain access to Sterling’s network of 19 resorts in 16 holiday destinations across India. According to Madhavan Menon, MD, TCIL, the merger reaffirms the company’s commitment to invest in mutually-beneficial partnerships. “It creates multi- ple avenues to grow our respective businesses and to create valuable opportunities together,” he informed.
Ramesh Ramanathan, MD, Sterling Holiday Resorts (India), pointed out, “Thomas Cook customers will have access to our pan-India network of well located, full-service, quality resorts which offer great holiday experiences. Sterling stands to benefit from TCIL’s iconic brand reputation and its large base of domestic and inbound travel customers. There is a scope to add value to Sterling’s vacation ownership members through synergies between the two companies.” Mahindra Holidays and
` Resorts will invest 500 crore in the next financial year 201415 in around seven properties across the country. “We will be adding 500 rooms every year over the next three years,” Arun Nanda, Chairman, Mahindra Holidays and Resorts (MMHR), revealed. “This is a business where longterm credibility is a must and since the product has to be served for longer period, people are not comfortable with groups or companies with no track record,” he said.
The Jukaso Group has also announced its latest venture into timeshare business. The group is working on acquiring vacation properties in destinations like London, Dubai, Goa, Mussoorie, Nainital and in South India. Rajiv Khanna, Chairman, Jukaso Group, elaborated, “There are currently only three lakh timeshare members in India, whereas the potential consumer base is over 100 million. With quite an extensive base of rooms to start with, we feel we have an edge in the market. Also, we are the only ones to offer properties in Europe to begin with for timeshare.”
Madhavan Menon Managing Director Thomas Cook India
Ramesh Ramanathan Managing Director Sterling Holiday Resorts
Rajiv Khanna Chairman Jukaso Group
Arun Nanda Chairman Mahindra Holidays and Resorts