Professor Vicente Navarro, a tourism expert at La Laguna University in Tenerife, called for an end to the “timeshare myths” and negative tales of harassment of tourists that are tarnishing the industry, as part of the course “Reflexions on the tourism sector in the Canary Islands” held recently in Tenerife.
“It is not fair that the whole timeshare industry should suffer and be branded a fraudulent business just because of the unscrupulous actions of a few individuals,” he said. “There are many serious professionals working in this industry, and resorts of outstanding quality.”
Professor Navarro acknowledged that in the beginnings of the timeshare industry, back in the 1980s, there was often confusion, irregular practices and harassment of tourists, but this prompted the authorities to introduce new regulations to govern this activity, which have continued to evolve since.
The current timeshare legislation establishes very special consumer rights such as the right to a cooling off period to cancel the contract. It also demands greater transparency and forbids cold calling or harassing tourists.
Navarro emphasised the importance of the timeshare sector, which has 1.5 million households that own timeshare in Europe and generates more than 3.2 billion euros. He explained that Spain is the European country with the highest number of timeshare resorts, most of them in the Canary Islands, followed by Italy, the UK and Ireland. The majority of clients come from the UK and Germany.